Monday, October 30, 2006

Vallavan


Love stories need to come from the heart to touch our hearts. The story(i.e. the romance) should take centrestage and make us care about the characters for a love story to work. That becomes almost impossible when you have a hero who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “low-key” and tries to upstage everything else in his quest to project himself as the next Rajnikanth. That’s Vallavan’s biggest problem though the weak screenplay and lackluster characterization share the credit for the film’s failure.

Its love at first sight for Valluvan(Simbhu) when he spots Swapna(Nayanthara) at the temple. Learning that she is a lecturer at his college and is 3 years older than him does nothing to dampen his feelings and he woos her. She reciprocates his feelings soon but turns out the age difference is a bigger issue for her. She breaks up with him and to make things worse, Valluvan’s past, in the form of his schoolmate Geetha(Reema), comes back to haunt him.

In Manmadhan and Thotti Jaya, Simbhu had conveyed the impression that he could cut down his mannerisms to suit the character. But here he is back in full finger-swishing, camera-mugging, philosophy-spouting, punch-dialog-mouthing mode. And it is intolerable. Particularly after Reema enters the picture, almost every sequence has him walking in slo-mo, reeling off long dialogs hyperactively or grinning condescendingly after throwing a challenge. Without another director to rein him in, he is completely over-the-top and frequently gets on our nerves. Not to mention his aping Rajnikanth at every given opportunity. From the dialog just before his introduction to morphing his face into Rajni’s, he leaves us in no doubt as to who he wants to be.

We’ve seen a number of romances run into problems because of ego, religion, caste, social status, etc. in Tamil cinema but this is one of the few times age is used as the stumbling block. That gives the romance some freshness but we soon realize that it is little more than a gimmick. Problems arise because of Nayanthara’s principles on the issue rather than any analysis of why the age difference might create problems. Simbhu also addresses the usual infatuation/love question by deglamorizing himself as he woos Nayanthara. This makes sense(and leads to the wonderful, remixed Kaadhal Vandhiruchu… song sequence) but the point when he reveals himself makes no sense considering his reason for putting on the disguise in the first place. But the above 2 touches to the romance, along with Santhanam’s one-liners and another couple’s activities, do keep us engaged.

The film then abandons the love story as Simbhu walks down memory lane to remember his romance with Reema in school. Absolutely nothing rings true in this romance and everything is extreme. Reema’s character is completely over-the-top but there is always the possibility that she is psychotic. Since this is a flashback, her behavior is acceptable as the setup for a strong female villain for Simbhu to go against. Simbhu bending over backwards to please her is what makes the whole thing unrealistic and totally unbelievable. Nobody would ever go through what Reema puts him through. And then he does a 180 and goes to the other, chauvinistic end of the scale so he can insult her.

In theory, the film’s pace should have picked up as Reema comes back from the past to clash with Simbhu. But the screenplay does not do a competent job, merely leading to a couple of weak confrontation scenes between the two. Padaiyappa and Neelambari, these two are not! The completely unnecessary and vulgar Ammaadi Aathaadi… (with T.Rajendar making an appearance at the end) too does its part to completely destroy the little tension there is.

Nayanthara looks great sometimes and a little too ordinary at other times and its her pottu that makes all the difference. Poor Reema… She initially looks pale and washed out in the attempt to look like a school girl. She makes us get over it with her performance in the flashback but then fails at that too as her acting becomes as over-the-top as her character after the flashback ends. Sandya hangs out with Simbhu a lot but barring one scene, has no impact on the story. Santhanam makes us laugh with one-liners delivered in his usual style.

Yuvan’s soundtrack supports the film well. Loosu Penne… is quite catchy and even its lyrics make sense in the context of the film. Nayanthara and Simbhu have a good time in Vallavaa…, another good duet. The Kaadhal Vandhiruchu… remix is well-placed and features some good choreography as Simbhu abandons his usual style and tries to dance clumsily. Both Hip Hip Hooray… and Podu Aattam Podu… look grand with the huge number of dancers on screen. Ammaadi Aathaadi… has some nifty visual touches but sounds and looks crass.

42 Comments:

At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simbu talks way 2 2 much!!, he probably needs a string of flops to keep his mouth shut :-)

 
At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

I'm not surprised (even more so, after I saw 'Thirai Vimarsanam' yesterday on Sun TV).. Could've easily guessed that crass, loud, eccentric, egotistic all ring true when it comes to Simbu.

