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Times of India
A journalist is on his way to land his dream job when he ends up being framed in a fake certificate racket. A little investigation reveals that he is just one of the many who has fallen victim to a big nexus. He begins his own plan for revenge.
Athiratha, by Mahesh Babu, is the remake of the Tamil drama Kanithan. The original had some taut sequences that unearthed the fake certificate racket. At the same time, the original also drew flak for a rather delayed first half and some unnecessary songs in the film that hindered the thrill element in the film. While Athiratha has the thriller element intact, it also keeps the shortcomings of the original ensuring it is a rather too faithful remake.
The film begins on a jagged note and it only gains pace towards the interval. The same pace of the film continues after the interval, but there is an unnecessary item song that breaks that flow. This is also followed by a rather melodramatic build-up to the climax. The forcefully inserted comic track doesn't work, but the actual dose of laughter happens in the end when the intended irony hits hard. The only worry is that whether or not one has the patience to endure the run up to the end.
When it comes to performances, the good-looking lead pair of Chetan and Latha Hegde perform well. Kabir Duhan Singh has a menacing presence in the film and proves that he can be a good option for a villain in Sandalwood. The songs don't leave a mark like one expects them to in a Mahesh Babu film, but as expected of him, he has introduced a promising new face to the industry once again. Go ahead and watch the film if you like commercial masalas replete with item songs and fights.