Parents' Guide to

Vaathi

By Ishmeet Nagpal, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Indian action drama about accessible education has violence.

Movie NR 2023 139 minutes
Vaathi movie poster: An Indian man in a blue shirt stands with a crowd behind him.

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This Indian action drama, that pans across several decades, starts out with big ideas; corruption, the brutality of competition, the lack of quality teachers, the caste divides inside classrooms. However, Vaathi tends to lose itself in gratuitous violence and hero worship instead of chalking out practical and replicable paths to empowerment. Songs meant to evoke sympathy for the central character -- a teacher intent on making education accessible to all -- only end up glorifying him, not his message. Ultimately the film proves to be boring, preachy, obsessed with proving lead actor Dhanush's machismo, and lacking in nuance when it comes to caste or gender dynamics.

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