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Home > Movies > Reviews

Mahesh Babu does well in Athidi

Radhika Rajamani | October 18, 2007 17:36 IST

A still from Athidi

The good-versus-evil theme is predominant in Indian films and the triumph of good over the evil is always long drawn filled with aggression, bloodshed and gore. And Mahesh Babu's [Images] Telugu film, Athidi has loads of it.

The film is a commercial potboiler with a wafer-thin story. But it is built up through a 'racy' screenplay which is gripping to an extent, but stretches to three long hours.

Since it's a Mahesh Babu film, Athidi is said to have been released with 700 odd prints.

The film is about an orphan, who is a very straightforward person, and not always treated well. He befriends a young girl, Amrita, who takes him home. He is given a lot of love and affection by her parents and is named Athidi.

One day, Amrita's parents get shot. The young boy tries to fight the murderer but he escapes. Soon, Athidi gets framed of murder. He is arrested and convicted for 13 years.

Athidi keeps the photograph of the real killer and on being released, wants to hunt him down. He also begins his search for Amrita. The film is somewhat reminiscent of Zanjeer (where Amitabh Bachchan [Images] just sees the bracelet of the killer).

The story shifts from Delhi to Hyderabad. Athidi bumps into Amrita (Amrita Rao [Images]) and saves her without knowing it's the same Amrita. Eventually, he realises it's the same girl, and soon falls in love.

The love story also has its share of the 'bad' men, including a dreaded kidnapper Kaiser, and his henchman Danny (Ashish Vidyarthi).

The director builds up the pace and makes the screenplay engrossing. To an extent, the film shares the same slick treatment like Pokkiri. But there is too much violence shown.

Great care has been taken of the songs. Some of them -- like Khabaddarani, Satyam [Get Quote] emito -- are well choreographed. The desert and rugged landscape near the Hatta Dam in Dubai in Satyam emito is breathtaking and the song shot in Austria has a nice pace to it. Mani Sarma's musical score seems to be in sync with the film.

But haven't we seen the politician-badmen nexus before? It is touched upon superficially here too. Is violence the only solution to evil? One wishes that films go beyond this tried and tested premise.

Mahesh is in his elements. It's a role tailor-made for his image, and he does well. Like Pokkiri, Mahesh is uber cool in Athidhi. But one feels that given his talent, he must try something different.

Amrita Rao, who makes her debut in Telugu films, makes a mark. Murali Sharma and Ashish Vidyarthi are good. Nasser is wasted in the film. Brahmanandam and Sunil seem to be included only for comic relief.

Surendar Reddy has created a typical potboiler keeping Mahesh in mind. The imagery in the film is very urban. He induces some suspense in the screenplay but in the end, the film remains a mainstream effort. Sameer Reddy's camera work is good especially in some of the song sequences, especially Satyam Emito.

Mahesh's fans will surely lap up Athidhi because their hero is dashing, dapper and bashes up people without effort and dances with equal felicity. Moreover, the 'Sainikudu disaster' is wiped off. Athidhi, like Pokkiri, will run thanks to lovers of masala. However for the discerning film lover, Athidhi has nothing new to offer.

Rediff Rating:

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