The big weekend is here and I definitely have some breathing space and much needed. While it is RRR which is scorching the big screen, the OTT platforms have a relatively quiet weekend. Call it the month of the exams or the month when the accounts are closed but things do slow down in March. Having said that, I will be getting to the weekend Biggie RRR soon. But before that I finished watching the Tamil film Valimai which did premiere on Zee5 yesterday. Another by-product of the PAN India setup and a film releasing post the success of Pushpa, its Hindi dubbed version vanished without a trace. Which is precisely why I opted to watch the film in its original form in Tamil(Zee5 has procured the Hindi version too). Starring Thala Ajith, does the film manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Valimai follows the story of ACP Arjun as he begins investigating a secret gang who resorts to drugs, looting and murder. Firstly, the story is in the commercial space and there might be many sequences which may seem over the top. So if you need to enjoy this film then you need to look past it. The story here is wafer thin but the stylized action sequences are which set the adrenaline pumping. The screenplay begins on a very wobbly note. The first 30 odd minutes were personally a slog for me. The events were uninspiring and there was unnecessary comic scenes which had zero impact on the plot. It almost made me go like what in the world is going on. But once the antagonist was introduced, things began to get better. There was more urgency and focus on the plot. The events began to hold my attention and the action sequences were absolutely terrific including the extravagant chase sequence which was so well shot. The twist and turns in the plot are predictable but it is the action that keeps you going. The whole emotional element in the film just does not land but the grossy action sequences(yes again) save the day at the end. Overall, a decently penned screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are massy but they do their job at the end of the day. The music is average, the BGM is alright. The cinematography and stunt design is pretty good. Director H Vinoth knows the pulse of the audience. Much of the flaws in the writing are covered by some breath taking action sequences(hmmm again) which consistently keeps you afloat throughout.
The performances are pretty good. Dinesh Prabhakar as Rajangam shines in an impressive cameo. There is very little scope for female characters but Bani J as Sara, Pearle Maaney as Christina and Chaitra Reddy as Latha all perform their parts well. Huma Qureshi as Sophia has a good screen presence in an underwritten role. Raj Aiyyappa as Kutty is earnest. Kartikeya as Naren is quite fabulous and a perfect nemesis to the main protagonist. Which brings me to Thala Ajith. As ACP Arjun he plays to the galleries but pleasantly never goes overboard. He is well within his control and does a brilliant job. Also, He aces some of the combat sequences which was quite commendable and heartening. Overall a great job done.
Valimai is an exhilarating ride which compensates for the lack of a solid plot with some breath taking action sequences. If action is your thing, then go for it. Available on Zee5.