Athidhi Review: A Ghostly Mishmash of Unconvincing Scares and Muddled Messages

Athidhi Review
Athidhi Review

Athidhi Review: Horror movie lovers were highly anticipating the release of Athidhi. Now what is this movie Athidhi about? On a mysterious night, a stranger knocks on the door of a wealthy man living with his disabled wife. Simultaneously, a tale of a ghost terrorizing the village unfolds, eventually leading to the arrival of a ghostbuster at the same mansion. Twists and turns take us on a journey from ghostly mysteries to heists and social commentary.

  • Creator: Y.G. Bharath

  • Director: Y.G. Bharath

  • Streaming On: Disney+ Hotstar.

  • Language: Telugu.

  • Cast: Venu Thottempudi, Avantika Mishra, Venkatesh Kakumanu, Ravi Varma, Bhadram, Gautam Aditi, Chanakya Teja, and ensemble.

  • Runtime: 6 Episodes, Approximately 40 Minutes Each.

Athidhi Review

In 2023, creating a convincing ghost story that respects the genre and captivates the audience still seems to confound many. Athidhi, also known as 'Why not let strangers in, especially at midnight?' endeavors to be socially aware but ends up as a preachy lecture that lacks intrigue, let alone spookiness. Despite a lot happening in these six episodes, there's essentially nothing.

Penned by Y.G. Bharath, Athidhi, meaning 'guest,' feels less like a half-baked idea and more like a completely illogical one from the outset. The protagonist consistently welcomes strangers into his mansion, even if he harbors harmful intentions, and yet, these visitors don't seem perturbed by the overly friendly reception. Athidhi tries to be clever by portraying a ghost-like figure in a bizarre manner, only to unravel the story predictably, with the twist being evident from the character's introduction.

It's as if you can see the entire plot unfolding before your eyes. You know the characters are signing up for a ghostly all-nighter, with some destined to die, others to learn a moral lesson, a few to set a spirit free, and the rest merely to exist. The show appears disinterested in injecting any freshness into this overused storyline, following a predictable three-act structure with no effort to make it feel organic. Furthermore, the setting of the show primarily within a house, with little happening outside, gives it the ambiance of a school stage play.

Athidhi offers nothing in exchange for your time and leaves you with minimal substance to cling to. The inclusion of a socially conscious message feels haphazard and adds little value to the climax.

Athidhi Review: Best Performances

Venu Thottempudi, the show's leading actor, dominates most frames with an uninterested demeanor that makes the audience yearn for a change in his solitary expression. He adheres stubbornly to a motto of "10 emotions, 2 expressions," as if his paycheck hinges on it.

Avantika Mishra's character, Maya, comes across as inconsistently written, squeezing every drop of subtlety from her name. The actress struggles to emulate the allure of Bhatt heroines who seamlessly blended sensuality with fear or vulnerability, but this requires a Bhatt-style direction as well.

The remaining cast delivers one-note performances, akin to characters in a school play, contributing to a production that feels amateurish.

Athidhi Review: Direction & Music

Director Bharath brings nothing innovative to the table. He incorporates every cliché from horror films, including the objectification of female characters, the introduction of a heist subplot, and a ghost with a cause. Unfortunately, none of these elements land effectively.

From music to cinematography and costume design, nothing feels fresh or impactful. Everything appears formulaic and fails to leave a lasting impression.

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