Maara Review: Patience of Lost Romance
cast: Madhavan, Shraddha Srinath, Sshivada, Moulee
Director: Dhilip Kumar
Rating: Three stars
Maara is a Fable, romance, crime-and-redemption that is wrapped up in a whimsical approach of age tale.
Pretty Paaru is trained as a conservationist, turns her back on a likely fellow who has fallen for her. There’s anxiety within her, which calls her to a picturesque town full of large wall paintings, picaresque characters, and a house laden with unused artifacts. This story unfolds many stories within this story, and our Paaru is drawn slowly but surely deeper into the centre, where lies an unfinished puzzle, featuring a couple of lost souls, and the answer.
Whimsy requires confidence and conviction, and in the parts where it slides into obviousness, the film makes you impatient, wishing it was shorter than its two-and-a-half-hour run time.
On the whole, though, Maara is enjoyable, its colors, textures, quirks to be relished. What do you call a thief who stalks a woman for two years not because she is beautiful, but because she has a heavy gold chain around her neck? That’s right, there’s your quirky ‘chor’. Apart from these occasional amusing touches, there’s a craft on display. A girl named Meenakshi is mentioned, and we get motifs of boats and water, and secrets nestling within an old locket shaped like a fish: hard to find mainstream movies with such a deliberate use design, and a leading lady whose job it is to excavate the past, and preserve the present.
Maara is a remake of Charlie, the 2016 Malayalam film starring Dulquer and Parvathy, which I haven’t seen, so I can’t say how faithful it is to the original. But to pull off a film like this, with its unexpected beats and rhythms, which keep taking us down paths that round upon themselves in their own sweet time, is not easy. Debutant director Dhilip Kumar falters only in those stretches which are much too underlined, or which start giving us life lessons.