Vaathi (2023) online

Year: 2023
Country: I
Time: 2 hours 19 minutes
Director: Venky Atluri
Vaathi is a 2023 Indian period action drama film written and directed by Venky Atluri. The film was shot simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu with the latter titled as Sir and produced by Tollywood studios Sithara Entertainments and Fortune Four Cinemas. The film features Dhanush, who is making his Telugu debut, alongside Samyuktha Menon, P. Sai Kumar, Tanikella Bharani, Samuthirakani and Hyper Aadi.

Abhiram is a student in Thirupathi (Tamil)/Tripathi (Telugu) Educational Institutes run by Srinivas Thirupathi/Srinivas Tripathi, preparing for EAMCET along with his friends finds an old box full of tape records while cleaning his grandfather's video shop which is going to sale for his Engineering seat that shop is well known as well as oldest video shop and first video shop in olden days.Abhi and his friends plays the tape to check its contents (thinking it as an adult content), where they find a person teaching mathematics in a very clean and efficient manner, where the friends find the maths taught by him found maths easy and checks the box again. They find a receipt on which a name is written A. M. Kumar (Tamil) / A. S. Murthy (Telugu) and dates back to 4 May, 2000.

They also notice the place written, Sozhavaram (Tamil) / Siripuram (Telugu). The trio decide to travel to that place to find the man named A. M. Kumar/A. S. Murthy . After inquiring many people, they meet the Village Government college peon Subbaya who tells them that A. M. Kumar/A. S. Murthy is not a lecturer, but was once a student and now the DC of Kadapa. The trio reaches Kadapa and ask A. M. Kumar/A. S Murthy about the man in the video, where he tells them about the man named Balamurugan 'Bala' (Tamil) / Bala Gangadhar Tilak 'Balu' (Telugu).

1993: During the time of privatization of the economy, education has become a necessity for people to grow big and professional courses like MBBS and engineering saw a huge demand. Noticing this sudden spike in education, many investors have turned education into business. In the name of quality education, they started cashing hefty money from parents to get their children admitted into their private colleges. At the same time, the government had a hard time running their colleges and couldn't even pay the lecturers salaries. The private colleges even hired top class and experienced government college lecturers to teach in their own colleges.

1998: Many government colleges had to shut down due to shortage of lecturers. For the poor who couldn't afford private institutions, education had become inaccessible. Srinivas Thirupathi/Srinivas Tripathi, the president of private junior colleges association hatches a master plan to adopt all the government junior colleges and send third-grade junior lecturers to those colleges, thus supporting the ruling government to stop the regularization of fee scheme by the government. Bala/Balu is one of those lecturers, who is sent to a government junior college to teach Mathematics along with Karthik, a chemistry lecturer, and Prakash Reddy (Tamil)/ Bulli Reddy (Telugu), a physics lecturer. Thirupathi/Tripathi promises that any lecturer who performs well in their field will be promoted to senior lecturer upon being asked by Bala/Balu.

The next day, the three lecturers are taken to Government Junior College, Sozhavaram (Tamil) / Government Junior College, Siripuram (Telugu). They are received warmly by the village's President Muthu Pandian (Tamil) / Patthi Papa Rao (Telugu), where Bala/Balu sees Meenakshi, a biology lecturer, and falls for her. The next day, none of the students show up to the college. Bala/Balu learns from the Telugu lecturer Thanigachalam (Tamil) / Deekshitulu (Telugu) that all the warm welcome was just for publicity and students arrives for sweets and hots at the college. Meenakshi tells him that before the shutdown of government colleges, this was the only government college in the district, and many students from the neighboring districts used to arrive, but they were unable to trust them even after opening, thinking that they might close the government colleges sooner or later.

Bala/Balu made a promise to Meenakshi that he will get all the students to the class within 3 days. He asked the president to organize a meeting with all the villagers and their children. Bala/Balu gave a speech about the necessity of education, thus making the children and parents realize its importance. The students then started coming to the classes. Bala/Balu also brought back an ex-student, Muthu (Tamil) / Satti (Telugu), who discontinued his education after his parents committed suicide and got addicted to alcohol and smoking. Bala/Balu offers him a job 30 rupees per day as his daily wage and assures him to study as his work. He also reformed many students like Kumar/Murthy and his gang, who were not interested in their studies. Meanwhile, Karthik gets ill and leaves the college, as does Prakash Reddy/Bulli Reddy. With their departure, Bala/Balu takes over the responsibility of teaching both Physics and Chemistry classes as well, for both MPC and BiPC students.

Bala/Balu noticed that due to caste differences some students ill treating other students. He eliminated this barrier within the class and from their minds, by explaining that necessity had no caste thus making them united and effectionate on each other. Meenakshi was impressed by this act and fell for him. The board exams took place and all the students passed with first class. With the 100% pass percentage achieved by Bala/Balu, Thirupathi/Tripathi confronted him and told him that the pass percentage of his own private college is just 75% and people wanted to join the government colleges, owing to the quality of education. He tried to lure him with a senior lecturer promotion and salary hike in one of his private college, but Bala/Balu did not fall for it and in-fact, stopped working for him. He even challenged Thirupathi/Tripathi that he will make all the students pass with distinction the next time and also get them a good rank in the TNPCEE/EAMCET examination.