So, maybe we can give A.J.Muruh(g)an some credit and claim that Manmadhan may have been directed by him and that may have very well been that film's saving grace.

I only hope that Thenappan doesn't end up like Salem Chandrasekar.. God help these producers! Won't they ever learn? :-(

 
At 12:15 AM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

http://www.putvote.com/article/show/31305

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, yes he does. actually everything he does seems like 2 much :)

sandya, yeah that seems likely considering how subdued simbhu was for most of that movie...

adapaavi, not sure what that means but if its a good thing, then thanx :)

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger Bart said...

The main problem with Vallavan is the superficial content and over-the-top characterizations. Probably only Sandhya's character is normal.
When there is a rich experience (in the hard way and/or on the good side), good reading/learning skills combined with creativity, we get meaningful, sensible outputs. Simbu possesses aping skills, weak/poor imagination combined with grandeurness in presentation which leads to only one output - Producer becomes a pauper.
I feel many of these new bunch chinna pasanga (Jyothikrishna is another) should leave the content part to experienced writers else it might spell doomsday to Tamil Cinema.
Music, song picturisations and Photography are the only plus points of the movie. Everything else more or less gets on your nerves. Overall, a must avoid movie.

 
At 4:00 AM, Blogger skanda said...

Alrite...many may not agree with me with this movie..the movie manage to entertain me partly... The first part of the movie was quite fun and youthful element was present throughout the movie...anyway i'm already used to Simbhu's over the top performance never really got to my nerves...but the second half of the film really bad...i was really lookin forward

i just cant help laughing seeing Simbhu as a schoolboy and even worst seeing Reema sen doing it...i dunt why had the feeling of watching two different movies...it sort of didint gel at all...it was so boring after that...just could not wait till the movie finishes..

 
At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've understood what Ada Paavi tried to say thru.this .
Is it so horrible that it will kill the viewers?Tell me what's your thenisai rating?(I've relied upon your ratings and saw 5 movies to which you gave 2.5 and above.3 of them were truly good.)Ada paavi is a 'PUNYATMA' if it's truly bad.

 
At 6:59 AM, Blogger Shailaja said...

Shimbu is rather a little chauvinist then a little superstar. Manmathan was his best performance but his worst movie. This movie seems to be the same.

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

Good review Balaji. Simbu can do some good films and can learn more in director aspect.
Actually I heard that the real director of manmathan is simbu.. But there he had his name only for story and screen play ion the title card. When compared to that, taking his name in director, he could have done it better, instead of doing the same story around the girls.

Simbu has a long way to reach his father's first directorial film performance.

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

Balaji, Eventhough Manmadhan got some good reviews, its producer went unknow after the bad collection. Because the production cost is more. Here vallavan seems to be bad at BO and considering the collection at BO, I hope PL thenappan may drop the Naan kadavul project which is not even completed the first schedule. Already for story discussion, bala spent morethan 2 crore and its a big question whether PL Thenappan will start that because of Vallavan's bad collection when compared its production cost.

 
At 8:55 AM, Anonymous ram said...

Manmathan was his best performance but his worst movie.

--> Shailaja, I am assuming you havent seen Alai, Kuththu and Kadhal Azhivadhillai!! Coz I still think Manmadhan is his best film and performance till date...havent seen Vallavan as yet...

BB, "kadhal vandhirichu remix"--> is it the one from Kalyanaraman? Please dont tell me that Simbu's tried to ape Kamal as well (in addition to Rajni) and that he tried to sport a bugs-bunny look!!!!

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

bart, nicely put. the grandeur in the presentation didn't match the personal nature of the story. but i'd also add nayan(barring in the song sequences) to the list of plus points :)

skanda, actually i do agree with u. i too said the 1st half was engaging even if it wasn't substantive. but simbhu did irritate me much more than in his other movies and the second half was a big bore...

ganesh, the 2nd half could kill viewers just by boredom :)

shailaja, "little chauvinist" lol. good one :) but i too think 'manmadhan' was his best movie so far inspite of the chauvinism...

karthik, yeah thatll be really bad if we lose out 'naan kadavul' because of this crappy movie!!

ram, yeah its the one from 'kalyanaraman'. i liked it though since it fit well into the movie and he doesn't really ape kamal. he just used the character to describe his look(yep, bugs bunny and thick glasses too).

 
At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Shwetha said...

Check this Reema sen interview where she blasts Simbu for giving her a raw deal in Vallavan and turning it completely into a different end product fm where it started! http://sify.com/movies/tamil/interview.php?cid=2408

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous ram said...

