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Athiran: Sai Pallavi steals the Show

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Malayalam cinema has now started moving in another pace of film making stating technical and creative aspects in a much bigger canvas. After the first sci-fi thriller of the year – 9 – now on big screens, we have yet another thriller of Fahadh Faasil co-starred by Sai Pallavi after a long time to Malayalam, Renji Panicker, Athul Kulkarni, Lena, Nandu, Surabhi Lekshmi, Vijay Menon, Shanthi Krishna, Prakash Raj, Sudev Nair, Leona Leshoy. Its a 2hour 15 minutes long psycho-romantic thriller.

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Plot

The movie opens to a high range situated isolated mental asylum where a psychologist have been appointed to sent reports on the hospital finally finds a ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) patient who also have Autistic features starts revealing her past history and relationship with her father which finally leads to startling revelations in both of their lives.

Direction – Screenplay

This movie is an extraordinary effort taken by a newcomer director Vivek which needs an applause first of all. Even though it was a predictable plot at a point, the director makes it unpredictable by his caliber. An oddity ambience maintained for the asylum, the mysterious portrayal of each character, creepy sequences all make the movie win in seeking the attention of the audience, although fails to keep its pulse in its second half.

Scripts by PF Mathews has an Engaging first half and the interval punches are too good that make audience a mind bending move in their head. Especially those “kalari“ punches and portrayal of the “kovilakam” are definitely adrenaline rushing moments. But all this fails when the plot turns to the second half; however still manages to gain its pulses towards the end from its distracting loose end with a proper constructive plot with its ‘masked and glowed’ psychiatric tricks and with some theatrical dialogues and some important screen presence.

Cinematography

I’ve never ever imagined a forest fully with mystery after the Mammootty starer movie “Aparichithan” in a wider canvas than this ever !!!

The film showed both dark and green shades of the forest which made us travel along the characters and even single shots portraying the nature makes the hills an inevitable character through out the entire movie. Specially a shot where ants picking up some tiny green leaves and getting them. Visually the movie is rich and this is one of the plus points of the movie and the cinematographer thus need an appreciation for making the conflicted plot much disturbing and pleasurable in a parallel way.

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Sounding

Preferably one of the good works of MR Rajakrishnan; who simultaneously had invested his effort to make a sync sounded movie blend with the haunting atmosphere and each sequence was perfectly blended and he made us grasp the exact feel of distorted and demented theme. Dubbing for Athul Kulkarni and Prakash Raj was fine and was in sync with their performances.

Editing

Ayoob khan have brilliantly brought out each rushes to a perfect psycho – thriller after Malayalam’s all time favourite thriller – Mohanlal starrer movie “Drishyam” and made the movie into a humanistic one. His cuts helped in featuring the characters who have been masked, glowed and gloved up in their different shades.

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Music and Background Scores

PS Jayahari proved to be one of the finest musicians ever introduced to the industry and the songs are simply superb. His tunes penned by Engandiyur Chandrashekharan says a lot about the entire story and gives the mysterious feel throughout the song. Other two tunes were penned by Vinayak Sasikumar and deals directly with the protagonist Nithya (Sai Pallavi) – one with her father (Renji Panicker) and the other with Dr. Kannan Nair (Fahadh Fasil) enhancing the labyrinth of love, affection and care between the characters.

Background scores by Ghibran boosts the mood of the movie, drags us into the plot and haunts us all the time. The only drawback seen here is that he has used commonly heard dramatic sounds and scores for elevating the intro of the main characters. However, his scores have made the movie impulsive and exuberant.

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Stunts

The action sequences made using kalaripayattu, which was inevitable part of the movie, makes us fall for the performance of Sai Pallavi and Renji Paniker.

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Performance

In addition to Fahadh’s behavioural acting, I think people could actually notice how Sai Pallavi made her come back in Malayalam after a long 3 year gap after the movie “Kali”. Pallavi had completely stolen the show of a low graphed screenplay and marked the film at its peak. Athul Kulkarni had successfully portrayed a villain with “calm face and a dark heart”. Renji Panicker performed well and his character appeared to be the sequel to what he had played in “Godha”. However, It was very disappointing that Prakash Raj’s character ended up having got nothing to do with the plot unfortunately.

Review

One time watchable movie with 3/5 rating.

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