Onto the next release in this extremely packed weekend and I just finished watching the new Tamil film Maaran on Hotstar. It stars Dhanush and there is a bit of a quality which you expect from a Dhanush film. I have been a fan of him since his Asuran days and everytime he comes up with a film, I do take notice of it. He is a treasure of Indian Cinema and in all honesty I would rate him currently in the top 5 actors of our country. To top it Maaran is directed by Karthick Naren who was the genius mind behind the exceptional thriller D-16 which again I would rate in the top 5 thrillers from the last decade. So I was going in with a good amount of expectations from the film. That said, is Maaran worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Maaran follows the story of an honest investigative journalist who gets entangled in an issue which is as personal as ever. The story may not be very novel but it is extremely fast paced and engaging. The screenplay opens in a typical 70s Manmohan Desai-esque fashion. An investigative reported being killed with children left to fend your themselves. Then cut to the children growing up but their bond stays. This is typical of the 70s. But it is written with some amount of conviction which doesn’t seem out of place(especially the brother sister bond which is an integral part of the screenplay). You need to keep in mind that this is a commercial entertainer too. So there are commercial elements which may seem slightly over the top and some lighter moments which do not have an impact to the overall story and screenplay. To be honest, some of these elements did work for me but if you can look past these elements, there is a shocking twist in the tale at the halfway mark. One thing that the screenplay cpuld have focussed on a little bit more was on the investigative journalism bit.
The screenplay then shifts gears in this edge if the seat thriller in the second hour. Although not entirely unpredictable but it is definitely interesting and keeps you at the edge of your seat. The layered storytelling keeps you guessing and it is here that the genius of Karthick Naren kicks in. The screenplay here is taut without any distractions and most definitely engaging. The twists and turns are good leading upto a satisfying final act which was good to witness as it tied all the loose ends together. Overall, a well written screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are massy and definitely well penned. The music is catchy although a couple of the songs do deter the flow of the drama. The BGM is pulsating and keeps you alive in the film throughout. Director Karthick Naren has done a terrific job here. He is a master of knitting some engaging and taut thrillers and he has done a good job here as well.
The performances are excellent. Mahendran is first rate here as Bharath. Krishnakumar as Arjun is brilliant and probably the find of the movie for me. Smruthi Venkat as Shwetha is earnest and quite heartwarming and you can sense her emotional bond with her brother quite well. Malavika Mohanan as Thara looks gorgeous and does a good job in her limited role which she had. Dhanush as Maaran is in top form here. He stamps his authority in every scene and makes his presence felt throughout. This is one actor who can fit in almost every role(remember Atrangi Re?) and gives his cent percent always.
Maaran has a cliched premise but is fast paced and quite engaging which makes it well worth your time. Available on Hotstar.