My friend and I chatted abt this...he said that there's a line in Vallavan which goes, "nee Ambani ponna kalyanam panni thaan periya aalaava...aana, naan oru ponna kalyanam panni Ambani aaven"...both of us instantly said that it definitely is yet another cheap attack on Danush (like the one he had in Manmadhan)...what do u guys think?

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger vicknes_pd_malaysia said...

thanks 4 the link swetha...
hope simbu would not direct any more movies after this....this guy really thinks that he is god's gift to cinema world ...and that he is someone special....Crap...

 
At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Simbu is in cinefield is in itself a crass reminder of what Tamil cinema has become.

Barring a few genuine artistes - I use this term here reservedly - who actually see acting / movies as art forms, for many it is just a vehicle for money & stardom. Aesthetics is never part of the equation and the sad fact is that characters like Simbu (and the likes) are probably here to stay. Perhaps it is a good thing - for to appreciate the good we need the crap.But it the crap that mostly hogs the limelight!

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger vicknes_pd_malaysia said...

And Ram,
I agree with u...
it's definitely another cheap attack on Dhanush....dunno y he still want to attack Dhanush since Dhanush's popularity seems to be all time low now after series of flops and can't be considered as a threat anymore unlike few years back....
Hope sumone can wrestle away the "Junior Superstar" tag from Simbhu soon...then only he will keep his mouth shut:)

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

The fight between Dhanush and Simbu is not anyway related to their profession. Its like M.R.Radha and MGR fight :-}

There is another dialogue targeting Kamal in the movie I guess, something related to Vettaiayadu Villayadu.. Kamal must have laughed his a** off after hearing that.

God save Simbu. Pls make him shorter by 3 ft so that he acts in movies like *Bannari Amman*, *Pottu Amman* as child star.

 
At 9:08 PM, Anonymous ram said...

Srivatsan, vendaam...neenge soneenge "God save Simbu"-nu...Pottu Amman, Bannari Amman-laam nadichaa...apram, who'll save the Gods?! :-) can see Simbhu acting in Pottu Amman and spouting the following line:

heyyy, mathavan bittu adichaa indha simbu pottu adipaan...come on come on amman amman simbhu is a mega sumban!

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger skanda said...

Well Simbhu and SJ Suryah can be put in the same boat..both are a loud, egoistic and self centered maniacs...if this two ever do a movie together what would it ever become...they came close working together in "AC"...

 
At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another attack on Danush was when Simbu in the movie said after getting dumped by Reema that he won't go to the police or lawyers to complain about getting dumped and file a lawsuit like "others".

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger mitr_bayarea said...

Balaji-

Unlike a few comments, I totally detest Simbu. Can't stand his over-action and lengthy dialogues for each and everything, guy wants to emulate Thalaivar openly, but he is far from getting anywhere closer to Rajini's popularity. Atleast, he can learn a few good things from Thalaivar-like being humble and not talking too much.

 
At 11:23 PM, Blogger mysorean said...

You have missed out on mentioning the open potshots he has taken targeting S.J.Suryah.

 
At 5:41 AM, Blogger Shailaja said...

Ram, yes you are right, I haven’t seen one of these movies completely. I switched of Kadhal Azhivadhillai after 20 min.

Balaji, I hate the story in Manmathan. For me is the story decisive to like a movie.

All the commentaries sound interesting abt targeting other persons in the movie. Will think abt watching this movie ;)

 
At 8:24 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

well, to be concise, Vallavan is yet another proof that Simbhu carries quite a bit of T.Rajendhar's genes :-)

 
At 3:57 PM, Anonymous ram said...

i watched vallavan...i agree with u that the movie's pretty decent for the first hour or so...for me the biggest problem with the movie was NOT Simbu the actor; it was Simbu the screenplay writer...so many scenes are scarcely believable...the characterizations are pretty horrible...worst are reema's and nayantara's...while ppl are harping on reema's ridiculous make-up and over-the-top performance, i felt that even nayantara (though looking drop-dead gorgeous) didnt have a great character...she's shown to be pretty strong and clear in her values but then her "love pallan, hate vallavan...i love vallavan because i love pallan" logic seemed pretty silly! and, as always u have the soaplaanki maaple who's helpless as the girl goes back to her lover!
there was this one scene that put me off pretty badly...its the morning after simbhu and nayantara have sex...sorry sorry, after they "made love" in simbu's words...the lines that simbu utters (even if it was all "just for fun!") were soooooo cheap...

