: Vinayan and Sreedevi are in love and playing the expected spoilsport is her dad, Bhagavan. Set in the eighties, the retro-themed movie also has a theatre named Sreedevi Talkies as its cornerstone.
: Malayalis love all things vintage, and their movies and music in the eighties. Debutante Rishi Sivakumar's Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti wears its affection for that bygone era on its sleeve. The film has its story set in the colourful past, probably to bank on nostalgia and also to up its 'variety' quotient. But as you watch the movie, you feel that the considerable work put into its clothes and decor takes precedence over the film's script, flow and entertainment value.
Vinayan (Kunchacko Boban) is first named Prem Nazir by his dad, smitten by movies and stars, only to be re-christened Vinayachandran later by his miffed mom. He loves money-lender Bhagavan's daughter Sreedevi, who happens to be his childhood sweetheart. Parallel to the romance plot is featured the plight of an age-old theatre named Sreedevi Talkies.
Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti has a few perky moments and does attempt new styles of narration, but it never really convinces, with too many sub plots meshed into the story. Often, the tale looks like a tool used to drift between songs and dance sequences. The movie tries to have some high jinks, and its eighties references are supposed to be funny and heartening, but there is hardly any laughter arising from the brainy, situational humour. The eighties setting also feels stylistically pointless as it doesn't do much to help the film - except when some hearts swell when the clips from Kunchacko Boban's debut movie Aniyathipravu are shown.
Within the movie's constraints, Kunchacko Boban gives a decent performance. Shamlee, who has played brilliant characters in numerous movies during her childhood, has not brought out her best in this movie. Her lip syncing and dialogues do not complement well at many instances, and her wide eyed (and mouthed!) portrayal of naive innocence also gets monotonous through frames. The title, which was a tad intriguing, also translates into nothing substantial in the story.
The director can be lauded for not trying to follow the beaten path in his first project but that sadly hasn't translated into making the movie an interesting watch.