Inspired from a real life story, director Surya Prakash has managed to arrive with a reasonably good adaptation in Athibar which marks the comeback of Jeevan as the lead hero.
The initial credits give us a hint. "The story is inspired from real life. The story happened in Canada and Sri Lanka has been changed as Canada and Tamil Nadu," it suggests.
The moment someone mentions about Sri Lanka, it is very obvious that we connect it to Tamils and the LTTE. As we would expect, Athibar has all that. It has human drama, subtle emotions of an NRI (played by Jeevan) and of course, the unavoidable run-of-the-mill subplots which aid the story in no way.
Siva (Jeevan) is an astute businessman who lives in Canada. He decides to comeback to India to set up his own construction company to provide employment to his own people and for the betterment of the nation. As usual, a villain (Ranjith) pops in. He befriends Siva and betrays at a crucial juncture of the film. Siva gets imprisoned after Ranjith frames that Siva has connections with the deadly LTTE group in the SL. Will Siva make a comeback and take revenge on Ranjith? Will he fulfill his dream of starting a mighty construction venture?
Director Surya Prakash needs to be awarded for not milking the story or manipulating with the dialogues since the film has lots of scope for evoking sympathy from audiences because of the obvious Sri Lankan Tamil angle involved. Apart from that, there is nothing to take home about from the film, which is prosaic and filled with mundane course of events.
The supporting cast, including Sangili Murugan, Madhan Bob, Singamuthu, Thambi Ramaiah and Kovai Sarala, deliver fine performances and the villains, Ranjith Rao and Richard are too good to be pitted against Jeevan, who is quite miscast in the role. While he suits perfectly as the apt NRI businessman, he feels awkwardly picked when he emotes.
Athibar is neither a badly written film nor a neatly narrated drama. It has few moments here and there. But, the film on the whole never coheres to make us sit through the two and a half hour running time.
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