Star Cast: Ajith, Kartikeya Gummakonda, Huma Qureshi, Bani J, Sumithra, Achyuth Kumar, Pugazh
Director: H. Vinoth
What’s Good: Everything’s that’s no drama or comedy!
What’s Bad: Trying to fit in multiple genres, the film fails to establish a stronghold in any one of them
Loo Break: You can easily miss half of the film and still get the context, predicting how it could end!
Watch or Not?: Watch this only for Ajith, because he won’t disappoint even though the film might!
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 175 Minutes
After a cringey montage of how drugs are responsible for the fallen youth of the country, we are taken through multiple brutal chain-snatching accidents on the streets of Chennai. All this is linked with each other as we get to know about ‘Satan’s Slaves’, a bike gang which does the most ‘bike gang’ sh*t like popping wheelies, rolling the bikes around with hands, getting adapted into being a goth and the usual stuff.
Long story short, the bike gang badas* baddies are responsible for supplying drugs and illegal money to the ‘youth’, and the police are looking for a ‘super cop’ to get rid of this gang. Enters ACP Arjun Kumar (Ajith Kumar), a beautiful beast with brains at the right place. He uses his ways to get to the gang, but once he gets to them, he finds himself entangled in a personal mess mixed up with his professional chaos.
Valimai Movie Review: Script Analysis
Just like every other commercial potboiler, H. Vinoth’s film follows the traditional formula of “introduce the problem, introduce the problem-solver, problem solved.” After a few brilliantly shot action & chase sequences, you start to feel that this won’t go wrong from here but alas! it’s a slippery slope from the interval. From Dhoom (1 & 2) to 2.0, Nirav Shah’s camerawork has heavily relied on aerial, drone shots and Valimai is no different. Shot on a road that’s as long as the duration of this film (2 hours 55 minutes), the action at times gets too fast (read: jerky) to take a moment and appreciate it. Everything just whooshes away before you can adore anything.
In H. Vinoth’s Chennai, where Police officials are sitting in a glass building giving the world an almost dystopian-like vibe, there’s a lot of inconsistency in maintaining a uniform theme. Few portions present this as a Gentleman-like slick actioner and others forcefully feed the melodrama hampering the already set & working theme. Vijay Velukutty gets so much content to stuff, he fails to keep the proceedings fast & crisp.
Valimai Movie Review: Star Performance
Ajith, with Valimai, is somewhere in a similar position where Salman Khan is in Bollywood. We’ve seen too much swag oomphing from many performances by both these stars, and hence delivering the same things repeatedly will pinch some of their fans. Ajith, without a single doubt, is the one-man show of Valimai and somewhere that’s also a drawback of the film. The story H. Vinoth is trying to narrate needed a lot of men, women instead of just one man.
Kartikeya Gummakonda though gets into the ‘skin’ of his character very well but fails to add any ‘soul’ to it. Coming across as very artificial and pretentious, Kartikeya’s antagonist just fails to create the desired tension. Though Huma Qureshi gets a kick-ass ‘seeti-maar’ scene, overall she & Bani J end up being pretty unused. Their characters just don’t get enough scope to make some noise, else both of them fit in the narrative very well. Achyuth Kumar & Pugazh add nothing substantial to cover the failed attempt of adding comical relief to the script.
Valimai Movie Review: Direction, Music
The drug cartel, family drama has been done and dusted but the bikers’ cult is where the most masala was, which sadly remained undercooked throughout. H. Vinoth tries to add ‘masala’ to a predictable tale by doing way too many things than required. Tapping into multiplayer genres, Vinoth should’ve focused more on how to make this more stylish rather than thinking about how to make the viewers emotional.
Ghibran’s background score varies from ‘daf*ck is this wizardry?’ to ‘daf*ck if this…?’. Thankfully, it doesn’t disrupt because that’s done by the ‘not so memorable’ songs by Yuvan Shankar Raja. None of them is actually even situational to even give them a pass.
Valimai Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, watch this only and only if you want to watch Ajith acting on-screen. If you’re one of those fans who think “it’s been so long, haven’t seen Ajith acting on a big-screen”, only then watch this.
Valimai releases on 24 February, 2022.
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Fan of the horror genre? Read our Bhoothakaalam Movie Review here.