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all we know, the guy may have had aspirations to be an actor - in admiration of his father's "distinguished" career as the gallant leading man. If Kamal is aspiring to fill Sivaji & Rajini for MGR, thereafter Vijay to take over Rajini & perhaps Surya / Ajith to replace Kamal, then Simbu is godsend to take over from - GOD FORBID - T Rajendar!!!

 
At 11:36 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

The problem for Simbu is there are no such *God Father Directors* to tap him on his head and ask him to just shut his mouth and act. First we have to belter these producers for giving so much room to this idiot.

Mr.Simbu if you want to make your own shit (sorry *movie*) do it with your own money, like Kamal did with Virumandi and Mumbai Express invest ur money and direct
whatever u want!!.

 
At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's baffling is the fact that there are fans rooting for him! That's a travesty in itself...plus willing producers who pump in the moolah in return for , hopefully, mass collections at the box office.

Only if real talent counts for anything in Kollywood...:}

 
At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have stayed away from watching this movie because i could not stand his boasting and projecting himself in Saravana(in the 1 hour that i watched of that movie. I laughed and enjoyed reading all the comments above. I hope Simbu is forced to stay away from movies and come back only if he assures to behave in a sane manner.

 
At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's baffling is the fact that there are fans rooting for him! That's a travesty in itself...plus willing producers who pump in the moolah in return for , hopefully, mass collections at the box office.

Producers may not be willing to give Simbu Vallavan-sized budgets for his films anymore, given its performance at the BO. We've all read the reports of the lengthy production and the spiraling budgets. And what did it amount to?

 
At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's even more infuriating is his audacious mockery in taking on Rajni & Kamal, spewing convoluted lines & exaggerated gestures clearly engaging his targets deliberately.

Must be the TR genes - what else can be that revolting!

 
At 1:38 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Talking abt Dhanush..thats what he does in all his films.

BTW I feel Pudhupettai is a v.good film compared to this shit. Dhanush if he keeps acting in his brother's direction will surpass this idiot soon.

 
At 2:24 AM, Blogger Shailaja said...

Srivatsan You're absolutly right. I didn't liked Pudhupettai though its 1000 times better then Vallavan. Also Dhanush is the better actor. It's a pity that his Films are not running well.

Balaji: I would have given only a half Star ;) And thats only for the music.

 
At 6:07 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Guys,

Happy news, Simbu to stay off direction for next 3 yrs :))

Great news for Tamil Film Industry

Rgds,
Srivatsan

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read this on india glitz today:
"On his son Silambarasan’s Vallavan, a proud father, Rajendhar said, ‘considering his age, he has done a tremendous job wielding the megaphone. It has collected good revenue. A Hollywood production house has urged Silambarasan to do a movie for them’."

what is the world coming to!!!:(

San

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That has got to be the farce of the year - Hollywood inviting Simbu!!

But then again, coming from Mr Audacious himself, it has got to be that much "true"...

Watch out Hollywood..here comes our very best Kollywood has to offer...

 
At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read an article :

http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/article/26691.html

Obviously Simbu's got aplenty of the TR genes - what else could possibly be reason enough to spout utter nonsense. TR's gloat that he still does leading man roles should sum his own infatuation with himself (maybe, add his son to that as well).

Ever wondered on what basis he qualifies as "leading man"? Seen his hairdo, stubble (strangely full black with a headful of brown), rotund frame & choice of wardrobes. Now that's something you can only find in Kollywood!

Like father like son...Simbu's got a great living legend as a role model(!!)

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Visit:

http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/gallery/Movies/1/7241.html

for glimpse of the next sexiest man alive!

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous aishwaraya rai its reely me said...

fuck off nayathaaaaaaaaaaraaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


u know u canttttt beat asin because everyone in canada voted asin a tamil queen.

and know one here cares if ur wit simbu. i mean like everyone hates him here so why dont u stop harrassing asin and go sleep wit ur lover simbu and LEAVE ASIN ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to above asin-fan,
stop your childish wailing

when has ur a-sin proven herself in a mature role?

Nayan never disturbed a-sin and hope she gets a break from all her downs n secures another matured role like her very first role in 'ayya'

 
At 2:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

even though danush is rajni's maapilai, he never exploited it, imitated or compared himself to his dad-in-law, all of which chimpu does!

 

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