H Vinoth’s Valimai aspires to be a lot of things. On one hand, it wants to be a slick action-drama, Mission Impossible-style. It also wants to house deep ideological conflicts. But it also doesn’t completely let go of its commercial roots. So while we have grand, high-octane stunt pieces where guns and tech are free-flowing, we also have celebratory dance numbers and an over-emphatic need to deliver ‘messages’ to the audience. Valimai tries to use the best of both worlds but ends up being a kitsch combination of sensibilities.
You know the White Saviour Trope in Hollywood—when a white male swoops in to protect people of colour while achieving an epiphany? In the Indian context, we have our parallel to the ‘male saviour’ trope. We have seen this so many times, across formats. Even if a woman character were skilled, a man always steps in to ‘save the day’ at the same thing she is more equipped in. Remember when Vijay steps beside Andrea in Master to fire an arrow? Or Chakra, where despite being a police officer herself, Gayathri (Shraddha Srinath) needs Chandru (Vishal) to ‘save her’?