Mariyaan is a must-watch, writes S Saraswathi.
The songs and teasers of the film Mariyaan have been creating quite a buzz and expectations are high from this Dhanush starrer.
Director Bharat Bala, who shot to fame with his patriotic videos Vande Maataram and Jana Gana Mana, makes his debut in Tamil cinema with Mariyaan, with Parvathi Menon playing the female lead.
Oscar award winner A R Rahman has composed the music for the film and almost all the songs have been topping the charts ever since its release two months ago. The film is produced by Aascar Film Ravichandran-- one of the biggest producers in the industry.
Mariyaan is a beautiful love story that has been exquisitely shot in two hugely contrasting locations -- the rich coastline of South India with its dramatic beauty, and the stark, barren and rugged locations of the deserts of Africa.
These amazing visuals have been realistically captured by Belgian cinematographer Marc Koninckx and are definitely one of the highlights of the film.
Music seems like a natural extension of the movie -- every song is packed with emotion and lyrics that bring out the essence of the situation -- be it the pain and longing of two lovers in Enga Pona Raasaa and Naetru Aval, the motivational song Nenjae Ezhu, sung by A R Rahman himself, and the Kadal Raasa Naan number by Yuvan Shankar Raja.
The film opens in Sudan, Africa, where Mariyaan (Dhanush) is on a two-year contract with a company and has just a week left to finish. He is very excited to get back to India, where the love of his life Panimalar (Parvathi Menon) is desperately waiting for him.
As Mariyaan reminisces about his love, we are taken in a flashback to a fishing community in southern India. Panimalar has been in love with Mariyaan for a very long time and though he does not reciprocate her feelings initially, he soon realises that he too has deep feelings for her.
Soon they form a bond so strong that it withstands all the struggles and hardships that life throws their way.
Panimalar’s father has borrowed money from Theekkurissi (Vinayakan), a lecherous moneylender who has designs on the beautiful Panimalar. He asks for her hand in marriage in return for the money borrowed. When her father refuses, he gives him an ultimatum and threatens to kill him if he does not repay the money.
Mariyaan is now in a dilemma. In order to repay the money, he is forced to accept the offer to work in a foreign company for two years. A fisherman at heart and soul, he is loath to leave, but makes the difficult decision for his precious Panimalar.
We are back in Africa now, where Mariyaan is all set to go back, but certain unfortunate circumstances prevent him from returning. How he reaches his love Panimalar, fighting against all odds forms the rest of the story.
Dhanush completely immerses himself in the character. In one particular scene where he's being held hostage, he delivers with so much intensity that the entire theatre burst into spontaneous applause.
Parvathi Menon is totally in sync with Dhanush all the way; she has matched him step for step, never allowing him to overshadow her.
The film is great technically, the music is remarkable, and the performance of the lead actors exceptional.
However, what brings the film down a notch is the pace, especially the second half, which seems to drag quite a bit. And though the film may not appeal to all, it is definitely a must watch.