Revenge dramas always hold an attraction to the average cine-goer. Retaliation or retribution stories are, in a sense, the stories of the underdog. It is delayed vigilante justice. This idea, plus some interesting suspense, makes for interesting viewing in Aathi. It is not just the hero who is bent on revenge. The heroine too is. Though the splash of gore may be slightly high, the film more than passes muster as Vijay once again seems in fine fettle. Director Ramana has also not tried anything extravagant. He knows Vijay is the trump, and hence used it pretty handily.
The movie starts dramatically with Anjali (Trisha), clad in spotless white, thrusting a shining knife into Devan. As blood drips out, it never stops all through.
The story is about Aathi (Vijay), is brought up in New Delhi (by foster parents Seetha and Manivannan). He comes to Chennai apparently to study. But he is thirsting for revenge on those who had bumped off his parents and close relatives of uncles and aunts who were all living together in a joint family.
Anjali, aided by her uncle (Nasser) is also in the same college. She is also one a revenge mission. Her reason too is the same. And her target is also the same. Why? Well, there is a smart bit of suspense. Aathi and Anjali fall in love and set out on the trail of their antagonists.
So what is the real identity of the duo and does the arch villain (Sai Kumar) manage to have the last laugh. After plenty of rapier thrusts and blood-splattered moments, you find out. Vijay just ambles through a role that allows him to do his typical stuff---dance, fight, humor around. He is such a consummate performer that there is more confidence to his work these days. His chemistry with Trisha also shows. They cut a fine pair and have fun. Vijay has also tried some funky hair coloring. Vivek's comedy, though repetitive, brings the house down in some places. Prakash Raj plays a typical cop.
The rest of the cast have designated work and they do it unobtrusively. Sai Kumar, as the baddie, goes over the top.
Vidyasagar's music is on typical lines --- giving scope for Vijay to shimmy around.
The action sequences (Soundararajan's camera work is very pleasing) are one of the high points of the film. As we said, blood flows like ketchup and sauce do in a Mc Donald outlet.
Director Ramana has faithfully stuck to the Telugu original and come up with a gritty entertainer.