Vaathi review: Dhanush's one-man show, with an important message
While Dhanush‘s Velai Illa Pattadhari talked about unemployment among current-generation engineering graduates, his latest film Vaathi talks about the adverse effects of privatising educational institutions in the 90s.
Bala (Dhanush) is an assistant teacher in one of the biggest groups of private schools spearheaded by Thirupathi (Samuthirakani). Due to the inclination towards private schools in the 90s and a corrupt government, faculties in government schools are considerably reduced. But when the issue hits the headlines, Thirupathi decides to send inefficient assistant teachers working in private schools and projects himself as a saviour of government school students. However, his move backfires in a small village where Bala joins as a teacher.
Bala convinces parents in that small village that education is powerful and only it will earn respect for their children and their families. He also establishes equality among students and makes them forget the caste differences that exist in their village. Not just discipline, Bala also helps all the students to clear the exams. Now, Thirupathi throws all possible challenges at Bala. Can the latter move forward and achieve his goal?
What really works in favour of Vaathi is the meaningful theme handled by director Venky Atluri. Looking back, we can realise how commercialising education has ruined the future of many middle-class students. Dhanush has, as usual, carried the film with his swag and screen presence. However, the film looks more like a Telugu film than a Tamil one with several Tollywood actors playing pivotal characters. The lip-sync issue is also there in many places.
While the first half of the film is quite entertaining, the focus shifts to the core theme in the second half and some of the portions are too melodramatic.
Performance-wise, besides Dhanush, Samuthirakani, Samyuktha, and Ken Karunas have done a good job. Technically, GV Prakash’s score elevates the overall output of the film and the crisp duration is another advantage.
To conclude, Vaathi works for the much-needed message on the importance of education and of course, Dhanush’s one-man show.