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3.4 160 Ratings

Directed by : Vivek (Director)

Release Date :

  • MJ Rating 3.0/5
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Athiran is a thriller movie directed by Vivek and stars Fahadh Faasil in the lead role


“Athiran is a solid thriller with a great performance by Fahadh Faasil”

Athiran Credit & Casting

Fahadh Faasil


Athiran Audience Review

A Ponderous Psychological Thriller

Rated 3.0 / 5
by Megna Santhosh (3,802 DM Points) | See all my reviews

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Back in the 1960s, far away in the woods of Ooty, patients of a mental asylum have been brutally killing themselves. Men in dungeons, nuns chanting death wishes, painters predicting the unknown and a screeching cry of a woman resonates in the middle of the night. All under one roof. These are just a handful of the underworld like creatures among the many locked away from the outside world. These patients are shut inside the infamous mental asylum perched in the middle of nowhere singlehandedly controlled by a tall lean Psychiatrist in his early 60s, Dr Benjamin Diaz (Atul Kulkarni).

Dr Benjamin’s evil ways of treating his patients are similar to the haunting images displayed on the walls of his premises. From restraint chairs, electroshock treatments & electronic head equipments to lobotomy (which involves drilling a hole into the mental patient’s skull). This asylum sets the right mood for a horror movie. But, just as you take a sigh of relief after a series of disturbing sequences, the story takes an unexpected turn. Or maybe a bit predictable one.

In the beginning the film takes us into the daily lives of the mental patients through the eyes of Dr M.K. Nair (Fahadh Faasil) who has been sent by the government to inspect the hospital. All five patients go about their days inside the asylum until it is revealed to us that there seems to be a sixth patient, named Nitya, unknown in records. Nitya is an autistic patient who is hidden away from the rest. Quite a look alike of Annabelle from “The Conjuring”. Director Vivek releases the girl into the world through Dr Nair and her story into the minds of his audience.

The movie jumps back and forth from Nitya’s past to her present, teleporting us to a whole new world of an autistic child. Once Dr Nair tries to revive her memory, the evil Doctor Benjamin’s asylum wouldn’t be as smooth sailing as he expected. So, he plants booby traps to lure him away. Dr Nair manages to escape the asylum alongside Nitya who doesn’t belong there. The rest is a mystery.

As far as I can remember, autism is not a mental illness. And an autistic child does not belong in a mental asylum. As a matter of fact, most autistic children are smarter than others. Sai Pallavi as Nitya unveils the symptoms of an autistic child serving justice to the film. Yes! There were scenes where the symptoms wore off. But, nobody could have done it better than her. Nitya’s special strength was the art of Kalari. Sai Pallavi doesn’t disappoint in kalari either. She fights her way through her action set pieces like a war goddess.

I couldn’t help but notice, the super natural feel to the movie which echoes the American drama series, “Teen Wolf”. Teen wolf fans watch out; the asylum does give a bit of a Lydia (Holland Roden) vibe. Another character that comes to my mind when I think of Dr Benjamin is Doctor Faustus from DC comics. While I try to match so many familiar characters with the ones in the movie, I’am reminded of the secretary role smoothly executed by actress Lena. Lena plays the sweet poison which drove away government inspectors from the asylum in the past.

Athiran certainly has peculiar characters, breathtaking performances & solid cinematography but in the end leaves behind a bitter taste. The several loopholes, untimely sound edits and a blurry plot twist irks its audience. The story even takes the form of a romantic mystery in the end which ruins the entire 2 hours of the movie. If swooping visuals and stunning creative conceptualisations are what pleases your taste buds, give this one a try.

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Athiran still shotAthiran first look poster