Film Review: Maara
By Rinku Gupta
Maara, the R Madhavan, Shraddha Srinath, Mouli, Sshivada starrer directed by Dhilip Kumar, dropped on Amazon Prime on 8 Jan. The film is adapted from the Dulquer Salmaan- Parvathi starrer Charlie (Malayalam).
For those like me, who haven't seen the original, the movie was a refreshing, leisurely journey of discovery, with no distracting comparisons to contend with.
The story takes you into the worlds of several characters as you follow the footsteps of a restoration expert Paaro ( Shraddha) who herself is trying to trace the elusive, ever-on- the- move, Maara ( R Madhavan). Magically drawn to his art work in a new town, she is baffled by the subject of his murals which take her back in time to a significant and much- cherished childhood moment. She is bent upon meeting him no matter what it takes. Who is Maara and what is it that binds these two souls invisibly?
The unhurried pace of the movie draws you in delightfully. Travelling with the characters and watching small moments unfold slowly is akin to the joys of uncovering a new book on a rainy afternoon with a warm cuppa tea for company. The camerawork with its play of light, the breathtaking locations and the art direction( Maara's home, the dew- kissed mountain home of Vellaiyan) are major contributors that draw you into the pleasurable watch.
Madhavan lives the role of Maara and is the film's biggest draw. The way he has breathed life into it, Maara is going to be yet another memorable character in his body of work. From his impish smile, impeccable dialogue delivery, just the right hint of a gypsy -like charm, to the easy transition to moments of emotional, life -embracing wisdom and even some menacing action thrown in, Maddy carries it off with effortless ease.
Shraddha Srinath is perfectly cast, with subtlety being her middle name. Her soulful expressions bring out Paaro's wonderment and yearning superbly.
The wonderfully cast veteran Mouli, Alexander, Sshivada and a host of characters bring out emotional highlights and humor in just the right doses.
On the flip side, the first half may weigh in as tad too long for some, as its a slow movement towards the story's goal.
In a nutshell, Maara - a synonym for a magical, mystical, memorable experience.