In Valimai, a slightly intriguing but overlong action film that covers its poor screenplay with extravagant action set-pieces, stunts, and sentiment collide. Ajith’s one-man show
Critic’s Rating: 3.0/5
Valimai Story :
A super officer strives to find the mastermind behind a string of thefts and murders, but the investigation becomes personal as his family becomes pawns in the criminal’s game.
Valimai by H Vinoth begins with a sequence of chain snatching episodes and a robbery in Chennai by masked guys on motorcycles. The populace is outraged with the police force, which appears to be dumb. The police chief aspires for a super officer to prevent similar atrocities in his internal monologue. After then, the action shifts to Madurai, where a temple procession is taking place. A murder plan is the same way. The film’s protagonist, ACP Arjun (Ajith Kumar), is then presented, with shots from the procession intercut with his introduction. We witness this persona rising up from the depths like a God who is held aloft (here, from within a car). In a nutshell, a hero-introduction sequence to remember.
Arjun is sent to Chennai and begins investigating a suicide case that appears to be connected to a greater crime. As he investigates the case, he realizes it is linked to the previous chain-snatching and drug-smuggling instances. When the gang’s mastermind (Kartikeya Gummakonda) realizes Arjun is on to him, it becomes a lethal cat-and-mouse game, with Arjun’s family as players. Is Arjun capable of rescuing both his family and the city from this ruthless criminal?
In Valimai, a slightly intriguing but overlong action film that covers its poor screenplay with extravagant action set-pieces, stunts, and sentiment collide.
Vinoth appears to be struggling to strike a balance between crafting a brutal action film and meeting the needs of a star vehicle. Despite the opportunity to ground action scenes in emotion, the film instead portrays them as stand-alone set-pieces. The shallow way in which the film deals with its minor characters and their relationship with Arjun exemplifies this approach.
They’re mostly one-note characters – loving mother (Sumithra), drunkard brother (Achyuth Kumar), supportive colleague (Huma Qureshi, who has one memorable scene before being relegated to a supporting role) – or worse, caricatures – corrupt cop (GM Kumar), tattoo-wearing, Goth-like villain’s girlfriend. Even the storyline of a despondent brother (Raj Ayyappan) who goes rogue isn’t well-developed.
This is why, when we aren’t in the thick of an action moment, the movie feels less powerful.
But Vinoth makes up for it with the stunts, which are largely big-screen spectacles that are expertly planned (the stunt choreographer is Dhilip Subburayan) and unquestionably the film’s centerpiece. A bike pursuit in the first half and a chase involving a bus, a truck, and a large number of motorcyclists in the second half are both thrilling.
Valimai is ultimately a fight between good and evil. There are obvious parallels to Batman. Arjun, like that masked superhero, does not believe in killing criminals in order to eliminate crime. We frequently see him clothed in black and hiding his face behind a helmet, especially when he is fighting the evil guys. He, too, is up against an anarchist who rejects the concept of society. And at one point, he is forced to choose between protecting his loved ones and saving the lives of the general population.
And Ajith acts as though he’s a superman in this film. He provides legitimacy to the stunt scenes and uses his star power to boost the other parts. There are times when it works (a scene in jail when he needs to break someone’s arm) and times when it doesn’t (a scenario in which he has to break someone’s arm) (the monologue in the climax). But there’s no doubting that his presence is what binds the film’s two contrasting tones together.
In Hindi, Telugu, and Kannada, the film has been dubbed and released.
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