After his second film VAAYAI MOODI PESAVUM, Balaji Mohan confimed that his next film will star Dhanush and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead roles. The film was titled MAARI and was produced by Listin Stephen and Raadhika Sarathkumar under the banner of Magic Frames and co produced by Dhanush himself under the banner Wunderbar Films. Anirudh Ravichander composed the film’s soundtrack and score while Om Prakash has taken care of the film’s cinematography. The shooting began on November 2014 and completed in March 2015. The film’s trailer which released in June went viral in the social sites with 3 million views and created great expectations among the audience. Will the film join the HIT series of Dhanush, following VIP and ANEGAN? Read on, to know!
The film is the story of Maari (Dhanush), a local thug based at Triplicane, his interest in training doves for racing, his rivals, his disputes with cop.
Director Balaji Mohan who is very well-known for offering a quality entertainer like KADHALIL SOTHAPPUVATHU YEPPADI and an experimental commercial film like VAAYAI MOODI PESAVUM, has tried his luck in doing a mass masala movie. But, the output is a very usual commercial potboiler that is not engaging or enjoyable in most parts.
The problem starts with the characterizations and the sluggish, faltering screenplay which has spoiled the whole show. Except the title character Maari, not even a single characterization is clear enough; the pivotal characters neither have a motive nor help the film in moving ahead, but they keep on speaking for no reasons which shows them so confused and leaves you confused too. There are problems the lead character Maari too, he tells in a scene that he feels bored since he has got nothing to do. The audience get bored ultimately when he does nothing but training doves and is disturbing his colonymates. The scenes where he drives auto or the scenes where he becomes a partner with Sri Devi are so boresome. There are some likeable scenes like here and there, but those are inadequate to make MAARI a good entertainer.
The film runs for less than 2 hours and 15 minutes, but we do get a feel of watching a 3+ hours long movie. The first half moves in a snail pace with very less interesting scenes. The interval block gives a good hypr for the second half, but unfortunately the second half is even more poorer. The most worrying / annoying part of MAARI is the overdosage of build-ups for the protagonist (in terms of build-up, MAARI can be compared with yesteryear release ANJAAN). We get to see minimum of 7 to 8 entry build ups of Dhanush, the low angle shot, the loud BGM and the slow motions shots starts whenever the hero utters a punch dialogue, gives a piece of advice to the heroine or he walks ferociously to see his rival (the last film in Tamil cinema in which we saw such number of entry scenes for the hero was VALLAVAN in 2006, I believe! That crap had more than 12 entry scenes!). The build-ups are all fine, if they have a heavy mass scene followingly or if there is any other proper justification given somewhere later. What really does the writer wants the audience to do with these mass build-ups with nothing interesting followingly?
Balaji Mohan who used to have a lot of detailing in his films even if it is a simple rom-com movie, disappoints a lot in MAARI with many conveniently written scenes and abruptly ending characters. The cunning Sub-Inspector character reminds us of the baddie cops of the 1980s Rajinikanth and Kamalhaasan films (especially, in the pathetically written climax). Except the pre-interval scene, is there really a need for the heroine character? What is she really doing there in the second half?
Dhanush who is imitating his father-in-law Super Star Rajinikanth in romance, action and comedy scenes very often in his films, starting from YAARADI NEE MOHINI in 2008 has got a great craze for that from his fans in films like VIP. He has continued to do the same in MAARI too, with his own spontaneity in dialogue delivery and own style of body language. Since this is a character that Balaji Mohan has wrote keeping Dhanush in mind, it suits very well for him. It is Dhanush, who carries the whole film on his shoulders; it is his performance and Robo Shankar’s comedy which makes the film watchable atleast to an extent. Vijay Yesudas as the Sub-Inspector has been a very bad choice for this role; he looks so doubtful in most scenes (while we assume that is his character in the first half, he delivers an underwhelming performance in second half too). Mime Gopi, Shanmugarajan and Kaali Venkat has done a decent job. Anirudh’s background score has been a plus point for the film, despite being too loud and far below from his usual standards. The team’s work on the sets, stunts and cinematography were commendably good.
VERDICT: A very average entertainer that is watchable only for Dhanush’s screen presence!
P.S: The film might leave you annoyed with its overdoesage of commercial additions, and you might be heavily disappointed if you are an admirer of Balaji Mohan’s earlier films and if you are looking for a quality entertainer. But still, the film is far better than Dhanush’s crap films like PADIKKATHAVAN, which were commercially successful.
RATING – 2.5/5
Review by: Rahman
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