With this, Thirupathi/Tripathi bribed the opposition party leader to create a strike on unemployment and also the ruling party's education minister to take back the positions offered to lecturers at Government junior colleges and recruit new ones. This caused Balu/Bala to lose his job and his father, Narayanan (Tamil) / Narayana (Telugu), his job as a driver. Nevertheless, Bala/Balu took classes in an open field, in the village. Thirupathi/Tripathi asked Muthu Pandian/Patthi Papa Rao to arrest him and drive him away from the village. Bala/Balu fights back, but the cops arrest him and take him into custody. They gave him third degree treatment. He was dropped back into the village soon afterward, where the villagers were asked not to help him gather his things, denoting that he misused government school funds. However, seeing Bala/Balu barely able to walk, that too, under the scorching sun, all the students gathered and helped get onto a bus safely, to be taken back to city, with a heavy heart.

After Bala/Balu recovered, he took up tuitoring at his home, after many failed job interviews at the private junior colleges. Meenakshi arrived and made it clear that she wants to stay with him only, having decided to marry him. They saw a young boy willing to study, but was unable to, due to poverty. His father constantly kept pressurizing him to earn money. Bala/Balu took him to his teacher's, Mohammed Ansari's house, for tuition, free of cost. Meenakshi asked Bala/Balu to return back to the village to teach the children. As he was banished from the village, Bala/Balu got the idea of recording his lectures, using cassette tapes, and send them to Bittu Bhupathi (Tamil) / Boothu Bhushanam (Telugu) (Abhi's grandfather), a highly demanded photographer in Siripuram who runs a video shop in Anakapalli and local theater in Siripuram which famous for running Blue films. He asked Bhupathi/Bhushanam to run special shows for the intermediate students from 6:00PM to 9:00PM, everyday, where only Bala/Balu's lectures would be played. The whole village would think of it as another film.

In this way, Bala/Balu took classes for the students and also told them that, they have to pass with distinction, and also crack the TNPCEE/EAMCET examination. To clear the students questions and clarifications regarding the subjects, Bala/Balu constantly visited the village, under the guise of a drama artist, each Sunday. Thirupathi/Tripathi learnt about this and tried to order Muthu Pandian/Patthi Papa Rao to finish him off, to which he did not agree, stating that he was just using him. Muthu Pandian/Patthi Papa Rao knew about Bala/Balu's toil to teach the students and had a change of heart after seeing his daughter perform really well. He permitted all students of the village to go to junior college. On the day of the TNPCEE/EAMCET examination, while the students were on their way to the exam center, Thirupathi/Tripathi sent goons to stop them.

Bala/Balu fought them off and sent the students to write the exam. The students performed extremely well and cleared the TNPCEE/EAMCET examination in the top 100 ranks to their surprise Satti announces his full name as A. M. Kumar/A.S.Murthy scoring State first rank in EAMCET. Thirupathi/Tripathi offered money to all the 46 students, promising them sponsorship for their further studies and also a good life to their families, just for them to tell everyone that they have scored such good rankings, because of Thirupathi/Tripathi Educational Institutions and not because of Bala/Balu. Bala/Balu asked them to agree to it, because that is what he always wanted for them, everybody to respect them. He asked the students to use Thirupathi/Tripathi's ego, to climb the social-economical ladder to become successful and give back to those in the future, who would not be able to afford education. The students signed the contracts, but Bala/Balu and Meenakshi were never seen after that.

Present: A. M. Kumar/A.S.Murthy continues his story to the trio that the theater where they studied is now an EAMCET/IIT coaching center for the underprivileged, developed by the 46 students, who take turns and teach the students each year by mentioning that it is their guru dakshina (formal reciprocity) to Bala/Balu sir. When asked about the current whereabouts of Bala/Balu, A. M. Kumar/A. S. Murthy replies that he does not know about his location, or even if he is alive. But he is sure that wherever Bala/Balu went after Sozhavaram/Siripuram, he would have made education accessible to everyone. Meanwhile in Ooty, it is shown that a still alive Bala/Balu and Meenakshi now married have opened a school, Ansari School of Knowledge, named after Mohammed Ansari, to provide free education for the underprivileged as his Guru dakshina for inspiring him to become a good teacher as per his last wish.

In a deleted scene Abhi who became as JEE All India First Rank Holder his friend's also become toppers in the exam by the guidance of Kumar/Murthy. In Tripati achievement ceremony Abhi reveals study videos of Bala/Balu and gives whole credit to Balu sir in front of Tripathi finally film ends up ruining his reputation.
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