Amid the posh metro cityscape, there lies a Kochi unknown and unfamiliar to many, the underbelly where people are surviving, rather living. That's from where the story of Valiyaperunnal begins.
The plot develops through driver Sivakumar (donned by Joju George), who needs money to pay off his debt. During one of his trips, a group of masked youngsters attack him. The attackers' aim was to loot the gold from three passengers in Sivakumar's cab. The story then moves on to unearthing the attackers and the looted jewellery. Another plot of Ashkar Salaudhin aka Akkar and his love interest Pooja (played by Himika Bose) runs parallelly to the main story. Pooja, a Gujarati settled in Kochi, runs a dance troop along with Akkar. Though both are madly in love with each other, Pooja's parents are against this alliance. It so happens that the cops investigating Sivakumar's case find a connection with Akkar and his gang of friends. The hurdles Akkar and his gang face with and how they try to find themselves out of the case take the coming-of-the-age movie forward.
It must be said that it is not the story, but the treatment that makes this film standout. If you look deeper at the plot development and narrative, one can see that it does not have a typical story pattern of a beginning and ending as in a conventional movie, yet that, there are many other reasons, what makes it brilliant.
The realistic and raw approach make Valiyaperunnal as if you are-watching-life-as-it-happens narrative. Writers Dimal Dennis and Thasreeq Abdul Salam offers an extremely engaging visualisation from beginning till the end. It is only by the climax scene that we get to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of the real culprits in the case.
The courtroom and police station scenes are nothing new to Mollywood, but the way it has been presented is indeed refreshing. The makers have tried to deliver a statement and it is clearly visible in the arguments in the script. How characters transformed over a period of time is also shown in a catchy and smart way in this movie. The sub-plots may be confusing in the first half which is covered up in the second.
Coming to performances, one cannot help but applaud Shane Nigam's sincere effort in portraying the layered character. There is undeniably a potential matinee idol in Shane and Valiyaperunnal requires him to give a chiselled performance and he does a good job. The other notable presences in the film are the pretty and charismatic Himika Bose and Joseph fame actor James Eliya as an unpleasant cop. Picking names of the new faces would indeed be tough task but a special mention for the team in making use of actor Captain Raju in the best manner. For the uninitiated, Valiyaperunnal is Captain Raju's last movie. It's amusing to see the cameo of Soubin Shahir and Vinayakan.
In the narration of an event from multiple points of view, Valiyaperunnal is helped by some clever editing at the hands of Vivek Harshan and Suresh Rajan's seamless cinematography, especially in the climax fight sequences. The duration may be a tiresome affair for few with too many characters failing to register. But that is kept to join the dotted lines by the climax.
The director has also used Rex Vijayan’s music and sound team very effectively, balancing the emotional aspect of the characters.
Despite numerable fight sequences, one cannot call Valiyaperunnal as a gangster flick, rather the predominant emotion here is the family sentiments itself. Films like Valiyaperunnal happen in Mollywood very rarely and with the year closing in, the film is right up there.