Debutant G Anantha Narayanan a former associate of director Shankar, who is known for mega budget extravaganzas, has tried his hand on a new theme set in a realistic backdrop.
Vaalmiki is a tale of a young wayward youth, who gets reformed in his life.
The movie is about Pandi (Akhil), born and brought up in a Chennai slum. An orphan, he makes a living robbing others. He comes across Vandhana (Meera Nandan), who runs a crèche. She is committed to help others.
Pandi happens to save Vandhana from a lunatic (Badava Gopi). They meet each other often and soon Vandhana develops a soft corner for Pandi. Vandhana comes to know about Pandi’s profession. Trouble erupts between them. She however vows to reform Pandi, but succeeds in her mission only after a disaster.
In the meantime, we also have Kanaka (Devika), a flower vendor, who is impressed by Pandi. She gets deceived by his love for Vandhana.
Akhil, who debuted in Kallori, has put up a decent show. He fits the role of a slum boy with appropriate body language and diction. Though Meera Nandan’s character is clichéd, her performance is pleasing. Newcomer Devika passes muster.
Ilayaraja’s background score ads value to the movie. A couple of songs have come out well.
Vaalmiki sustains interest in parts but the predictable twists and clichéd characters spoil the entire show. Despite choosing a different background, Narayanan hasn’t created new characters and sequences.