By: Shubhaprada Iyer
Athiran is a 2019 Malayalam movie. The Telugu dubbed version recently released on AHA, under the name “Anukoni Athidhi.”
Athiran is a psychological thriller, based on the events of a mental asylum. The story primarily focuses on the life of an autistic girl named Nithya (Sai Pallavi), who is seeking treatment under Dr. Benjamin Diaz (Atul Kulkarni), who is also the owner of the mental asylum. Apart from her, there are five other patients present. These five patients are free to roam around, whereas, Nithya is the only one who is confined to a cell. With little to no touch with the real world, Nithya seems to appear ghoulish in the initial scenes of the film.
This is when Dr. M.K Nair (Fahadh Faasil) enters the plot. Dr. Nair is a psychiatrist who comes to inspect the mental asylum and their methods of treatment. During his stay at the asylum and the conversations he has with Dr. Diaz, he realizes something seems to be off the hook. Upon realizing Nithya’s condition, he decides to help her.
The film perfectly shows his life risking attempts to discover the horrific practices conducted in the asylum. With stellar performances by all actors and par excellence direction and cinematography, Athiran succeeds in delivering its story flawlessly. The only glitch occurs in the first half of the film where there were a lot of loose strings which weren’t dealt with till the end of the film. This leaves the audience in doubt. Nonetheless, Athiran is definitely a mind-boggling thriller.