A middling thriller from a bunch of newbies

The gruesome attack on a middle-aged woman in an ATM shook the city in 2013. The perpetrator Madhukar Reddy, who was nabbed after four years in Chittoor, had a strong criminal past. True events of violence have always allured filmmakers, and Attempt To Murder (ATM), from debutant Amar Gowda, is about the aforementioned incident.

Amar, with a cast filled with newbies, weaves a decent story but the film comes short in many aspects. Some of the sequences that lead to nabbing the culprit are engaging. The cinematography by S K Rao is a winner and gives the audience the feel of a thriller, despite many weak plot points. 

The biggest problem with ATM is the stereotypical idea of making a thriller. The investigation officer (Amar) is seen with a Rubik’s cube to give him the aura of a smart man. To drive home the point that the killer (Surya)is a psychopath, he is shown living in an abandoned house and appears shabby with long and unkempt hair. ATM forgets that subtlety can also build tension as the background score is cringingly loud. 

There is romance between a cab driver (Chandu) and an IT employee (Shobhitha). While it is not a crime to have a love story in a thriller, the treatment is key. The songs act as speed-bumps. With no big star to redeem it, ATM demanded a tighter screenplay to keep the audience hooked. 

The acting is appalling as the newcomers fail to carry the weight of the well-written characters. Amar shows promise and one can only hope he improves in his next venture.

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