In Vaashi, Tovino Thomas and Keerthy Suresh play two young lawyers Ebin and Madhavi respectively. They are good friends trying to make a name for themselves in the legal halls. The film also shows how Ebin and Madhavi are reluctant to accept their friendship as love. However, the words ‘love’, ‘affection’ or ‘friendship’ acquire different meanings in a legal battle where the issue of ‘sexual consent’ becomes a significant factor and this is the gray area the film attempts to explore.
In a courtroom, emotions or feelings don’t matter. What matters is the evidence to validate your argument. The court serves justice based on logical reasoning without thinking about who is who. But is this always the case? What if the honorable judge who dispenses justice had preconceived or outdated ideas? A human is judgmental about others and no one is perfect. The law will always have loopholes. If the proof is not there, it can be fabricated. In the end, a higher authority renders a judgment based on his conviction and his prejudices. Vaashi addresses all of these aspects through a court case.
The case in the film revolves around a young man named Gautam, who is accused of sexually abusing a co-worker on the false promise of marriage. Ebin, who becomes a prosecutor with the help of his wealthy brother-in-law, appears for the victim, while Madhavi appears for the accused, who is a family friend. The question of consent is put under the microscope in the film. Although the court’s final judgment in the film seems fair, the film’s narrative gives the impression of empathizing with the defendant rather than the victim who is portrayed as a naive and childishly grumpy woman who will go so far as to to punish the man who broke his trust. The climax where the judge sleeps next to a family photo, featuring his wife and daughter, raises the question of whether his judgment was based on his paternal feelings rather than the arguments presented at trial. The film succeeds in portraying our justice system which may seem fair and objective, but which has a very subjective and personal level of interference, at least unconsciously.
Overall, Vaashi is an engaging courtroom drama, with Tovino Thomas and Keerthy Suresh playing their roles convincingly.