Valmiki is a film about what passion can mean to different people. This film is a fine work of art by the Director Harish Shankar who manages to capture the essence of the human emotion in a smooth story telling flow. This is a Telegu version of the previous Tamil hit film ‘Jigarthanda’ which was much loved by both the public and the critics alike.
While the movie is not your regular ‘pop-corn’ entertainment, this is also its main selling point. The movie has a dark undertone to it and is clearly observed in the in every picture frame. The story is unique in its approach, as it talks about a filmmaker Abhi who is played well by the very handsome Atharvaa Murali. Abhi is in search of a story which will evoke the deepest emotions of the human psyche. He is a filmmaker who inspires to make a difference to the world of Cinema and wants a thought-provoking story. To do this he understands that he needs to tell a story which has never been told. He wishes to touch a genre where he can portray the protagonist as the negative character altogether. Thus, begins his search for the perfect story and his much-desired muse.
Finally, he does finds his much-needed film story in a Gangster called Gaddalakonda Ganesh, played immaculately by the very talented Varun Tej. Also known as Gani, this gangster is fear walking on two feet and has an ‘iron-fist’ control over his area of influence. This gangster is so dreaded and feared that just the mention of his name is enough to get anyone to tremble with fright. Varun Tej does the perfect justice to his character by bringing forth the much-required dark shades that are expected to be shown on screen. Though some of the scenes are gruesome, it is a must-watch to see Gani go into a maniac laughter spree or when he stares ‘blankly’ through his kohl-rimmed eyes and the trademark scar that runs along the side of his cheekbones.
To get his story Abhi befriends the Bujjamma, who is the daughter of the cook who works for Gani. Their scenes of romance are filled with the right amount of flirt and passion when required. Mrinalini Ravi, who plays the character of Bujajamma with the right blend of naivete and charm, manages to confuse the audience by making one feel that she sometimes wants to be ‘fooled’ by Abhi and knows it all the while that he is faking his love for her. The very beautiful Pooja Hegde delivers the talent that is expected out of her and the screen time given to her are power-packed, yet subtle. Ayaka Bose provided the smoothness through his cinematography to this otherwise ‘rough’ film and some scenes are simply art.
The star of the film is Varun Tej, who not only commands the kind of attention that his character gets but also leaves you thinking about him long after the credits roll by after the movie ends. Abhi played by Murali has the right kind of ‘street-smart’ body language which his character requires, as he makes hi way into the carefully guarded world of the gangster.
Music of the film is good if not great and hits the right cord where required. Numbers such as ‘Gaganaa’ is both breezy and lovable while ‘Jarra Jarra’ is a more hard-hitting song which brings about the beats characteristic of the movies’ theme. Watch ‘Valmiki’ if like the filmmaker Abhi you wish for a story which is so different that it is almost unbelievable.