Vaathi Review - Appreciable for its Intent!
Vaathi is Dhanush’s first bilingual project, Samyuktha is his pair here. The movie is directed by Venky Atluri of Tholi Prema fame. Music is composed by GV Prakash.
Set in the 1990s, Samuthirakani is a money-minded private school owner, while Dhanush is a Mathematics teacher in a village Government school. They challenge each other with contrasting ideologies which forms the crux of the film.
Venky Atluri has finally let go of his romantic comedy spree and has stepped into a new genre. The setup is indeed refreshing, mainly due to the period timeline. The film has a bunch of interesting situations, but the writing is inconsistent and so is the screenplay which is just partially appealing. The narrative kicks off in a hopeless manner with an unapologetically lame idea that opens up the flashback. Thankfully the story and the characters have a purpose and eventually the film finds its safe spot. There is quite a bit of substance, there are a few solid scenes in both the halves. The basic emotions click to an extent, but only at select places, things sum up in a touching note though. As much as the talkie portions’ dialogues are strong, there are plenty of weak links too, particularly the punch lines. Yes it is preachy, yet forgivable due to some innovative ideas presented. The heroic moments fail to work, the God-range buildups become laughingstocks after a point. The villain character is sketched weakly with the core conflict ending up as a bummer despite having a decent potential to score well. Comedy sequences are terrible and totally needless. The relief factor is essential to make the dry subject cheerful, but not in this manner. Being a bilingual flick, it does carry the Telugu flavour, but the sad part is many portions are not shot in Tamil, just dubbed.
Worthy performance by Dhanush, can’t compare with his extraordinary works, yet he has given the best that is required for this subject. Samyuktha is as pretty as a doll, but she is stone-faced and misses out on adding value with expressions. Samuthirakani fits well to his greedy big shot role, could only wish his portions were written in a better manner. Sha Ra and the other comedian over-exaggerate and end up spoiling all their scenes. Just the look of some artists instantly gives the Telugu film feel. Nevertheless the important people of the story, the students' casting is so good and absolutely no complaints with their performances. Most of all, Ken Karunas gets a meaningful role to play.
Vaa Vaathi song is an earworm, montages for it in the film are cute too, the other songs are passable. Such a momentous background score from GV Prakash, uplifts every scene to its best possible level. Decent camera work, the script demanded some simple requirements and it has been fulfilled successfully by the cinematographer. Sloppy editing as the scene placements become random when they try to make it commercial, also some shot-inserts lack clarity.
Edutainment with its own hits and misses. Has quite a few exciting stretches but the engagement is on and off. Dhanush’s natural presence and GV Prakash’s rousing score add value.
Rating - 2.75/5