Vaashi Malayalam Movie
Young and enthusiastic lawyers, Ebin and Madhavi, fight for the two opposing parties in a sensitive case in writer-director Vishnu Raghav's Vaashi. In the case, a young woman accuses a young man of raping her with the false promise of marrying her. Now, what makes the case interesting at a script level is that Ebin (Tovino Thomas) and Madhavi (Keerthy Suresh) are newlyweds. While the couple start their relationship promising to keep work matters at bay, the lines between their professional life and personal life start to blur as they enter the case. How the couple manages the situation constitutes the plot of Vaashi.
Vaashi has an interesting approach to courtroom drama cinema. A good part of the movie happens in the courtroom while the rest takes place in the house of the lawyers. The courtroom drama is interesting enough as both legal representatives come up with sound arguments for a verdict favorable to their client. Because Keerthy and Tovino are stars, it would not be a good idea to make it easy for one of them to win the case. Usually, what happens in a film of this genre is that a negative lawyer character with sarcasm represents the opposition side. But there is hardly any sarcasm or an easy route to victory in Vaashi. It respects the intelligence of the viewer, handles a sensitive issue deftly enough, and does not hurt our sentiments. However, the makers do not quite treat the courtroom drama with enough seriousness.
This kind of a film works best when the two lawyers are involved deeply in their case. In Vaashi, however, neither Tovino's character nor Keerthy Suresh's character goes deeply into the case. When you watch them enact their roles, they do not seem as invested in the case as some of their lines may suggest. This is not entirely the fault of the actors, as the makers played a large part in it. The makers keep telling us that the lawyers do not want their professional life to enter their personal life even as the lines begin to blur. Keeping the two aspects of our life separate, may be a good idea to put forth, but courtroom genre cinema does not work that way. During a highly intense case, like the one in Vaashi, actors should maintain equally high levels of intensity. Things are a bit too easy on the eye here, or a bit too vanilla.
It does not help that the makers maintain a light approach to the domestic aspect of the film. Even as the ego clash between the couple reaches a mildly intense state, you get the impression that there is a happy resolution around the corner.
Now, that is not to say that Vaashi is unwatchable. It is a consistently engaging film with fine performances. Anu Mohan and Anagha Narayanan put in competent performances as the accused and the plaintiff, respectively. Baiju Santhosh and Rony David offer sporadic moments of laughter as well. Tovino and Keerthy make for a fine couple. A lot of their early exchanges are really enjoyable. They are lovely to watch, and it is hard not to watch the film when they are on screen. I just wish to see them in a different film.