Those who follow the Word Street Journal know that I rarely reject films and shows outrightly. A creation has to be damn poor to receive literal flak from my end.
But once in a while, it happens. And when I sat down to watch Athidhi on Disney+ Hotstar, a new “horror thriller,” I didn’t know what was in store for me.
The series is six episodes long with their length largely hovering around thirty minutes each.
Horror shows might not be frightening but they sure are interesting. Is Athidhi a good one?
Here is my review.
When unannounced guests knock on the door of a loner, his life takes unexpected turns. And soon enough, Ghosts come into the picture.
Written and directed by Bharath Y G and presented by Praveen Sattaru, Athidhi stars Venu Thottempudi, Gayatri Chaganti, Ravi Varma, and others.
What Works for Athidhi?
Positives are a rare sight in Athidhi. To put it bluntly, this show struggles from the very outset.
Except for a handful of unexpected twists, Athidhi fails to make a compelling impact.
What Doesn’t Work for Athidhi?
Let’s address the glaring flaws in this series. About 99% of its content feels clumsily executed, starting with its rather juvenile premise.
Imagine this: a chance encounter at a roadside tea stall leads to a harebrained scheme to rob a bungalow where a man lives with his wife.
It’s a narrative that seems more suited to a kindergarten tale than a thriller.
To compound matters, the creators introduce a YouTuber hunting for ghosts, only to recycle the same ill-conceived plotline.
But the most egregious misstep is the presence of a writer in the mix, the purported owner of the bungalow.
The storyline meanders along these lines: one fateful night, a beguiling woman knocks on the writer’s door, mirroring the story he’s currently crafting.
He lets her in, and she attempts to seduce him, but he remains loyal to his wife.
Subsequently, a series of uninvited guests descend upon the bungalow, leading to a naively portrayed sequence of events.
Perhaps the biggest shocker here is that Athidhi is officially labeled a ‘horror thriller,’ even though it scarcely qualifies as a passable drama.
The show fails to evoke any sense of dread or suspense, instead inducing yawning boredom.
Its lackluster screenplay, predictability, and torturous writing contribute to its downfall.
The writing lacks depth, and even the character development leaves much to be desired.
In its quest to highlight rampant greed, the show forsakes logical coherence.
Ultimately, Athidhi devolves into a vessel for moral lessons rather than the fear and horror it initially promised.
Numerous scenes within the show fall far below the standards expected by modern binge-watching audiences.
The characters display a baffling lack of basic human reactions, such as failing to check for a pulse or heartbeat in someone they presume to be dead.
Their reluctance to answer a knock at the door, often taking an exorbitant half-hour, defies common sense.
To add to the absurdity, they choose to hide a deceased body beneath the very sofa where guests are most likely to sit.
The litany of such lapses seems never-ending, leaving you in need of a ten-hour slumber to recover from the ordeal of watching Athidhi on Hotstar.
In its current state, the show’s irrationality and inconsistency are simply unacceptable.
One of the fundamental expectations from contemporary narratives is a grasp of basic human behavior, considering that it is humans who comprise the viewership.
If the relatability factor is absent, the entire story unravels.
Another peculiar flaw lies in the show’s use of pretense. Athidhi attempts to persuade the viewer of something actually false, a strategy that is at odds with effective storytelling.
Narratives of this nature should adopt a perspective other than the protagonist’s, ensuring that when deception is employed, the viewer doesn’t feel foolish but rather empathizes with the character relaying the tale.
In hindsight, it’s shows like Athidhi that reinforce the perception of OTT platforms becoming repositories for subpar content.
The performances, unfortunately, do little to redeem the situation, hence, for the first time ever, they won’t be a focal point of discussion in my review.
Should You Stream or Skip Athidhi?
It was a bizarre experience for me. Athidhi gives the impression of being a YouTube-worthy show mistakenly released on Hotstar.
Stay away from it unless it is low-end mediocrity you seek.