Vaathi Movie Review
Dhanush rules through an engaging film on the education system!
Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
Films about the schooling system, its pros and cons have been played around with a lot right from the beginning, and there are many viewpoints already out in the open. Despite the familiarity, director Venky Atluri manages to pull off an engaging entertainer in Vaathi, a film which is driven by its emotional value and the moments that it etches in our heads.
Dhanush plays Bala, a low-level teacher who is sent to a school in the hinterlands, only to fill in an empty spot. ‘Bala sir’ is focussed on bringing back the will to study amidst the students, but he has a tall heap of problems that he has to come across in order to get things back on track. Vaathi deals with the issues faced during the period of 97-2000, where privatisation of education was slowly getting rampant in southern India. Director Venky Atluri has done his homework with respect to the region in which the film is set (AP-TN border), and he has enough elements to convince the audience and form a what-next feeling in the first half. Into the second half, the film gets very busy celebrating ‘Bala sir’ and turns into a melodramatic affair that has its moments blowing hot and cold. However, the film does not go overboard and manages to keep the ball rolling until the end where it does bring up some interesting answers for the questions that it raised all along.
Being a film that is originating from the Telugu industry, Vaathi is unable to brush off the Telugu flavour that it has at any point in time, but Venky does make up for it by the use of some sharp dialogues and emotional moments that will engage the viewer for sure. While the first half is realistic and rooted, the second half has a commercialized POV which is enjoyable but does not give too much food for thought.
Through all this, it is Dhanush who holds the film together and carries its major weight on his shoulders. Though Vaathi is not a film that demands a powerful performance from him, he handles it nicely and gives it what it needs.
Samyukhta is a wonderful and fresh addition to the film, and has some good scenes with Dhanush, traveling with him throughout. The rest of the cast is filled with artists of good quality, with a special mention to Ken Karunaas who shines in his important role.
GV Prakash’s background score is a big asset to the film – though none of the songs except Vaa Vaathi stand out, the score complements the film superbly and rises up the emotional value at many places. The film is also well shot and well edited, with the crisp runtime being a plus.
On the whole, Vaathi is a pretty good entertainer that has its flaws but still entertains. This is worth a watch in theatres! Vaathi Movie Review by Siddarth Srinivas