Review for VAATHI:
(REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI R)
•Duration: 02 Hours 20 Minutes.
•Genre: Indian period coming-of-age drama
1: Performance of Dhanush
2: Overall the making is fine but could have been better.
3: Background Score
7: Stunts and Actions
8: Good social message about education
1: Predictable Story
2: Average screenplay
3: Cliche scenes
5: Emotional scenes could have been made better
•ONE WORD: A one-time watchable movie with a good social message.
Balamurugan (Dhanush) aka Balu is a Junior Lecturer at Tripathi Educational Institute (TEI) where Tripathi (Samuthirakani) was the chairman of the institute. The school management regulates several government schools in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu and sends Balu to a Government school for teaching the students. So Balu, with the help of teacher Meenakshi (Samyuktha), looks after the local students to come to school regularly and makes them score good marks. This makes the chairman of the institute feel angry towards Bala and will lead to a confrontation.
The film ‘Vaathi’ is directed and written by the Telugu director Venky Atluri. The movie is produced by Suryadevara Naga Vamsi and Sai Soujanya under the production companies of
Sithara Entertainments, Fortune Four Cinemas and Srikara Studios. The film is distributed by Seven Screen Studio in Tamil Nadu, Sony Pictures in North India and Skanda Cinemas & Einstin Media Pvt Ltd in Kerala and PVP Cinema in Andhra Pradesh. With a running time of 140 minutes the film is currently running in theaters with the censor certification of ‘U’.
Education is a powerful tool which can change the life of a human being and that’s what the film ‘Vaathi’ tried to convey. So honestly speaking the attempt was fine but the execution of direction and script couldn’t impress. There are good positive things as well as negative elements, so for me, the overall experience of Vaathi is average. The main thing I liked about the film is the social message that the film discusses and it was nearly conveyed. The importance of education and the duty of a teacher were presented in the film in a watchable manner and till the end, the film managed to stick with the theme rightly. As a social drama film, the intention of the director Venky Atluri was clear, the social message was disseminated in an effective way. He cleverly touched on the various angles of the education system and pointed out the current condition of education and how the education field is running as a business. But what went wrong was the screenplay and direction, both looked a little outdated.
The screenplay is average, the writing was not that great because to pass out the real sentiments the important scenes looked weak and repetitive. The main drawback of this film is that the movie is following the same pattern of every social drama so the whole package doesn’t offer anything new. For example, the hero from somewhere arrives to solve a big issue, and then he will face many obstacles, and gradually our the hero will confront the rich villain. Slowly in between our hero will give up, but gradually some forced motivation will make him try again. What happens, in the end, is he will succeed in his aim and will make everyone understand the importance of his aim. This usual and typical pattern which we can see in every social drama can be seen in Vaathi and sadly there is nothing new in the script and direction. Innovative ideas were missing from the side of the Venky Atluri, he could have thought of some new hero-villain gimmicks. The writings on emotional scenes also didn’t make a proper impact because of the predictability of the scenes. Everything in the film is predictable like what is next, what will be the next incidents and how the story will track to the next circumstances can be easily guessed. So in the emotional scenes I was not able to fully inherit the emotions but it was nice to watch. Still, the sentimental scenes couldn’t shed tears from my eyes.
There is a scene of a caste issue in the film, it was amazing. The way the director presented it and the impact which the scene had given is extraordinary. A teacher advising his students to consider everyone equal and how he makes his students understand the importance of equality is the best scene in the film. In that scene, Dhanush acted out brilliantly, his way of expression and the mannerism of a dedicated teacher were pleasing to watch. The bondage of a teacher and student also worked out well in the film, those scenes maintained the right momentum to make me sit and watch till the end. So like I said, the predictability of scenes was an issue but the movie didn’t make me feel much lag. The first thirty minutes of the movie went a little off-track, but when the movie touches the main plot it was engaging and the screen presence of Dhanush avoided the feeling of lag.
There are some good moments in the film and it will make you rethink, but the director Venky Atluri failed to make the heroic scenes properly. The buildup was promising and it was making a mass appeal but in the end, due to the poor execution, the hero-villain scenes looked shoddy. The hero-villain scenes could have been made better, and the confrontation scene of Dhanush-Samuthirakani was unsatisfying because Samuthirakani was having less moderate scenes to show his villain shade. Some scenes felt cliche, it was like we have seen in many films associated with the genre of social dramas. The love track in the film was horrible, I didn’t like the chemistry between Dhanush and Samyuktha. How they fall in love, and their romantic scenes were below average. The comedy scenes were nasty, it was written and executed poorly and none of the comedies didn’t evoke a laugh. It was simultaneously shot in Tamil and Telugu languages as a bilingual film and the Telugu culture was more seen but shockingly some scenes were not shot in Tamil, and dubbing was shamelessly used.
Dhanush as an actor was brilliant, the character Balamurugan was safer in his hands. He performed passionately and had the precise qualities of a supportive teacher. The expressions and acting were so natural and the timing in delivering the dialogue was flawless. As a teacher, the way Dhanush teaches, supports and gives instruction to his students are interesting to watch. The action sequences of Dhanush also looked powerful, the heroic mass appeal was seen in his fights. The climax action sequence was neatly executed and the style and attitude seen in Dhanush made me cheerful. The songs composed by G.V Prakash Kumar was average, the song ‘Vaa Vaathi’ sung by Shwetha Mohan was the only song I liked and the rest of them failed to draw my attention. But the background score was superb, for lifting the emotional sequences the BGM worked perfectly. All the crucial scenes were crammed with a proper set of background tunes. The cinematography by J. Yuvaraj was excellent, the frames looked matching for the script and the premise of schooling fitted the storyline effectively. The camera movements in the action sequence had some unexpected camera shifts and the closeup frames of Dhanush were placed adequately to exhibit his natural acting. The editing of Naveen Nooli was satisfying because the runtime didn’t look stretched, and the 140 minutes didn’t give any lag. The transition of scenes didn’t have mismatches and the action choreographer had also done a great job in bringing out some good action sequences for Dhanush.
So overall the film ‘Vaathi’ gave me an okay feeling, not fully disappointed. The storyline and script are easily predictable and sadly the film follows the regular template of a social drama thriller. But the performance from Dhanush is extraordinary, his natural acting and the teacher role of ‘Balamurugan’ will find a place in your heart. The direction of Venky Atluri was decent and he managed to execute the movie decently for a one-time watch. Therefore, I will recommend ‘Vaathi’ if you love to watch social drama thrillers and if you are a fan of Dhanush you can give it a try, but it’s better to watch with fewer expectations.
- VERDICT: ‘Vaathi’ delivers a good social message, but direction and script lack an impact.
- RATING: 3/5
- A Review by ARUNJYOTHI. R