3.6 2,908 Ratings

Directed by : Bharat Bala

Release Date :

  • Critics Rating 3.1/5
  • MJ Rating 3.3/5
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“Backed by powerful performances and A. R. Rahman’s brilliant music, Mariyaan is an experience worth your time. Go for it!”

Mariyaan Credit & Casting


Mariyaan Audience Review

Dhanush Vera Level

| by Prashanth M |
Rated 3.5 / 5
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Bharat Bala's Mariyaan is about love guiding home lost, wandering souls. Starring Dhanush and Parvathy Menon in the lead role, this love story often gives off this unshakable vibe that we have seen it all before; but it still makes an impact due to a couple of standout performances which overshadow every other aspect.

I tried synopsizing the story here, but it came across as a really dull version of the film. In a gist, Mariyaan is about two lovers who get separated and are unsure if they will ever see the other person again. It is very easy to piece together bits from the trailer a few minutes into the movie and get an idea about where the film is heading. Comparison to Mani Ratnam's Roja is inevitable, though Mariyaan is least political.

It wrings truly passionate love and produces concentrated romance. It's a sweeping love story that goes all out to make us root for the lovers. It takes two to tango and the romance wouldn't have worked without a strong turn from Parvathy Menon. She delivers and how. She consistently matches Dhanush's towering performance making their chemistry the film's big beating heart.

I have never been able to buy the "I beat you because I love you" argument which abusive men are known to use as defense. I was in two minds watching Mariyaan hit Panimalar on more than one occasion. In one particular scene, the hitting would have been wrong had Mariyaan stopped with just one slap. It was because he continued hitting Pani that the scene oddly became acceptable and horrifically touching. It would have been grossly incorrect had the film not considered this act important enough to warrant some explanation. But the film does discuss this, and convinces you that this is how they are and that it is not wrong.

In the last ten months, Tamil cinema has witnessed a tsunami of films about fisherfolks viz. Sembattai, Neer Paravai, David (just kidding) and Kadal. All these films looked nostalgically at the sea but none managed to create the effect Mariyaan has. For instance, when Dhanush gives us the 'Spielberg face' near the end and says, "Aatha!", I had this indescribable feeling.

Bharat Bala should have tried to veer his African characters away from being caricatures who pointlessly spray bullets into air and scream at people who are sitting mere inches away from them. But the entire captivity sequence is otherwise handled with surprising finesse, while always maintaining a good amount of tension. Bala pushes his leads to dark corners where he could toy with their destinies however he wishes to. It becomes harder to tell if we have a tragedy on our hands or a happy ending. The tension stems out from our inability to predict what to expect from a rookie like Bala.

The film is very well put together for a director's feature length debut. The structure largely suits the story but I wish it had tried something more unconventional. I wasn't a big fan of the soundtrack but Rahman's work fits the film perfectly under context. The cinematography by Marc Koninckx is another high point. Though it wasn't too bothersome, the continuity errors concerning the ever changing length of Dhanush's hair in Sudan should have been avoided. Even underwritten supporting characters, like the pervy ruffian who considers himself Panimalar's suitor, manage to make an impression.

From Manmatha Raasa to Kadal Raasa, Dhanush's career trajectory is sprinkled with many highs. In a film with way too many mass moments, he delivers an affecting portrayal of a person who goes from being a son of soil to a stranger hallucinating in a foreign land. But despite watching him suffer through hell, the sight of him killing a person at the end doesn't come across as a moment of celebration the film makes it out to be. I sort of felt sorry for the African guy.