Vanitha Review | A Police Procedural Drama With Regressive Politics

The latest movie, Vanitha starring Lenaa as the title character, is a movie that wants to explore a space similar to an Action Hero Biju by showing the events that happen on a regular day in a police station. But to add spice to this procedural drama, they have included certain cases that look highly problematic. The movie almost looks like a justification for why police, at times, act like moral police.

Vanitha is this female constable whose one day of duty is shown to us in this film. The film opens with the reporting of one bike accident, which makes Vanitha uncomfortable as she remembers her brother’s death. Then another intimation of domestic violence is reported at the station. With a family wedding happening the next day, how Vanitha manages the hectic day at work is what we see in the movie by Rahim Khader.

The director of this film Rahim Khader is a police officer. Hence, there is an excellent level of authenticity in depicting the daily routine in a police station. But the film’s writing finds it difficult to blend these day-to-day operations into an engrossing drama. Vanitha is depicted as a wife who is in an abusive relationship. And somewhere, I thought what happens in the movie would have some connection with that. But the film has no plans to address those issues. The way Rahim Khader has concluded the stories of Vanitha, Sridevi, and the divorce-seeking woman who comes in the climax is just the cinematic version of upholding “what will society think?”

As the title protagonist Lenaa has done a convincing job. Despite the writing not giving her much support, she humanizes Vanitha greatly. Sreejith Ravi was impressive as the IP. Salim Kumar, Seema G Nair, Kalabhavan Navas, and Navas Vallikkunnu are the other familiar faces in the movie, along with many new faces.

The ultimate aim is to showcase the difficult life of police officers. They have family issues, they never get off days, they get blamed despite doing a good job, their families never understand their work pressure, etc., are the things getting conveyed here. Since it will look monotonous and repetitive, Rahim Khader adds some detours featuring the representative of people. The political regressiveness of the movie that smirks at a woman who wanted to get out of a toxic relationship is actually quite disturbing. To make it worse, Rahim Khader glorifies Vanitha’s decision to take sick leave to continue with her unempathetic chauvinist husband as an act of sacrifice.

They had shot this movie in a single location with largely static frames. Even though this minimalism is admirable, beyond that, there is no effort on the writing side to keep it compelling for the audience. Towards the film’s end, the preachy nature is a major disturbance, and I couldn’t blame those two guys who dozed off during the movie.

Final Thoughts

The movie almost looks like a justification for why police, at times, act like moral police.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.