The premise of the latest Tovino Thomas Keerthy Suresh starrer Vaashi is a very interesting one. Two lawyers who are in a relationship are our central characters. They appear as the prosecutor and defense lawyer in a case that dealt with rape based on the promise to marry. But the legal drama directed by Vishnu G Raghav couldn’t manage the greyness of the core conflict in a very compelling way. There are areas where the courtroom arguments feel a bit silly. Vaashi has an interesting conflict that needed a stronger second half.
Ebin Mathew and Madhavi are two lawyers who are close friends. Everyone around them is kind of aware of their bond, and at one point, both of them decide to share an office space. Long story short, when their relationship moved to the next level, a case that both of them couldn’t avoid came their way. How two people living under the same roof fighting a lawsuit manage to keep professional differences aside is what we see in Vaashi.
The idea of equality in a relationship, consent, the condescending work culture, and many other things related to gender politics gets mentioned in this script. The courtroom drama segment is actually the area where we are expecting the movie to show some clarity on its stand. But the film is a bit flimsy in that part. Towards the end, when the judge appreciates both the lawyers for their effort, I honestly couldn’t feel the same appreciation for the characters.
There was a good opportunity to draw parallels between the personal life of the lawyers with what’s happening in the case, but somewhere it couldn’t make the viewer travel much in that space. Outside of the court, where we see the main characters as vulnerable human beings, there is a sense of emotional connection, which works in favor of the movie.
Tovino Thomas and Keerthy Suresh share warm chemistry, which helps the movie enormously. The bond, the arguments, and the major scratches in the relationship looked natural and convincing. Anu Mohan gets a memorable role in the film. Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam fame Anagha Narayanan plays a crucial role in the movie, and she was really convincing in conveying the pain of the character.
In the pleasant bits of the film, where we are witnessing the bonding between the central characters, Vishnu G Raghav definitely manages to put the movie in that likable zone without any cringe stuff. The problem is when the gear shifts to that serious tone. They have presented a case that looks like a highly murky one. Rather than showing how justice can be a bit grey and tricky in some cases, the effort is to make the case black and white by presenting new witnesses and confessions. And there is a bit where one of the lawyer characters talks about feminism to justify their client just after knowing that he/she wasn’t really innocent. Towards the end, when things are becoming difficult for everyone on the screen regarding whom to support, we as an audience cant really feel the intensity of that dilemma.
Vaashi is a very simplistic and partially realistic take on a subject that is pertinent and sensitive. The movie’s emotional layer manages to connect a chord with the audience, while the legal drama in the script couldn’t achieve the high it demanded.
The movie's emotional layer manages to connect a chord with the audience, while the legal drama in the script couldn't achieve the high it demanded.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended