By P. Sreekumaran
Film critic, ApunKaChoice.Com
The pre-release hype was quite high. The expectations are that the Vijay-starrer ‘Aathi’ would mark a hat-trick of success for the Number 2 in Tamil cinema. However, the end product is disappointing, to say the least.
True, all the ingredients that enrich a typical Vijay film are there: action, emotion, comedy, romance and a surfeit of violence. But somehow, ‘Aathi’ leaves one cold unlike his earlier films like ‘Tirupachi’ and ‘Sivakasi’. It’s a bit like swigging a coke that lacks the fizz!
But ‘Aathi’ is no unmitigated disaster either, if you are a diehard Vijay fan, that is. For the loyal followers the young actor, the film packs a powerful punch: thrilling encounters, stunning action scenes, romantic interludes and comedy cameos. And, if the response in the first week is any indication, ‘Aathi’ is all set to set the cash registers ringing.
What more do you want? One might ask. The point is: if you go on making film after film on the staple diet of masala, the viewers’ palate may jade sooner than later. That is the lesson ‘Aathi’ hands out to the hero with the boyish look. Too much of even a good thing is bad, after all. Will he listen?
Aathi (Vijay) has a mission to accomplish. So, much against his parents (Manivannan and Seeta), Aathi, a resident of New Delhi sallies forth to Chennai, where he joins a college. Anjali (Trisha), a student in the same college, is a bird of the same feather. She is also out to avenge the killers of her parents. Her uncle (Nasser) fully supports her plan. Understandably, the duo, thrown together by circumstances, attract each other. The friendship matures into love soon.
The movie goes on to depict how the twosome go about accomplishing their joint mission. The villain is a character called RDX (brilliantly done by Malayalam actor Sai Kumar).A major drawback of ‘Aathi’ is the excess of violence that besets the film. The film literally drips with blood and gore, what with two-dozen killings!
Only the manner of killing is different. Some are hacked to death while others are shot. The ‘piece de resistance’ is the severed head of a bad guy hurtling through the air! The director Ramanna may have a valid excuse to justify the overdose of violence. After all, it is the remake of violence-filled Telugu film ‘Athanokkade’ featuring Kalyan Ram, Sindhu and Ashish Vidyarthi in the principal roles.
‘Aathi’ also suffers from a painfully slow pace. It could have been much better if it had been edited well. Vivek’s comedy act fails to tickle the viewers’ ribs. The silver lining is the screen presence of Vijay, who excels in action scenes brilliantly choreographed by Peter Haynes.
Trisha gives Vijay good company. And their famed chemistry once again comes alive on the silver screen. Prakash Raj is a competent police officer.
Music composer Vidyasagar has come out with a number of melodious songs. That is one of the redeeming features of ‘Aathi’.
If you are a Vijay fan, you will like ‘Aathi’. Otherwise...