A heist thriller that works in parts


ATM is about Jagan(VJ Sunny) and his three friends who are petty thieves. One fine day, they rob an old car and sell it off for a small amount. The twist in the tale arises when the owner of the car, a dreaded don, nabs them stating that the car had diamonds worth ten crores. He gives them ten days of time to get back the car. As the gang does not find the car, they decide to rob an ATM money-carrying van. They execute the plan and successfully flee with the cash. In comes, encounter specialist Hegde(Subbarajau) to deal with the case. He investigates the case and nabs the friends who in turn blame corporator Gajendra(Prudhvi) that he has the money. Who is this Gajendra? Why did the friends target him? and what happened to the money? To know these answers, you need to watch the show on Zee 5.

ATM is created by star director Harish Shankar. He, who is known to make commercial films, has written a heist drama and added his style to the story. The series is filled with commercial elements and show motion elevation shots which we are used to seeing in films. The backdrop of the show is quite interesting. With a gang robbing an ATM cash-carrying machine, getting a politician involved, and a cop who is breaking his head to crack the case, this entire setup looks good.

The aesthetics of the show look realistic but one gets a feeling that the show is dragged for no reason. The series has eight episodes but could have been wrapped within seven. It starts on a slow note and the small time don set-up in the first two episodes looks silly and forced. Only when the friends plan a robbery, do things start getting interesting. Star producer, Dil Raju’s daughter has ventured into production with this series and her production values are good. The music is composed by Prashanth Vihari and his BGM could have been better. It is filmier than having an intriguing note.

ATM

ATM

Subbaraju plays Hegde, the ruthless cop, and is a pro when it comes to such roles and does a brilliant job. His body language and the way his character behaves have been shown well by the director Chandra Mohan. VJ Sunny makes his OTT debut and plays one of the leads. His mass look and the way he plans the heist and performs his multi-layered role were pretty good. Actress Divi was fine and the actor who played Subbaraju’s assistant was good. 30 Years Prudhvi plays Gajendra. Though his role is made to look silly in the latter part of the series, Prudhvi performed well.

Coming to the director Chandra Mohan, he has narrated the series on a strictly passable note. There was so much scope for adding more drama but he focused more on the investigation aspect. The way Subbaraju investigates the case looks good but has loose ends as well. The viewers will surely have several doubts about how the cop is getting to a conclusion about the robbery and the key characters behind it. An entire episode is used to showcase the investigation done by Subbaraju. The way he comes to the conclusion that a gang from a local Basti is behind all this looks good on paper but is executed in an over-the-top manner and bores the audience.

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Also, the scenes getting involving the politician in the case, he getting investigated, have been narrated in a funny manner taking away the seriousness of the show. What could have been a very engaging heist thriller is dragged, and made to look commercial by the director? One gets a feeling that ATM was initially planned to be a film and was made into a series later. The screenplay gives you high in several areas but has also moments that lack seriousness. If the show would have been narrated with a serious tone and with more clarity towards the last episode, which also has a lead to the sequel, ATM would have been an even more gripping watch.

On the whole, ATM has an interesting storyline and a realistic backdrop. The thrills are good and the twists showcased also make sense. But the narration in the middle episodes is made lighter and this takes away the seriousness of the proceedings. Also, more clarity in the crime showcased would have made sense. All those who love heist thrillers with commercial narration will enjoy it. But those who love shows with a serious tone and an engaging narration will get disappointed as a good storyline is made to look pale in key areas.



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