Cast- Nanda, Nikeshram, Ananya, Prasanna, Thambi Ramaiah, Senrayan
The film depicts a day in the life of a happily married couple who find their lives turning topsy turvy with the entry of a stranger. There are elements of intrigue, deception, angst, pain and suspense weaved in the screenplay. It’s also about how far a man would go to protect his dear ones.
The film is an official, faithful remake of the Malayalam flick Cocktail. The latter, in turn, is an almost faithful, uncredited version of the Canadian flick Butterfly on a Wheel. Incidentally Lathika, Power Star Srinivasan’s debut film as director- producer-hero, also had the same knot.
Mathi (Nanda), the top architect at a construction firm, is a successful man. His fast rise up the corporate ladder earns him many enemies. With his wife Vasuki (Ananya) and their little daughter, Mathi leads a blissful married life. But the entry of a stranger into their lives threatens to destroy the peace and harmony. Nanda puts in an effort as Mathi. But at times Mathi looks too composed for a man who has lost his entire savings, whose daughter has been kidnapped and whose wife is being molested and man-handled by a stranger. Some of the situations the couple is made to go through by the kidnapper are harrowing ones, but there are some that lack punch and conviction. The screenplay meanders in the latter part.
Ananya essays the role of Vasuki with understanding, her performance noteworthy, particularly in her final emotional outburst. But the strength of the film is the performance of debutant Nikeshram (his home production) as Saravanan the kidnapper. The actor gets into the skin of the character, impressively bringing out Saravanan’s gradual transformation from a pleasant stranger to an angst-ridden maniacal one. For those who’ve seen either of the earlier versions, there would be no surprise element. For the rest, it offers a different viewing. Entertaining in parts, Athithi is an average fare.