|Directed by||S. J. Suryaah|
|Produced by||S. S. Chakravarthy|
|Written by||S. J. Suryaah|
|Editing by||B. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
|Release dates||1 May 1999|
|Running time||159 minutes|
Vaali is a 1999 Tamil thriller film written and directed by S. J. Suryah. The film stars Ajith Kumar in a dual role with Simran appearing in another leading role. The supporting cast of the film include Jyothika in her debut venture, Livingston and Vivek. The film's music is composed by the music director, Deva while Jeeva was in charge of the cinematography. The film released on 1 May 1999 and went to become a commercial success as well as becoming critically acclaimed. This film ran for 210 days at the box office. This film is 3rd blockbuster in Ajith Kumar's career. Jyothika was supposed to act in the lead role played by Simran in the movie but as she was committed to the Hindi movie so she could act only in the 'sona' song.
In Hindu mythology, Vaali is the name of one of the monkey princes who has been blocked in a cave by his brother Sugreev by mistake and later marries his "widow" and the plot of the film too follows this legend. Deva (Ajith) and Shiva (Ajith) are the twins. Deva, the elder, is deaf and mute. But he is a genius, an expert at lip-reading and the head of a successful advertising company. Shiva loves and trusts his brother. Priya (Simran) wants to marry only someone who is an ex-smoker, an ex-drunkard and ditched by a girl but still pining for her. Learning this, Shiva invents an old romance between him and Sona (Jyothika) and finds his way into Priya's heart.
Deva meanwhile chances upon Priya and becomes obsessed with attaining her. His obsession continues even after his younger brother gets married to the girl of his dreams and he devises various means of getting close to Priya and keeping Shiva and her separated. Some of the methods Deva uses to woo Priya are masochistic (wounding his hand by the running car engine to stop the couple’s first night) and psychotic (trying to kill his brother in so many ways).
Priya realises the not-so-honorable intentions Deva has towards her but Shiva refuses to believe her and has full faith in his brother. He even goes as far as to take Priya to a psychiatrist. To get away from it all, Shiva and Priya go on a long-delayed honeymoon. But Deva shows up there too. Shiva watches Deva kissing the photo of Priya and realises Priya was right all along. While Shiva is away, Priya has to take care of Deva. Deva beats Shiva mercilessly, packs the unconscious Shiva in a gunny bag and throws him in a lorry.
Deva disguises himself as Shiva and goes near Priya. Priya comes to know he is Deva and escapes from him before shooting him with her revolver. Deva falls in pool and when Shiva comes she narrates the whole incident to him. Suddenly, Deva comes back to life, but Shiva immediately kills him with the revolver. Deva's soul talks about his inability to express his feeling as he was mute. His grave with lots of flowers grown on it is shown.
- Ajith Kumar as Deva & Shiva
- Simran as Priya
- Jyothika as Sona
- Vivek as Vicky
- Pandu as Velu Nair
- Radha Bai as Deva and Shiva's Grandmother
- Sujitha as Maheshwari
- Indhu as Geetha
- Rajeev as Geetha's husband
- Devipriya as Deepa
S. J. Suryaah had worked as an assistant director in Vasanth's Aasai which featured Ajith Kumar as well as working with him during the making of Ullaasam. Ajith asked Suryaah to prepare a good script and promised he would give him a chance to make his directorial debut. Subsequently the pair approached S. S. Chakravarthy, a producer, to make a film. Keerthi Reddy was announced to be the lead actress in the film in December 1997, though she was replaced by Simran before filming began. It had also been reported that Roja would play another role, although this proved to be untrue. Jyothika, sister of actress Nagma, made her debut in the film as an imaginary character, Sona, narrated by Ajith's character in which she won "Amudha Surabhi" Best Actress New Comer Award.
About the making of the film, Ajith mentioned that Vaali "was very close to my heart and I gave it everything I had", revealing that he had initially received a lot of bad publicity and scepticism for doing a dual role too early in his career.
The Deccan Herald described it as "definitely worth seeing" saying it "has something for all tastes — a pleasant love angle, some suspense, complex psychological nuances, good acting, pleasing songs" while praising Ajith's performance. The reviewer from Indolink.com labelled the film as "a classic in its own right", praising the performances of Ajith Kumar and Simran while describing Suryaah as "a new young director to the cine field who can make Tamil Cinema be proud once again". The New Indian Express labelled Simran's portrayal as "outstanding" while mentioning Suryah does a "fairly good job and succeeds".
It was later dubbed into Telugu as Vaali and Hindi as Vaalee, as a result of the success of the Tamil version. The film was remade in Kannada as Vaalee with Sudeep playing lead role. The film became a large commercial success and became a breakthrough film in Ajith Kumar's career and established him amongst the leading actors of Tamil films. Ajith Kumar's performance in the film saw him the Best Actor Award from Filmfare as well as the Cinema Express Award for Best Actor. Simran also won the Cinema Express Award for Best Actress as did Vivek for Best Comedian, while music director Deva picked up the award in his category.
|Soundtrack album by Deva|
|Released||April 18, 1999|
|Recorded||Jay Jay Studios Chennai|
|1.||"Gee Priya"||SP Balasubramanyam, Swarnalatha||04:50|
|2.||"Nilavai Konduva"||Unni Krishnan, Anuradha Sriram||04:48|
|3.||"Vaanil Kaayuthae"||Mano, Anuradha Sriram, Surya||04:01|
|4.||"April Maathathil"||Unni Krishnan, Harini||04:04|
|5.||"Sona Sona"||Hariharan, Ajith Kumar||05:05|
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