‘Vaathi’ Movie Review: Dhanush can’t survive this middling academic drama that destroys his own talent.

- Advertisement -

A still from 'Wathi'
- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

A still from ‘Wathi’

Minutes in Venki Atluri Wathi (Or The head in Telugu), you see a pattern, the shadow of which travels throughout the film. Venky begins the story in a frank, serious manner. In 2022, three boys discover a box of video cassettes. They play the video and we see a teacher writing some trigonometric sums on the blackboard behind. It’s Dhanush (of course) and he even turns to the camera for half a second. The coveted mass introduction shot goes poof. Does half a second count? The secret of the cassettes leads the boys to the district collector’s office, and Venky shows Dhanush once again, looking straight at us from the picture on the wall.

Vathi (Tamil) / Sir (Telugu)
- Advertisement -

Director: Venky Atluri

The cast: Dhanush, Samyutha, Samuthirkani, Ken Karunas

Run time: 139 minutes

The story line: When a private school assistant teacher is sent to a government school to serve as a full-time teacher, he discovers layers of problems plaguing the students and a larger conspiracy afoot.

If the introduction is as calm and interesting as it is, Venky’s relaxed use of songs in the first half also carries this subdued energy, and the entire film is likely to follow the same mold. The fine dancer in Dhanush takes a step back when there is no setup for the first song. He walks down the street and casually shakes his leg without warning. And in between Wow, A romantic track, Venky tells a heavy story of how a school becomes a temple for marginalized communities who are not allowed inside temples. These are fantastic ideas.

But this is only half of the pattern; unfortunately, Wathi Full of one-sided ideas that immediately find their evil twin. That is, the film keeps diminishing itself by adding things unnecessarily. For example, the introductory shots show Tamm — a big name card for Dhanush — the third time we see him, but his moment has passed. Similarly, the use of GV Prakash’s brilliant score feels uneven.

The film is set in the 90s in a town called Suzawaram on the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border. Dhanush’s character Balamurugan, an assistant teacher at a private school called Thirupathi Coaching Centre, is hired as a full-time maths teacher at a government school in Suzavaram thanks to a government deal with TCC head Srinivasa Thirupathi (Samuthirakani). has been sent. Thirupati, however, has his own agenda. Sending these “third-rate” teachers to public schools is to ensure that its own students come out on top.

But Balamurugan has an inherently noble mission, starting with ensuring students attend classes, then rallying them and ganging up against Tirupati. Now, the geographical and period settings certainly help — the lack of communication devices, modern modes of transportation, and the Internet are essential to telling this story — and setting it in a border town gives this Tamil-Telugu duo Linguistic film helps. However, the film soon ceases to establish the look and feel of the era, and scenes feature terrible lip-syncing.

Wathi A film in which the hero finds small means to win big, but the unnecessary screenplay offers little payoff even when some moments are well-placed. Likewise, the screenplay needs more scenes such as the one where the upper caste explains the futility and the classroom becomes a microcosm of society. Any more than that, and we could have gotten something akin to the 2007 American film. Freedom Writers.

The film is also full of non-dimensional characters who show potential early on. Tanikela Bharani and Harish Parady’s characters have no importance in the story. While Ken Karunas’ Muthu finds himself in some interesting territory in the screenplay, Samektha’s Meenakshi is given dead weight. Coming to the star at the center of it all, you just feel bad for Dhanush as he tries to single-handedly support even the middle part of the film. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough on paper to help him.

At one point, director Venky meta-said that cinema theater can also educate when needed, and his grand message in the film is loud and clear. You just want the screenplay to be as sharp as the nib of Dhanush’s fountain pen and as twisted as his folded half-sleeve.

Vaathi (or SIR) is currently playing in theatres.

- Advertisement -

Hot Topics

Related Articles