Valimai review: Terrific action in Ajith Kumar film supersedes predictable story
Valimai review: Ajith Kumar-starrer would’ve been a cracker of a film if it solely focused on providing action thrills.
In their second consecutive collaboration, filmmaker H. Vinoth and Ajith Kumar – after impressing with Nerkonda Paarvai (Tamil remake of Pink) - go all out to come up with a banger of an action flick that’s fun while it lasts. If you look at Valimai purely from the action standpoint, you’re in for a treat as some of the action stretches really standout. But if you evaluate the film beyond the action sequences, there’s hardly anything that keeps you invested, despite an earnest performance from Ajith. In essence, it’s a film where the action supersedes the largely predictable story.
Ajith plays Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Arjun, who lives with his family in Madurai. He’s introduced as a people’s cop with an unblemished record and having strong sensitivity towards violence. Meanwhile, in Chennai, the police department has miserably failed in its multiple attempts to hunt down an outlaw biker gang that uses unemployed youth to pull off major crimes including theft, drug peddling and contract killings. When the city Commissioner feels helpless and hopes for a miracle, enters Arjun, who moves to Chennai and immediately takes up the case.
In no time, Arjun figures out how the gang operates and as he begins to connect the dots to find out who’s pulling the strings, we get introduced to the mastermind behind the gang. Karthikeya plays the gang’s leader, a biker with no ethics whatsoever. The rest of the story is about the face-off between Ajith and Karthikeya's characters.
Valimai is a very foreseeable film about a fearless cop bringing down a gang as a one man army. The differentiating factor is that the film uses action to its strength and rides on the adrenaline rush those sequences deliver. In an otherwise predictable and at times exhausting film, it’s the action scenes that really keeps one invested. Every time the film dips in its narration and monotony seeps through, an action sequence comes to the rescue. This is a film that involves a lot of chase sequences and each scene leaves you on the edge of you seat. A 15 to 20-minute-long chase sequence in the beginning of the second half is unarguably one of the best moments of the film.
When you’re not watching action unfold on screen in Valimai, there isn’t much happening in the movie. At a bloated three-hour long runtime, the film wastes a lot of time on the characters that play Arjun’s family. The film could’ve definitely done away with the melodrama to keep the narration tighter.
When it comes to the supporting cast, Huma Qureshi shines in a role in which she gets to do some action as well. Karthikeya as the antagonist is an interesting choice but his is a character that isn’t well fleshed out. Ajith is earnest in his performance as ACP Arjun, and it’s good to see him do some hardcore stunts involving bikes and cars.
Valimai would’ve been a cracker of a film if it solely focused on providing action thrills. It needlessly tries to pander to the masses by bringing in the family angle which is the film’s biggest grouse.
Director: H. Vinoth
Cast: Ajith Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Kartikeya Gummakonda and GM Sundar