In the quaint village of Bandanarsampalli, a whimsical tale unfolds – “Valatty: Tale of Tails,” a delightful adventure-comedy romance that beckons audiences into the enchanting world of canine camaraderie. Directed and written by the creative mind of Devan Jayakumar and brought to life by the esteemed Friday Film House, this 2023 Indian Malayalam-language film promises a cinematic experience like no other.
At the core of “Valatty” lies a unique distinction – it proudly claims to be the first Indian film to feature real dogs as actors, eschewing the virtual realm of VFX. The narrative takes a heartwarming journey through the lives of our four-legged protagonists, voiced by a stellar ensemble including Roshan Mathew, Raveena Ravi, Soubin Shahir, Sunny Wayne, Indrans, and Aju Varghese.
Meet Tomy, a lovable Golden Retriever owned by Roy, whose heart takes a leap into the world of romance when he falls for Amalu, a charming Cocker Spaniel belonging to the neighboring Brahmin family headed by Swamy. The innocent love between Tomy and Amalu sets the stage for a series of adventures, pitfalls, and heartwarming encounters.
The narrative weaves a tapestry of emotions as the dogs navigate through their journey, encountering an eclectic mix of characters in the form of fellow animals and humans. From Tomy’s friend, the wise rooster Poovan, to the indomitable street food vendor Sumathi and her spirited Indie dog, Haridas (Karidas)—each character contributes to the vibrancy of the story.
As Tomy and Amalu elope, seeking refuge from societal norms, they befriend a Labrador with a tale to tell and a Rottweiler named Bruno, whose past is scarred by illegal dog fighting. The trio embarks on a quest to rescue Amalu when she gets captured by a nefarious plot orchestrated by Narendradas Karanavar, an industrialist running an unauthorized drug trial facility.
The plot thickens with twists, turns, and unexpected alliances, painting a picture of resilience, friendship, and the indomitable spirit of these furry heroes. The film unfolds a captivating saga that delves into the dark realities faced by dogs and the valiant efforts to rescue them.
The voice cast breathes life into the characters, each lending their unique charm to the canine personalities. Varun Sunil’s musical score becomes the harmonious backdrop to this adventurous escapade, enriching the narrative with its melodic cadence.
“Valatty,” a visual treat under the lens of cinematographer Vishnu Panicker, takes its audience on a 113-minute rollercoaster ride, capturing the essence of love, friendship, and the unspoken language of tails.
As the curtains fall on this canine odyssey, the film sparks conversations about animal welfare and the unique storytelling avenues that Malayalam cinema explores. “Valatty” may tread a fine line between feel-good entertainment and a commentary on human cruelty to animals, but it undeniably leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of those who embark on this whimsical journey with Tomy, Amalu, and their furry companions.