Maaran Movie Review: Dhanush Actor Has No Substance, Only Style
Dhanush is back with another OTT release after Jagame Thandhiram and Arangi Re. His third OTT venture, Maaran, directed by Karthick Naren, was set to hit theaters. But, the manufacturers decided not to. And we know why. 10 minutes after the start of the film, the spectators are taken on a tour where they guess each “twist” and even speak the dialogues in front of the characters. Some films will make you doubt your existence and Maaran unfortunately falls into this category.
Sathyamoorthy (Ramki) is an honest investigative journalist. He gets killed for publishing the truth. Before his death, he told his son, Mathimaaran (Dhanush), that honesty and intelligence are equally important. As Sathyamoorthy is killed, his wife dies in a hospital after giving birth to a baby girl named Shweta (Smruthi Venkat). As expected, Mathimaaran raises his sister.
When he grows up to be a journalist, just like his father, it also affects his sister. Mathimaaran exposes politician Pazhani’s (Samuthirakani) plan to win the election by changing the EVM machines. Mathimaaran publishes the truth and gets into trouble. If you guessed his sister would be kidnapped, 10 points for you.
Director Karthick Naren’s Maaran prefers style over substance. He lived up to that claim even in his previous film, Mafia: Chapter 1. And, it’s high time the filmmaker realized that style alone isn’t enough to win over audiences. To say Maaran’s story is a cliché would be an understatement. Right from the start, you could guess every scene and by the time the conflict erupts, you’re already tired of watching this lifeless movie.
There’s action, brother-sister feelings and an ongoing investigation. But, you don’t feel any of this because you have already guessed everything. When the director introduces the so-called twists, you stare at the screen without any emotion. The accumulation of revelation and reasoning is just ridiculous. Pay attention to the scene where Ameer explains why he abducts Dhanush’s sister.
Dhanush’s role is so poorly written that even his acting couldn’t save the film. The film is about Maaran and his intelligence. Maaran is always ahead of the cops and he plays them too. During this scene, you laugh instead of feeling surprised by the turn.
The less said about Malavika Mohanan, the better. She doesn’t get any proper introduction, nor does she get an unforgettable role. All she does is chew gum and play Maaran’s doting girlfriend, only to disappear into the proceedings. Smruthi Venkat as Dhanush’s sister gets a meaty role and plays it with confidence.
Maaran’s supporting cast has the likes of Samuthirakani, Ameer, Aadukalam Naren, Ramki, and Bose Venkat. Yet none of them have characters that could evoke any kind of emotion, let alone positive feelings about the movie.
With a running time of two hours and 10 minutes, Maaran should have been a tense thriller. But, you feel like an eternity has passed.
1.5 out of 5 stars for Maaran.
Maaran is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
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