|Directed by||S. J. Surya|
|Produced by||S. S. Chakravarthy|
|Written by||S. J. Surya|
M. S. Prabhu
|Edited by||B. Lenin|
V. T. Vijayan
|30 April 1999|
Vaali is a 1999 Indian Tamil-language romantic thriller film written and directed by S. J. Surya making his directorial debut and was produced by S. S. Chakravarthy under production company Nic Arts. The film stars Ajith in a double role with Simran in the lead role. Vivek, Pandu and Livingston in supporting roles. A modern-day fictional adaptation of the legend of Vali from the Ramayana, it tells the story of Deva and Shiva, two identical twin brothers, with Deva being deaf and dumb. When Shiva marries his sweetheart Priya, Deva becomes obsessed with and lusts for Priya.
Surya who was assisting Vasanth in Aasai (1995) approached Ajith to do a film under his direction if he had a good script. Simran was selected as the lead actress after attempts to sign Keerthi Reddy and Roja had failed. The soundtrack was composed by Deva and lyrics were written by Vairamuthu with songs like "Oh Sona" and "April Madhathil" becoming popular. The cinematography was handled by Jeeva while the editing was done by the duo of B. Lenin and V. T. Vijayan.
The film was released on 30 April 1999 to positive reviews from critics for direction of S. J. Suryah along with the performances of Ajith and Simran. The film became a commercial success at box-office.
Deva and Shiva (both played by Ajith) are 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 someone who is an ex-smoker, ex-drunkard, and who got ditched by a girl but is pining for her. Learning this, Shiva, with the help of his friend Vicky (Vivek), invents an old romance between him and Sona (Jyothika), and finds his way into Priya's heart.
Meanwhile, Deva chances upon Priya and lusts for her. His obsession continues even after his 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 Priya's photo and realizes that she 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 tries to seduce Priya. Priya comes to know that he is Deva and escapes from him before shooting him with her revolver. Deva falls in the 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 as Deva and Shiva, the twin brothers[a]
- Simran as Priya
- Jyothika as Meena (Sona)
- Vivek as Vicky, salesman and Shiva's friend
- Sujitha as Sheela, Deva and Shiva's sister
- Radha Bai as Deva and Shiva's grandmother
- Rathan as Priya's father
- N. Mathrubootham as Dr. Mathrubootham
- Pandu as Velu Nair, broker
- Indhu as Uma, Priya's friend
- Rajeev as Uma's husband
- G. Marimuthu
- Devipriya as Sudha, Deva's assistant
- Thadi Balaji as Aadhimoolam, Vicky's patient
- Livingston in a guest appearance
S. J. Surya 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.
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.
Vaali received A certificate from Central Board of Film Certification. 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 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 Surya does a "fairly good job and succeeds". Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan dated 16 May 1999 appreciated the film by giving 45 marks and mentioned "Director SJ Suryah established his stamp of film-making in his very first film by taking up a straight line story with an engaging screenplay and realistic dialogues. Ajith has done a fantastic job in dual role and Simran also proved that she can act". New Straits Times praised Simran's mind blowing performance.
The film was later dubbed into Telugu with the same name. The film was remade in Kannada as Vaalee by S. Mahendar starring Sudeep in the lead role. Vaali was remade into Hindi as Sheesha where the wife has a same-face sister.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||18 April 1999|
|Label||Sony Music India|
The soundtrack was composed by Deva and lyrics were written by Vairamuthu. The song "Sona Sona" is based on "Susanna" by VOF de Kunst, and "Where Do I Begin?", the theme to Love Story composed by Francis Lai.
|1.||"Sona Sona"||Hariharan, Ajith, Febi Mani||6:03|
|2.||"Gee Priya"||SP Balasubramanyam, Swarnalatha||5:28|
|3.||"Nilavai Konduva"||Unni Krishnan, Anuradha Sriram||6:05|
|4.||"Vaanil Kaayuthae"||Mano, Anuradha Sriram||6:27|
|5.||"April Maathathil"||Unni Krishnan, Harini||5:28|
|Track list (Telugu)|
|1.||"Sona Sona"||Bhuvana Chandra||Hariharan, Srinivasa Murthy, Savitha Reddy||6:04|
|2.||"Holalla Holalla"||Bhuvana Chandra||SP Balasubramanyam, Swarnalatha||5:31|
|3.||"Ningine Dinchna"||Siva Ganesh||Unni Krishnan, Anuradha Sriram||6:04|
|4.||"Vayyaraala Aa Vennela"||Siva Ganesh||Mano, Anuradha Sriram||6:23|
|5.||"April Maasamlo"||Bhuvana Chandra||Unni Krishnan, Harini||5:28|
- Ajith Kumar is credited as "Ajith" in the film.
- Ajith noted Surya's grit during the sh sh Aasai
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