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Times of India
Synopsis: A man who has difficulty in choosing between two girls for his life partner approaches a psychiatrist for help.
Review: Timing is important for comedy, and Valeba Raja, which was launched with the cast of Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya immediately after the success of that film, has been rather unfortunate on even with respect to its release. This much-delayed film has finally hit screens this week but the humour feels dated today. And even if we can offer such an excuse for its datedness, there can be no excuse for the sub-par writing. Even Santhanam isn't the comic force that he was in 2013.
The actor plays Dr Valeba Raja (Santhanam), a sought-after psychiatrist, who chooses Karthik (Sethu), a young man who has trouble making choices (he is so indecisive even if it is only choosing between gulab jamun and rasgulla), as his 'patient of the day'. Karthik's current dilemma is this: should he marry Sweety (Nushrat Bharucha), the north Indian girl he has been after for two years, or choose Shaalu (Vishakha Singh), the girl whom his parents have chosen for him and whom he has started getting attracted to?
Ramnath uses this set-up to narrate events that had happened months earlier. It sounds fairly engaging but these scenes are neither comic or dramatic and remain flat. We feel nothing while watching them and that's the trouble here. Even the scenes involving Santhanam are been-there-seen-that. But the main issue is that of the central casting. Sethu is not a charismatic presence and we never warm up to Karthik as much as we should for the film to work. Some bits work — like the use of scenes from Poove Unakkaga and Amarkalam for the film's climax (which also serve as the mandatory nods to Vijay and Ajith), and the casting of VTV Ganesh in the role of a settu! But beyond that, we remember nothing once we walk out of the theatre.