Maara Movie Review: This Film Is Madhavan’s Mellowest Masterpiece; Actor Carries Off The Title Role Effortlessly

Maara, starring Madhavan and Shraddha Srinath, released on Amazon Prime Video today. This Tamil film about unconditional love restores our faith in the power of love to heal the world; check out the review!

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Maara Movie Review: This Film Is Madhavan’s Mellowest Masterpiece; Actor Carries Off The Title Role Effortlessly

It’s not easy to  love somebody unconditionally.  It is even more difficult to make a  film about unconditional love in a day and age when every relationship is need-based.  Maara is the work of what we call a hopeless romantic….at least that’s how it feels when  Vellaiya(the  wonderful veteran  Mouli) lives for  50 years  with the  idea  of  love. How hopeful can you be in your twilight years  about  finding your  true love when she has eluded you  all your life?

Maara, God bless its optimistic  idealistic heart, says  it’s never too late or far-fetched to find  true love.And it says it with the gently persuasive warm-heartedness  of a diehard romantic. This  is a rare  film that  isn’t cynical about romance  and love  even in these jaded decadent times. It’s  a film brimming over with affection and compassion that invites you  into  its wonderful  Utopian embrace  unconditionally.

It took me a  while , about  20 minutes,to get  into the  film’s rhythm. Once in, I was completely hooked, almost mesmerized  by  the  graceful yet completely unpredictable movement  of  the  plot.  Though this is an official remake of the Malayalam superhit Charlie  it  is Charlie only at the basic plot-level.

Debutant director Dhilip Kumar  introduces  notable new characters and sub-plots. They all merge finally into a  beautifully designed pastiche of unalloyed love.

 The film begins with an animation fairytale about a warrior and his quest  for a  fish whom he holds responsible for all his success in life. Finding one  fish in the ocean is like finding true  love in the  universe. This idea is built into a  narrative that risks several leaps  of faith and lands safely and gracefully on its feet.

Maara is  constructed into an episodic excursion , the traveler being Paru(played by the lovely and  talented Shraddha  Srinath) , a serious-minded  romantic  restorationist who keeps running into experiences  about a  mysterious pureheart named  Maara(spoiler alert: actual name Manimaran, revealed only at the end). Maara is the sort of idealistic nobleman that  exists only in fairytales. He befriends a mischievous thief (delightfully played by Alexander Babu), rescues a suicidal pediatrician(SShivada), protects  a  prostitute Selvi(Abhirami)’s daughter from being pushed  into the flesh trade, and wins over a  hill resort  filled with elder citizens who  resemble the  cackling  Irish-Italian  octogenarians  in the  film Return To Me.

 All this overload  of goodness would be too much  for any actor to bear. Madhavan carries off the title role effortlessly. His  face and  his attitude suggest a restorative urgency in the moral fabric on contemporary society. The debutante director tells Paru’s story of her search for  ‘Maara’ in bouts of  temperamental storytelling. Episodes come in no particular order and  yet reveal their relevance at the end much in the same way as in the Orson Welles classic  Citizen  Kane.

Oh yes, there is a mysterious symbolical  ‘rosebud’ reference in Maara too. It is ‘Meenakshi’.  For more on this  mysterious woman,please  refer to the  film.It provides an unlimited source of joyful revelations.It is no coincidence  that the film is  about restoration of heritage homes and  faded  undecipherable letters. Maara restores our faith in the power  of love to heal the world.And that is a  tall order indeed.

Image source: Instagram/primevideoin
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