Director: Venu Sriram
Writers (adaptation): Venu Sriram, Mamidala Thirupathi
Cinematography: PS Vinod
Edited by: Pudi Prawin
Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Nivetha Thomas, Anjali, Ananya Nagalla
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
How do you repurpose a robust and gripping story about ladies into an over-the-top star car by which the hero towers above every little thing else? Vakeel Saab gives a masterclass. The movie is a remake of the 2016 starrer Pink, by which three single working ladies in New Delhi discover themselves terrorised by educated however entitled goons, cops and attorneys. That movie was an indictment of patriarchy and the shackling of ladies in archaic stereotypes. Through the character of retired lawyer Deepak Sehgal, performed with bruised majesty by Amitabh Bachchan, director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, artistic producer Shoojit Sircar and author Ritesh Shah delivered a potent message about sexual consent – that irrespective of the circumstances, no means no.
Vakeel Saab additionally will get to this important level. But the main focus isn’t on the three women whose lives are shattered after an evening out, which ends with one in every of them breaking a bottle on the top of a person who’s attempting to sexually assault her. In this telling, the ladies are merely the instigation for the titular Vakeel Saab to roar again into motion in the best way that the killing of the 2 younger boys in Master propelled J.D. to straighten his act, give up alcohol and go into avenging-angel mode. Interestingly, Vakeel Saab can be a drinker. In truth, he carries a hip flask, which is marked ‘Medicine’. We are instructed that intoxication is the one approach to hold him in management. This idea of the high-functioning alcoholic appears to be a male protect – I can’t recall a single lady onscreen knocking again drinks but in addition developing aces. We are additionally instructed that Vakeel Saab has a producing defect – he can’t abide injustice and all the time stands up for the weak. His identify, in case you continue to haven’t understood his ethical compass, is Satya.
And he’s performed by Power Star Pawan Kalyan in full showboating, over-the-top glory. Pink was additionally remade in Tamil as Nerkonda Paarvai. In that movie, celebrity Ajith performed the lawyer. I haven’t seen it so I don’t understand how a lot the casting altered the narrative however right here it skews the stability. Director Venu Sriram, who has additionally tailored the script, flattens out the extra complicated concepts of Pink into palatable masala, which serves the larger-than-life picture of Pawan Kalyan. Unlike the unique, the ladies don’t meet the boys at a rock live performance, which maybe suggests a extra uninhibited setting. Here they’re stranded on a abandoned street. The boys occur to drive by and provide them a elevate. The movie begins by introducing us to the ladies of their respective properties – it’s established that they’re obedient, spiritual, caring, which makes them worthy of being saved. Their sharp edges are blunted – Pallavi, the one who resorts to violence to defend herself, doesn’t have the fierceness of Minal, performed by Taapsee Pannu. There isn’t any point out of the salacious joke that she shares together with her assailant. These women, performed by Nivetha Thomas, Anjali and Ananya Nagalla, are mild-mannered and extra simplistically written. Thankfully, when Pallavi is requested, “Are you a virgin?”, the reply continues to be no. Though right here she loses her virginity at 21 as a substitute of 19 for Minal in Pink.
Much of Venu’s power as author and storyteller appears to be targeted on his celebrity. Pawan Kalyan is launched in saviour mode, which stays in place till the final body. Another character compares him to Lord Ram. He even will get a backstory and weird romantic observe – Shruti Haasan swings by for a couple of minutes to play a woman who cherished him via faculty and stalked him for a number of years. But Satya’s happiness is short-lived, which is why he finally ends up drunk and barred from training legislation.
Venu creates a number of alternatives for the facility star to beat the dangerous guys and stroll away in sluggish movement, flick his black lawyer coat, additionally in sluggish movement, flip his watch and even maul his ball level pen – he retains clicking on it at a very tense second in courtroom. Satya is full of a righteous rage, not only for the ladies, whom he agrees to defend, however for mankind at massive. As I stated earlier than, it’s a producing defect. Pawan Kalyan performs to the gallery with aplomb, delivering his traces and saving humanity with simply the fitting contact of theatrics and panache. There’s additionally Prakash Raj, scheming and badgering, because the defence counsel. At one level, he says to Satya: “Vakeel Saab, will you please chill?” It’s nearly comical.
What’s essential, although, is that finally the essential message – that no means no – is delivered with power. And because it comes via a star with large clout, hopefully it is going to be heard.
You can watch Vakeel Saab on Amazon Prime Video.