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Vaashi movie review: An engaging courtroom-cum-family drama elevated by the chemistry between Tovino, Keerthy

A recurring layer in the film is about communication between people and how it can often be misconstrued. The complications due to the interfaith marriage as well as those that arise due to the relatives present a few fun moments

3.5rating
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 08.31 AM, Jun 17, 2022

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Vaashi movie review: An engaging courtroom-cum-family drama elevated by the chemistry between Tovino, Keerthy
Keerthy Suresh and Tovino Thomas in a still from Vaashi

Story: Advocates Ebin and Madhavi have conflicting personalities, but each are driven to prove their worth in their profession. After Madhavi goes independent and Ebin is stated as public prosecutor, their first big case pits them against each other. To make matters complex is their impending wedding. What ramifications will the case have on their personal lives and can their marriage endure it all?

Review: A crucial sequence in the second half of Vaashi has Baiju Santosh’s character calling the protagonists – Ebin (Tovino Thomas) and Madhavi (Keerthy Suresh) – in what was initially planned as a meet to broker peace between them before it goes out of control. While the get-together adds fuel to their face-off later, it also serves to show the conflicting personalities of the duo. Ebin is the proud but diplomatic kind while Madhavi is the frank, straight-talker. It’s this clash of personalities that make actor-turned-filmmaker Vishu G Raghav’s debut directorial engaging for most parts.

The film is a great blend of a family and courtroom drama, even though the latter portions does lack the zing because it focuses on its lawyers rather than the case itself. Vishnu, who has also scripted the film, gets the first two acts spot on – capturing the duo’s personalities and making the audience care for both of them equally before pitting them against each other.

We get to see how both Ebin and Madhavi are hungry to prove themselves in their careers first, trying to get their big break. Ebin gets an easy way out, courtesy of a family member who helps him secure a job as a public prosecutor. Madhavi, however, has it more difficult, and the film addresses issues of how gender and age are perceived as signs of weakness in the profession. In a scene where Madhavi is informed that Ebin’s parents are coming to see her mother for a wedding proposal, the former bursts out saying she had never discussed it with Ebin and wants to marry only after she gets her career sorted. In another sequence, after the wedding, she says that the day was tough for her and she endured it all only for Ebin. These are great touches in the film that shows how modern relationships are. But these aren’t just used as embellishments as Vishnu later ties these up with the case that the two would be battling in court.

But once the focus shifts to the case and the court, it does become a bit of a mess – especially the third act where the filmmaker wants to do what’s right but goes about it in a haphazard manner that leaves much to be desired. This despite the closing statements of the protagonists that come off as forced. The courtroom sequences in the film – though subdued and portrayed in a realistic manner where the lawyers twist the words and incidents in favour of their clients – are presented well. The case too is presented with the right amount of sensitivity. This despite the movie repeatedly harping on the fact that how personal principles and ethics most often don’t find a place in the life of lawyers.

A recurring layer in the film is about communication between people and how it can at times be misconstrued. The complications due to the interfaith marriage as well as those that arise due to the relatives present a few fun moments. Both Tovino and Keerthy, through their performances, have brought this element of communication out without really pinpointing it. Tovino as Ebin is assertive but at the same time flexible. His subtle expressions at the court as well as outside, when Madhavi is with the accused’s sister, registers well. Keerthy too makes a strong comeback in Malayalam with the role of Madhavi, who is bold enough to claim her space in her professional as well as personal life. The lead duo’s good chemistry, however, does also take away from their intensity when they are engaged in an ego clash. This is also why one would feel that final half lacks the weight because you tend to care for both equally and never end up taking sides or bothering about who emerges on top in the wager. The supporting cast of Anu Mohan, Baiju Santosh, Rony David and Anagha Narayanan do their parts well despite the limited scope of performance.

The three songs in the film, composed by Kailas Menon, are placed well and doesn’t disrupt the flow of the movie that is just 2 hours and 10 minutes long – making it a breezy watch even in theatres.

Verdict: Unlike some of the recent courtroom dramas, Vishnu G Raghav beautifully blends the family drama aspect into the court scenes, making it appealing to all kinds of audience. Even though the movie does lose its focus in the third act, it’s still engaging while it lasts due to the great chemistry between its leads – Tovino and Keerthy.

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