Masala Trappings

maari3

“Who remembers the second man on moon??” An oft repeated quote in many movies across languages. A quote that magnifies the importance of coming first or in other terms, the significance of a First impression.

Though “Kaadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppudi” (How to Mess Up in Love) directed by Balaji Mohan was one of the first short films to have been successfully turned into a mainstream full length feature film, the other movies that followed suit like Pizza and Soodhu Kavvum garnered more attention.

Karthik Subburaj and Nalan Kumarasamy became the rage and were compared to the stalwarts of the industry. Karthik Subburaj’s second movie was a phenomenon, garnering appreciation and awards left, right and centre. Nalan’s next is awaited with a lot of hype. Somewhere amongst all this, the second movie of Balaji, “Vaayai Moodi Pesavum” (Speak With your Mouth Shut) didn’t garner the accolades that it deserved. Personally I found it to be the quirkiest entertainer of last year.

There are not many people whose success or failure bothers me, but Balaji not getting his spot under the light was a little flustering. Hence, the news of his collaborating with Dhanush for his next movie was an exciting prospect.
I am a big fan of his way of storytelling, the quirky traits of his characters and the uncanny dialogues…
Then. . .
I saw MAARI. . .

The movie is about a Local Don who loses his ‘area’ due to treachery and wins it back by taking the opposition to the cleaners…
The movie opens with a voice over that gives us a peek into the life of the Protagonist. . . Another voice over in the second half reveals the Antagonist. . .

Maari’s world has no good people. Everyone is bad and opportunistic in varying degrees. . .
Everything’s grey…

Dhanush the STAR tries to hold the things together… The realism in his mind prevents him from doing certain things that are expected to be seen in a full blown STAR VEHICLE. There is a limit to the number of people he flings across the screen and the dialogues are not too over the top… But yeah, every time he walks, talks, smiles, dances and sings, the crowd erupts into thunderous applause and wolf whistles … the audience aren’t quite interested in any other characters and it seems neither does the filmmaker…

Kajal Agarwal has a role that is almost interesting, the antagonist has a role that is, well not at all threatening and the proverbial twists in the tale are clear from almost a mile away. . .

The only satisfying feature in this movie is the constant undercurrent of humour. If the 160 minutes of the movie appear to be enterprising, major credit goes to ‘Robo’ Shankar who plays Maari’s sidekick ‘Sanikizhamai’… He is a riot. . . His one liners and certain traits hold your attention long enough for you to not care much about the other happenings on screen. . .

Yes, Dhanush is amazing as the titular character… Yes, the movie is filled with WOLF WHISTLE WORTHY moments… Yes, the movie has amazing music… Yes, the movie is flucking hilarious most of the times. . . But it feels so incomplete and I came out of the theater with a blank expression…

After watching Anegan, I felt that the commercial success of that movie would hinder the growth of Dhanush the actor and pave a way for Dhanush the Star…
Well… Tamil Cinéma has a lot of stars, but very few actors. . . Maari is a movie that takes everyone involved to the next level, especially Robo Shankar and Balaji Mohan. . .

Apart from the song ‘Oru Vidha Aasai’ not featuring in the movie, the biggest frustration I had with MAARI was that, Balaji Mohan let me down…

From the trailers, I knew this was going to be a purely commercial entertainer and of course it was very commercial and pretty entertaining… But i couldn’t digest the fact that a Dhanush film by Balaji Mohan couldn’t be anything else…

This might have been a way for the director to finally get noticed by most of the movie goers. Probably they might go and revisit his earlier movies. This could be his shot into the big league… Though he still might not be talked about like the Subburajs or Kumarasamys. His next movie would definitely get the necessary backing and opening…

My favourite among the new crop of directors, I expected him to be the Visu of our generation. The filmmaker that would make movies about daily issues, dysfunctional families and eccentric characters that may or may not culminate into a happy ending.
I would prefer to think that he has used this movie as a pedestal for making his next feature a viable prospect and make it get more visibility. . .

I just had a couple of thoughts when I walked out…
1. Robo Shankar is Awesomatic Aaromale of The Arundha Naada
2. I sincerely hope Balaji Mohan hasn’t sold out to the commercial trappings of Tamil Cinema…

P.S. If memory serves me right… Special mention for thé first reverse Friend Zoning in the history of Tamil Cinema

65701_thumb_665

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s