Valimai review: Terrific action in Ajith Kumar’s film replaces predictable story
In their second consecutive collaboration, filmmaker H. Vinoth and Ajith Kumar – after impressing with Nerkonda Paarvai (Tamil remake of Pink) – do their utmost to deliver a banger from an action movie that’s fun as long as it’s fun. tough. If you look at Valimai purely from an action perspective, you are in for a treat because some of the action really stretches. But if you rate the film beyond the action sequences, there’s barely anything to keep you invested, despite a serious performance from Ajith. Essentially, it’s a film where the action replaces the largely predictable story.
Ajith plays Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Arjun, who lives with his family in Madurai. He is presented as a people’s cop with an unblemished record and a strong susceptibility to violence. Meanwhile, in Chennai, the police department has failed miserably in its multiple attempts to track down an outlaw motorcycle gang that uses unemployed youths to commit major crimes including theft, drug trafficking and contract killings. When the city commissioner feels helpless and hopes for a miracle, Arjun enters, who moves to Chennai and immediately takes the case.
In no time, Arjun understands how the gang operates and as he begins to connect the dots to find out who is pulling the strings, we are introduced to the mastermind behind the gang. Karthikeya plays the leader of the gang, an unethical biker. The rest of the story concerns the confrontation between the characters of Ajith and Karthikeya.
Valimai is a very predictable film about a fearless cop taking down a gang as a one man army. The differentiating factor is that the film uses the action to its fullest and rides on the adrenaline rush that these sequences provide. In an otherwise predictable and sometimes exhausting movie, it’s the action scenes that really keep the investment going. Every time the movie dives into its storytelling and monotony creeps in, an action sequence comes to the rescue. This is a movie that involves a lot of chase sequences and every scene leaves you on the edge of your seat. A 15-20 minute chase sequence at the start of the second half is unquestionably one of the film’s best moments.
When you’re not watching the action unfold onscreen in Valimai, not much happens in the movie. At a bloated three hours, the film wastes a lot of time on the characters who play Arjun’s family. The movie definitely could have done away with the melodrama to keep the storytelling tighter.
As for the supporting cast, Huma Qureshi shines in a role that she can also do some acting in. Karthikeya as an antagonist is an interesting choice but he is a character that is not well fleshed out. Ajith is serious about his performance as ACP Arjun, and it’s good to see him doing some hardcore stunts involving bikes and cars.
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Valimai would have been a cracker of a movie if it focused solely on action thrills. It needlessly tries to flatter the masses by introducing the family angle that is the film’s biggest grouse.
Director: H. Vinoth
To throw: Ajith Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Kartikeya Gummakonda and GM Sundar