Rating: 3-1/2 stars

A classic in its own right! Just that it is difficult to believe that Vaali comes from a new young director to the cine field. Tamil Cinema can be proud once again. It has truly been quite sometime since the tamil silver screen has seen such a great blend of comedy, drama, sarcasm and masala. But beware, if you did not like Aasai, it is highly doubtful, you will like Vaali.

In one line, "Thou shall not covet thy brother's wife." Ajeethkumar dons a double role, one as a deaf and dumb elder brother Deva and the other as a "happy-go-lucky, let's-reel-vittufy-for-a-living" younger brother Shiva. Simran enters each of their lives in different ways (with the two brothers not knowing of each other's contact with Sims tills a few scenes before the younger Ajeeth's-Sims' wedding!). The second half of the film stands as a testament to Ajeeth's and Simran's great acting skills and the elder Ajeeth's twisted methods of stalking Simran. For the first time, the critics have not tried to fool us with their reviews. Ajeethkumar has indeed shown us his suya roobam as a talented actor, not only as the gum chewing veri-pidicha Deva, but also as the childish, fun-loving Shiva. A Ajeethkumar in "Vaalee"well-deserved HATS OFF to Ajeeth!. Obviously, Simran has again taken off her clothes as "kavarchi kanni," but for the first time, she has taken off her "show doll" mask with a powerful performance as Priya. A special THUMBS UP to Simran for her portrayal, especially during the scene at Dr. Matrubutham's psychiatric office. Vivek creates huge ripples in the audience with his comedy while Livingston (in a guest role!) is very impressive as a guy hugging a tree as Sims dumps him.  Jothika is definitely pleasing (visually at least!) in the 'telephone' scene on the boat.

Mr. Venki, a small request, please take a look at the work done in the graphics department in Jeans on the Prasanth twins. For some reason, one Ajeethkumar looks like he has been washed and rinsed in "Ujaala" and the other in "another" whitener. Please rectify this before your next film. A salute to Jeeva for his cinematography which we haven't seen in tamil cinema in a while. Deva has lovtti-fied parts of A.R.Rahman's Bombay background score and cut-&-paste it in this film. April Maadhaththil and Sona Sona sound good on the screen. Save yourselves the misery of hearing the songs on audio tape. "Vaali & Sugreevan" will be happy to see this version of their story on screen :-). I am sure you will be too! :-)

Sandya Krishna

Original Photograph (Vaali): Audio Cassette insert
Photograph scanned & reworked by: Sandya