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Review: Valiyavan fails to impress

Valiyavan is a slow-paced, ordinary romantic comedy that intends to spread a message of patriotism against the backdrop of the special bond shared by a father and his grown up son, says S. Saraswathi

After the spectacular success of Engaeyum Eppothum, director M Saravanan and Jai have teamed up for the second time for a movie titled, Valiyavan.  Unfortunately, the film fails to create the same magic.  Valiyavan is just a slow-paced, ordinary romantic comedy that intends to spread a message of patriotism against the backdrop of the special bond shared by a father and his grown up son. 

The film has Andrea Jeremiah playing the female lead supported by comedy actor Bala Saravanan.

Vinoth (Jai) is a well-settled marketing executive from a decent family with loving parents.  He has no bad habits and this is emphasized by the director with an extremely lengthy scene that shows Vinoth repenting deeply after getting drunk for the first time.  The scene does have its fun moments, but is highly dramatized and stretches endlessly.

The lovely Andrea essays the role of Subhiksha, a bold, carefree, modern bank employee with her own BMW.  A lot of her time is spent on driving people around in her posh car.  The film opens with Subhiksha professing her love for Vinoth at a crowded subway. 

A surprised Vinoth does not take her seriously. But she is persistent, following him around until he falls madly in love with her.  The film now takes a surprise turn with Subhiksha claiming that she was just playing a big joke on him.  She narrates a flashback, when she was previously acquainted with a totally drunk Jai, who has absolutely no recollection of her. 

But Vinoth is determined to win her affections.  After a couple of fast-beat romantic tracks, Subhiksha relents on one condition.  She wants Vinoth to beat up Aswin, a champion boxer, and winner of an Olympic silver medal.  There is yet another over sentimental flashback that is a little too hard to digest. 

The film drags until the interval and you have no idea where it is heading until the last half hour, when the director decides to reveal the plot. 

The screenplay is weak and unconvincing and the execution ordinary.  It is only the lively performance of both Jai and Andrea that keeps you going.  Music by D. Imman is average, but the songs are well picturized.  Jai showcases his dancing skills and Andrea looks great in her glamorous avatar. 

Cinematography by Dinesh Krishnan also deserves a mention.  Though quite predictable, the climax is well shot.  Jai's six-pack is impressive and he does make a convincing boxer. 

But overall there is little in the film to keep you engaged.  The director has chosen an intense subject, but preferred to make it a light-hearted entertainer. Innumerable songs and melodramatic flashbacks mar the flow of the narrative.

Director M Saravanan's Valiyavan fails to impress, it is unworthy of the director who gave us the brilliant Engaeyum Eppothum.

Rediff Rating: