'Vaashi' Review: A Commendable Yet One-Time Watch Courtroom Drama

Vaashi is Vishnu Raghav's debut film as a director in south cinema.

Movie Reviews
3 min read

'Vaashi' Review: A Commendable, Yet One-Time Watch Courtroom Drama

Three years after the Hindi courtroom drama Section 375 hit the screens, backed by power-packed performances from Akshaye Khanna and Richa Chadda, comes Vaashi, a Malayalam film with a similar plot. However, notwithstanding the common factors, Vaashi also doubles up as a family drama, in what turns out to be an engrossing watch without resorting to melodrama.


There is some clever tinkering of the basic premise, especially with gender roles of the lawyers reversed, making things more interesting and palatable at once. And both the lead actors are up to the task, especially Keerthy Suresh making a comeback in Malayalam catching the viewers by surprise in what can be termed as the perfect homecoming. While Tovino Thomas reminds you of his brooding and cocky self from Naradan at times, Keerthy Suresh is convincing and relatable at the same time, making you want to root for her.

Actor-turned-director Vishnu G Raghav makes a decent directorial debut by keeping things simmering for the length of the film, although you wish he had taken things a bit slower in the beginning. The court scenes could have done with a bit more punch and brevity with additional research and legal expertise roped in. Nevertheless, Vaashi doesn’t lag despite the run-time of over 150 minutes.

In one scene, after a minute-long submission by Tovino Thomas before the judge, Keerthy Suresh responds to it in Malayalam which might strike some viewers as odd. This reviewer was quickly reminded of a young lady lawyer-friend recalling how some senior judges in the High Court got intimidated when arguments were made in a regional language instead of the usual English, and how it was deliberately resorted to as a tool to balance power.

Vaashi is Vishnu Raghav's debut film as a director in south cinema.

A still from Vaashi.

(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)


There is no preaching and the tone is progressive throughout the film. It is unclear whether one of the seeming parallels between the central plot and the personal lives of the leads are really intended or just a matter of coincidence. The climax seems somewhat odd and a bit of a compromise. Having to resort to judicial subjectivity to justify a verdict would only mean that parsing of the law was inadequate in the first place. Also, the personal equation and ego of the leads take over the courtroom drama by the end.

Keerthy Suresh is the best thing about the film, looking every bit professional and carrying herself convincingly.

Making a comeback after eight years (discounting the cameo in Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea) Keerthy is a much improved version of herself than her initial outings in Mollywood.

There is no attempt to play the gallery and she makes a good pairing with Tovino Thomas, who should probably cut down on work to make his characters unique and memorable.

Baiju Santhosh plays the other significant role in the film as a senior lawyer, striking up a great camaraderie with the leads anchoring the film. Rony David, Vanitha Krishnachandran, Suresh Kumar, Sreelakshmi and Kottayam Ramesh as the magistrate have performed their relatively minor parts well. And there is Anu Mohan, sporting a stock expression throughout, making his character darker than it was probably intended.


Vaashi is a commendable attempt from a debutante filmmaker. The technical side is adequate, cinematography aesthetic and the music blends in well into the narrative. Vaashi could have been slightly more gripping with additional chiseling of the script, but overall it’s definitely a one-time watch.

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Topics:  Vaashi   keerthy suresh   Tovino Thomas 

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