Valimai: A tightly-packed popcorn entertainer that hinges on Ajith's appeal

Despite some minor glitches, Valimai is a neatly-packed commercial entertainer that works for Ajith fans and also for those who love action films.
Valimai: A tightly-packed popcorn entertainer that hinges on Ajith's appeal
Ajith in 'Valimai'.

Chennai

Cast: Ajithkumar, Karthikeya, Huma Qureshi, Sumithra, Raj Iyappa, Achyutha Kumar, Selva, GM Sundar, Pavel Navageethan, Pugazh, Bani J, Pearly Mane, and Chaithra Reddy
Director: H Vinoth
Musicdirector: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Synopsis: A cop hunts down a gang of bikers who are the kingpins behind various crimes in the city. However, the pursuit takes a toll on his personal and professional life
Rating- 3/5
The second collaboration of Ajith, H Vinoth, and Boney Kapoor, Valimai has been in the making for over a couple of years. The anticipation around the film was huge and is expected to turn the situation around for theatre owners if it is a BO hit. Will Valimai be able to do that?
The film opens with a series of robberies committed by masked men in Chennai. The public is up in arms against the clueless police, who wish that a “supercop” helps them out. The story then moves to Madurai where a murder is being plotted. We are then introduced to Arjun Kumar (Ajith), who not only solves crimes but also helps criminals mend their ways. The scene is followed by a mass hero introduction song, Vera Maari, which has Ajith shaking his leg with a lot of energy and flair.
In the next couple of scenes, H Vinoth introduces us to crucial characters, starting with Arjun’s family: mother (Sumithra), elder brother (Achyuth Kumar), younger brother (Raj Iyappa), and his sister and sister-in-law. While Arjun is a tough cop, he is someone who loves his family members unconditionally and he is the glue that binds them together. Arjun is now transferred to Chennai to solve the crimes and is joined by Sofia (Huma Qureshi) from the forensics team, who assists him in investigating a crime. Arjun and Sofia start cracking clues one after the other, taking them closer to the criminals. That is when we are introduced to Naren (Karthikeya Gummakonda). He isn’t your typical Ajith-movie villain, who sings praises about the hero. Instead, he gives Arjun and Sofia a run for their money. Though he hasn’t dubbed for his role in Tamil, the lip-sync is perfect and has been impressive throughout.  
Valimai gets interesting as it nears the interval. The face-off happens just before the interval, taking the film to its peak. The pre-interval block involves an off-road bike stunt sequence, which will be one of the favourite scenes of his career for Ajith fans. It manages to maintain the same momentum after the interval as well.
Despite it being an Ajith show all the way, characters around him shine well, each gaining prominence in the second half of the film. While Sumithra and other family members lend heft to the emotional scenes, Huma has carried the role convincingly. Her daredevil stunts and swag have elevated the screenplay. Raj Iyappa, who plays Ajith’s younger brother, has essayed character with different shades and will be an actor to watch out for in Tamil cinema.
The story picks up steam again towards the climax, which, though predictable, ends with a strong message. The film shines in technical aspects, thanks to Nirav Shah’s cinematography and Dhilip Subbarayan’s stunt choreography.
However, Valimai is not without flaws. Shooting in the middle of the pandemic has made continuity issues quite evident. In one scene we see Ajith in jet black mane, but in the same scene, we see him with a trimmed salt and pepper look. Despite these minor glitches, Valimai is a neatly-packed commercial entertainer that works for Ajith fans and also for those who love action films.

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