| || |
| Home > Movie Reviews |
by : Behindwoods review board
Arjun, Haripriya, Vincent Asokan.
an Arjun starrer is like walking into
a restaurant and ordering a ‘limited
meals’; you know what is coming
your way, the only question being whether,
on the day, it has been well made. It
is with similar questions that one enters
theaters to watch Vallakottai. The director
and the lead actor have declared quite
openly that their intention has been to
make a regular entertainer that will satisfy
all Arjun fans.
Vallakottai – a remake of the 2007 Malayalam
superhit Mayavi starring Mammootty – tells the
story of a small time criminal with a heart of gold.
Starting off inside a prison, the movie shows Arjun
being chosen as the lucky prisoner to be released
on a special occasion. But, he takes a responsibility
upon himself; that of treating one the inmate’s
(Prem) younger brother who is currently hospitalized.
For that, he needs to make a large sum of money. Knowing
nothing else but petty con acts he gets ready to own
up responsibility for a serious offence in exchange
for a big amount of money. This takes him to a seaside
village where he is supposed to camp until the crime
is executed. But, the longer he stays in the village,
the more he comes to know about the people who have
hired him and the people on the other end of the offence.
Does he change his mind and the sides that he takes?
Where does the mission end and does he finally make
the money needed to treat the boy?
The basic premise of Vallakottai is something that
has been often seen in Tamil cinema and also in all
other south Indian languages. Two warring families;
one full of good guys, the other are a band of baddies
with the latter baying for the blood of the former.
It is into their midst that Arjun lands. Though hired
as just a ‘dummy’ to surrender to the
police at the right time; he is astute enough to see
right from wrong. This is the portion where Vallakottai
has a chance to make itself different. Roughing up
the local thug who has long lost all the awe that
he commanded helps matters; so does the portion where
Arjun decides to go ‘under cover’ and
protect a couple of ladies from the constant troubles
being given by the bad guys. But, overall the proceedings
fail to hold the interest of the viewers consistently.
The reason for this is hard to point out. It is almost
an identical script that had worked wonders three
years back in Kerala; but here the zing seems to have
gone amiss. The only difference one can find is the
overall mood of the flick. While the original had
been a very much light hearted fair with comedy forming
the backbone of the success; Vallakottai is a bit
more heavy (only relatively though) which seems to
have misfired. Comedy, taken care of mostly by Ganja
Karuppu and Sathyan, which has been give a place of
prime importance in the script, fails to create any
significant laughs which is a major pitfall. Ganja
Karuppu’s character; that of a local rowdy in
naught but lame, has immense comic possibilities that
have not been translated effectively onto screen.
The romantic track of the film that develops slowly
and surely; not the bolt out of the blue kind of thing;
looks okay but does not do any major service to the
overall picture. The reentry and turnaround of Prem’s
character towards the end and the mistaken identities
game which culminates in the climax do hold the viewer’s
Arjun is his usual taut and tight self in Vallakottai.
He is convincing as the small time criminal who is
ready to take great risks for his friends. But, one
only wishes that he had put in a lot more participation
in the comic sequences which would have livened up
the movie. As we have seen earlier in films like Giri
and Thirumalai, he does have the ability to complement
lead comedians. But, his chemistry with Ganja Karuppu
and Sathyan is not nearly as effective as the one
he has shared with Vadivelu. The action sequences,
a highlight in any Arjun film, don’t seem to
have reached the standards that are generally associated
with Action King standards. Haripriya, the heroine
looks fine on screen, getting a role that is a bit
more than just song and dance. The bad men group led
by Ashish Vidhyarthi do the usual stuff while Ilavarasu
chips in as the ‘devil’s advocate’.
Technically, Vallakkottai holds its ground. There
is not much to rave about and nothing to complain
about either; all departments have functioned efficiently.
The ‘Magadheera Magadheera’ song has got
an engaging rhythm to it.
Vallakottai takes a plot that has already seen huge
success and tries to recreate the same magic. But
perhaps director A Venkathesh (Annachi from Angadi
Theru) should have taken into account varied regional
tastes and the vast difference in styles between the
lead performers (Mammootty and Arjun) and appropriately
tweaked the script. Nevertheless, Vallakottai is not
a total let down; it does have its moments, the portions
of action, the instances of laughter and a central
plot that is not altogether predictable. But, more
care in adaptation to the regional milieu could have
made it much more entertaining.
Verdict: Mass masala – falls short by
a fair bit!
| || |