After Engeyum Eppothum, director Saravanan and Jai are back with Valiyavan, which is a movie made of love + comedy + sentiment + revenge + melodrama + 5 songs + message + 1/2 kg pepper + 1/4 kg salt and a bit of garam masala. A neat commercial 'masala' film that would satisfy a majority of the movie goers, who might not care about logic and story as such. Saravanan is good in providing clean entertainment, with not much boring scenes and suddenly induces a twist, which brings a moral message along with it.
Valiyavan is basically a love story. There will be a moment in everyone's life, when they would feel weak and a weird feeling that you cant even protect your loved ones slowly creeps in. The only way forward is to get stronger and face it. That's what you do but why you do it also matters. You can do it for your girlfriend, or you could do it for your family. What if you have 2 reasons to become stronger. Valiyavan deals with those subtle nuances in life.
There is no concrete story but I liked the screenplay, though it looked patchy with some lengthy flashbacks. It was entertaining and kept the audience engaged, except I didn't like the songs placement. I would like to call this as 'plug & play' screenplay. Saravanan takes bits of the later scenes and plugs it into the present. Sounds good but that leaves you with a lot of flashbacks and you will lose track of the timeline. There were no major dragging moments except the routine 2nd half romantic song and 3 songs in first half. This is a curse to Tamil cinema.
Love scenes were not properly written. Character development, especially the villian was weak. The screenplay goes back and forth but looks coherent and the director connects the dots in the end. But last 20 mins looked rushed. Before that, 20 mins were melodramatic and 20 minutes before that was a flashback. So only in the 2nd half the director starts to give a logical reasoning but does that in a haste. The director took an eternity to get into the base plot, which happens only in the 2nd half. But once he does that, we feel it was better when he stayed away from it.
Editing compliments the screenplay quite well and the first half zooms to the interval. Cuts were neat and tight. One song too many, that's the only issue. Runtime is bearable but the 2nd half drags a bit but the climax finishes of on a high. Cinematography was pretty good. The framing, the lights, the angles were good, if not great. Music by Imman is a mixed bag. The BGM is cool but the songs are not that catchy. Climax BGM really lifts the scene to a new level.
Casting wise its good. Poor guy, Jai always gets taller heroines. But Jai and Andrea looked good together but lacked chemistry. He has definitely improved and did try to emote and act a bit. But still I feel he tries to imitate a lot of big stars. He still needs to improve on his emotional side. He has also pumped up his body for the film and gets an opportunity to show off. Andrea looked good, and good is an understatement. Her dressing style was commendable. She drives the story and has got a major scope for performance and did a pretty decent job. Bala Saravanan takes care of the comedy portions along with Jai and the duo provided some comic relief, which fills the first half.
Valiyavan is a decent love/revenge based film, which is pretty entertaining in bits and pieces. It engages the audience while in the theatre. But once you step out, you will forget. There are not many scenes that you would take it home. Even the boxing scenes seem really good on screen but it does not inspire you to become a boxer. For a change, the villain looked equally competitive but his character limited to last 15 mins of the film. The climax looked clichéd. It follows a regular pattern. The hero gets kicked and oozes blood but suddenly he gets up and whacks the villian and becomes a winner. Valiyavan, 1st half breezy, a bit of story in the 2nd half and finishes off in style and a message as a bonus for you. Give it a shot