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Saturday 15 June 2024
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Valla Desam Movie Review

A woman is shot at and her daughter kidnapped by an international gang of arms dealer. Who is this woman and how does she fight back to save her daughter — and her nation?

Movie Review: When Valladesam begins, we hear the voice of a woman dialling emergency and saying that she has been shot at. This is Anu (Anu Hasan), who has come to the UK with her husband and daughter Anjali. As she makes her recovery, the search for Anjali (Akarshana) is on, but with little luck. And, Anu decides to take matters into her own hands and starts going after the men who have kidnapped her daughter, men who belong in the gang of most wanted international arms dealer David (David Yuvarajan). Meanwhile, David is trying to find out the spy sent by the Indian army to the UK to decimate him.

Valladesam aspires to be a tense spy thriller, but falls short in both the writing and making. The director has the pieces — a spy, a fearsome don, a life in danger, a revelation, a covert op, an international setting… However, he doesn’t make the right moves. The writing is sub-standard even for a genre film. The portions involving Anu’s family, which should make us care about their fate, are indifferently staged, making them feel perfunctory. Even the revelation, which is a clever subversion of gender stereotypes, is ineffectively staged, and later, whatever such a twist holds for female empowerment becomes an overkill, as the ‘message’ is conveyed in overwrought fashion. And the climax becomes an unintentionally funny one, with both Anu and David engaging in a monologuing contest.

Visually, the outdoors shots of the UK locales prove to be more interesting, but even here, the visuals are hyper-edited to within an inch of their life that it becomes a strain on the eyes after some time. Anu Hasan tries her best, but when most of the cast (apart from Nasser) comprises a bunch of non-actors, it becomes hard to read into her performance. It is left to the music director LV Muthukumarasamy to inject some tension into the proceedings, and he tries to do that with wall-to-wall music, but that isn’t enough to make the film seem exciting.

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