The director is also the writer, and he demonstrates a great instinct for masala-movie writing. One of the film’s most goosefleshy touches is in the way it merges cinema and education.
It’s the 1990s. Thanks to liberalisation and privatisation, education has become a booming business. There’s a statue of Saraswathi in the premises of the local government school, but note the name of the local theatre: Lakshmi. The school with zero attendance and the theatre with housefull shows – education and money, Saraswathi and Lakshmi – become intertwined in Venky Atluri’s halfway-decent Vaathi (or Sir in Telugu), which stars Dhanush as Bala, an idealistic teacher who believes that education should be free for those who cannot afford it. The children who return to the government school after Bala is appointed as a teacher are the children of cobblers and tailors and so on. What if they can change their destinies? What if their stories could resemble that of APJ Abdul Kalam, the son of a boatman who became a scientist? (As of this time period, he is not yet President.)
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