Director: H Vinoth
Solid: Ajith Kumar, Huma Qureshi
Industrial cinema, extra particularly ‘mass’ movies, have a nagging conundrum. They should kindle expectation so when the mass second comes, it’s familiarly satisfying. However additionally they should be unpredictable to be really pleasing. It is a skinny line to straddle. Few filmmakers as we speak are capable of construct the anticipation of familiarity in addition to ship the surprises — Nelson and Lokesh Kanagaraj come to thoughts as exceptions. H Vinoth, nevertheless, can barely do both.
Valimai is the story of household man Arjun (Ajith Kumar), who can be a shrewd cop. He strikes to Chennai to save lots of his elder brother (Achyuth Kumar) from alcoholism, whereas additionally catching a lethal gang of murderers and drug kingpins. How he navigates pals, foes, politicians and allies — clearly — types the remainder of the movie.
What’s clear to anybody watching Valimai is that it’s a star car. Ajith will get half a dozen introduction scenes — he rises from a van, he stands on a plank suspended within the air, he will get off a police jeep and walks in gradual movement time and again. Within the palms of a artful author and filmmaker, these scenes would have set the display on fireplace. However in Valimai, they aren’t solely predictable, but in addition laughable.
Take, as an illustration, the intro scene that establishes the type of cop Arjun is. He catches younger male criminals however doesn’t file FIRs towards them. As an alternative, he offers cash to their wives and moms and lectures, them to “buddhi solli thiruthanum” (converse good sense into them). His subordinate asks him why Arjun didn’t get the system maintain these individuals. Arjun explains that the system will solely make the state of affairs worse. To this, the subordinate exclaims, “saar neenga vera maari.” As if ready all his life for simply this line, Ghibran diligently cues the title music that goes ‘naanga vera maari’ (composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja).
This downside of being apparent and predictable is throughout Valimai. At one level, I started predicting what would occur within the determined hope that H Vinoth would shock me. However he by no means did. We’ve heard each dialogue earlier than, a lot in order that, you, expensive reader, would know from a mile away what anybody goes to say. The jokes are so drab that the characters within the movie snigger to information us in that route. The interval block is a break up display with Ajith on one aspect and Karthikeya, who performs the villain, on the opposite. There’s textual content overlay on display telling us it’s the following day, over the voice of Arjun telling the villain he’ll meet him the following day. At one level, there’s a paragraph on display that I couldn’t end studying on time.
This predictability may not totally be H Vinoth’s fault although. We’re film-addicted individuals, and we will most likely simply inform this stuff by intuition. Besides, Valimai has nothing else going for it both. Ajith can barely emote — he has one uncomfortable face for your entire spectrum of emotions. Karthikeya has extra vary than Ajith does. When Sophia (Huma Qureshi), with tears brimming in her eyes, requested Arjun why he’s talking dejectedly, I broke into uncontrollable laughter that I couldn’t cease till Ajith completed his lecture about life and stones or one thing.
The characters are all written for the comfort of Arjun. Sophia, as an illustration, can do sketches of suspects, run analytics, shoot huge weapons, combat along with her naked palms, lead probably the most difficult mission in Tamil Nadu police historical past — nearly any of the grind work that Arjun can’t be bothered to do. To say nothing of being the household good friend who exhibits up for emotional help too. She’s all people and no one, a job that shortchanges how badass she truly is. Bani J is the villain’s sidekick, meted out an analogous therapy. To be truthful, although, even the boys are written in precisely the identical superficial vogue.
With such superficial and half-hearted performances, the feelings simply don’t transfer us. Arjun’s mom (Sumithra making an attempt her damnedest greatest) punishes herself to a starvation strike, an emotion that ought to resonate with everybody. But, it’s handled like a chunk of knowledge that we must always keep in mind, not an emotion that we really feel instinctively. After we watch the villain manipulate Arjun’s brother Kutty (Raj Ayyappa), we consider the latter as silly, not the previous as evil. With out the strengths of those feelings, the stakes are by no means excessive sufficient. So, Valimai appears like a superbike caught in second gear.
Regardless of all of this, although, what makes Valimai fairly watchable is Dilip Subbarayan’s stunt choreography, deftly supported by cinematographer Nirav Shah. Collectively, they construct motion that’s a delight to look at. Dilip is creative, with out turning it into one thing unbelievable. It’s the correct amount of intelligent, completely proper for mainstream. It solely helps that the movie is about biker gangs — Ajith on the bike is a sight to savour for followers. Even in overlong stunt sequences, the movie is pleasing.
However, be warned that having fun with Valimai, that lasts almost three hours, takes a particular type of viewer: One who’s motivated to have enjoyable and snigger at themselves for having fun with this. Proper on the finish, because the movie climaxes and Arjun rises victorious, his brother taunts the villain, “ei sappa” (hey loser, I think). At that time, I discovered myself pondering he’s maybe speaking to me, a loser who had a lot enjoyable.