Maaran, the highly anticipated Dhanush-starrer has finally premiered on Disney+ Hotstar. The political thriller marked Dhanush's first collaboration with the talented filmmaker Karthick Naren. Bankrolled by Sathya Jyothi Films, Maaran was originally made for the big screens. But, the Dhanush-starrer went the OTT way after getting delayed multiple times due to the pandemic.
Did the Dhanush-Karthick Naren project live up to expectations? Read Maaran movie review here to know...
Engaging second half
Boring first half
Cliched character tropes and Annan-thangachi paasam
Artificiality in dialogues
Maaran (Dhanush) becomes a parent to his younger sister Shweta aka Chittu (Smrithi Venkat) after the tragic death of his parents. On the professional front, he grows up to become a brave and honest investigative journalist just like his late father (Ramki). Where Maaran's journey as a daring journalist takes him forms the crux of the film.
Script & Direction
Karthick Naren, the director who has also co-written the film with Suhas-Sharfu, has made a film that tries to be too many things. Maaran tries to be a riveting investigative thriller, deals with modern-day journalism and politics, also has an overdone track of siblings' bond - all at the same time. As a result, this ambitious investigative thriller ends up as a lackluster cinematic experience.
Maaran opens with the death of Maaran's parents and right from that moment, viewers can predict what is going to happen next. Even the little details in the first half are presented in a way that makes it so obvious that they are going to play a larger part when the story unfolds. The writing lacks cleverness right from the beginning, and then comes the first half which is nothing but a yawnfest. Maaran's relationship with his sister, his antics in the workplace, and most importantly, the romance between him and Thara - all fall flat.
Like every commercial film, Maaran also gets a caricaturish villain who is an embodiment of evil. Every single character, including the protagonist, is monotonous. The artificiality in the dialogues is another big let down. Even though the film picks up its pace and gets somewhat engaging in the second half, the damage was already done. The climax twist, which was placed to bring a shock, also fails to create an impact.
As always, Dhanush has delivered an earnest performance as Maaran and especially shines in the emotional portions. But the National award-winner doesn't get much scope to perform in his one-dimensional character.
Malavika Mohanan looks good as Thara, but that's about it. The actress really needs to work on her expressions and dialogue delivery. Also, the dubbing voice doesn't really suit Malavika, and the lip-sync issues were quite evident. Smriti Venkat, who plays Maaran's sister Chittu, has delivered a decent performance.
Samuthirakani is effortless as Pazhani, which is simply another addition to the long list of antagonist roles in his career. The rest of the star cast, including Ramki, Ameer, Jayaprakash, Aadukalam Naren, Krishnakumar Balasubramanian, Mahendran, Bose Venkat, and others are fine in their respective roles.
Vivekanand Santhosham, the director of photography has done a decent job with the visuals of the film. Prasanna GK's editing is not up to the mark.
GV Prakash Kumar scores with the background score which makes even the most boring scenes watchable. The songs are forgettable.
Maaran is an ambitious investigative thriller that is let down by its generic storytelling and predictability. Dhanush's performance and the bearable second-half are the saving graces of this otherwise lackluster Karthick Naren directorial.