At a time when commercial cliches rule the roost in the southern film industry, debutant director G. Anantha Narayanan has tried his hand at an emotional pot-boiler in Valmiki based on an off-beat theme.
Narayanan, a former associate of director Shankar, who is known for mega budget extravaganzas, has ensured that no shades of his mentor`s style reflect in his work.
Produced by Vikatan Talkies, Valmiki is a tale of a young wayward youth, who gets reformed. The title probably takes its inspiration from saint Valmiki, who wrote the great epic Ramayana. Valmiki was said to have been a robber earlier in his life but later reformed.
The movie is about Pandi (Akil), born and brought up in a Chennai slum. An orphan, he makes a living robbing others. His jovial ways win him the admiration of many. He comes across a good samaritan for Vandhana (Meera Nandan), who runs a cr?e. She is committed to helping others.
One day, Pandi saves Vandhana from a lunatic (Badava Gopi). They begin to meet each other often and soon Vandhana develops a soft corner for Pandi.
Pandi, fearing that he might lose the friendship of Vandana, hides the fact that he is a robber.
Vandhana, however, comes to know about his profession. She vows to reform Pandi, but succeeds in her mission only after a disaster.
Akil, who burst onto the scene with Kallori, has done a decent job. Meera Nandan reminds one of Nadhiya. Despite the fact that her character is cliched, her spontaneous expressions deserve a mention. Newcomer Devika impresses.
Ilayaraja`s music remind of his earlier ones. A couple of songs, however, sound good and fit into the story perfectly. His background score lifts the narrative in many places.
Though Valmiki manages to sustain interest in parts, a sense of dej?u does prevail all through.
In short, Valmiki begins with promise but fizzles out post-interval.