‘Vakil Saab‘ (Telugu)-April 2021
A clever formula, ‘Vakil Saab’ has grossed well in Tollywood this year. A remake of ‘Pink’ (2016), the film does have some credits to the performances and the narrative content.
Normally, storylines with an immediate social context are always a good bet. We have seen ‘Damini‘ on these lines but the heroism of Pawan Kalyan is combined this time round with the profession of an advocate and entertainment adds up to the court room drama. Long ago when Dr.Sriram Lagoo cross examined the heroine in ‘Insaf ka Taraju’, eyebrows were raised owing to the sensitivities but today that is all en passe. The director takes care not to sermonize on the life styles of girls these days and leaves a platter of a dimension from that side to rope in the viewership of the women. Sex before marriage (albeit with a boy friend and someone whom marriage was a prospect) is revealed in the court room quite in the presence of her father but that is left to the parents to come to terms with!
Well. We have a frustrated advocate (Pawan Kalyan) returning to the profession after giving up for a long time and a seasoned one (Prakash Raj) locking horns over a case of attempted murder filed against one of the three ladies living together since a case of molestation was up and against the son of the M.P. Several aspects come to the forefront as the case is contested and Pawan wins the case finally. The Hon. Judge (played quite aptly by Meer, the ace cameraman) rles in favour of the ladies.
There are some loose ends which dilute the otherwise what could have been an engrossing narrative. The role of the house owner (played by Subhalekha Sudhakar) does not make any sense in the end since it does not move towards a logical conclusion. He is shown only as a troubled chap out there. The legal loop holes and the circumstantial evidences which usually swing the needle back and forth appear rather ordinary and a seasoned campaigner in Prakash Raj appears rather a simpleton without the craftsmanship required for such a role. On the other side, one would have expected more struggle and stigma during such situations and it would have been only then that the final victory would have been really clinching-legally and cinematically as well.
Editing for the film has been quite crisp (Praveen Pudi). A bit of a melodrama would have added strength to the movie otherwise well directed by Venu Sriram who has also written the script.
Talking about the filmic style and content, it lacks in ‘subject positioning’. The films ought to have allowed itself to be examined in its various contexts. But that required textual operations within itself. usually such a narrative plays on ‘two positionalities of desire that define the female’s oedipal situation. (De Lauretis, 1984, 153). There was ample scope in the subject for such a dispensation but no attempt had been made since the film had to be for Pawan Kalyan. One is reminded of a rather absorbing court room drama in an old Telugu film-‘Gandhi Puttina Desam’-the character revolts and attacks the male forcing himself on her. The advocate’s role (played by M. Prabhakar Reddy) stands out in the film.
Agrani Media rates 2.5/5