Maari 2 movie cast: Dhanush, Sai Pallavi, Tovino Thomas, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Maari 2 movie director: Balaji Mohan
Maari 2 movie rating: 2 stars
Maari 2 opens with Gangadhar Beeja (Tovino Thomas) who wants to take revenge on Maari (Dhanush). We are, of course, given details why. The menacing Beeja is shown reading ‘Dead Souls’, and calls himself the God of death. He has long and unkempt hair. His eyes convey a lot of emotions including anger, betrayal, hatred and agony. Cut back to the dhoti-clad-moustache-twirling Maari, who arrives in style.
Maari, as we know, is a local thug. He kills, kidnaps and smuggles. But he does things on his own terms. At the same time, he is someone who respects friendship and appreciates loyalty. He has a golden heart. (Maybe, that’s why he has fat gold chains around his neck? I don’t know). He is shown like another Kaala. There are references to the Rajinikanth-starrer towards the end that you can’t miss. There are the familiar rain shots and red umbrellas. Maari is filled with Rajini-ism. The way Dhanush mouths dialogues reminds me only of Rajinikanth. No, I am not a fan of Superstar. Again, the camaraderie between Maari and Kalai (Krishna) is akin to Suriya and Deva’s friendship in Thalapathi.
Balaji Mohan has aimed to tell a story around the star, Dhanush — agreed. The film is clearly targeted at the B and C centres — agreed. As Maari, Dhanush gives larger-than-life moments for the ‘mass audience’ — agreed. But the film offers nothing more than that.
Maari is someone who warns an IAS officer to “leave home early”. In another scene, he says, “Ponna porula paakaadha. Manushiya paarkanum.” I am kind of confused about Maari. Ivaru nallavara kettavara? (Is he good or bad?) The same line even comes in one song. Hey, and how does Maari celebrate surviving the 100th attempt by rivals to end his life? He cuts a cake. That’s Maari for you.
I liked Balaji Mohan’s previous films, Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi and Vaayai Moodi Pesavum. But Maari 2 fails to convince you and feels like a long stretch. The film has a run time of 150 minutes, and the makers could have trimmed it to make it racier. Beyond a point, you can’t take dialogues like, “Area-vay Maari control-la… Aana, Maari out of control.” Seriously? I felt like saying, “Maari mattum out of control-la illa. Storyline-um, screenplay-um dhaan.”
No comparison, but the 2015 film Maari saw some of the best hits from Anirudh Ravichander, but Maari 2 isn’t all that musically-strong. You can’t recollect the tunes (Despite Ilaiyaraaja singing one of the songs). Dhanush is collaborating with Yuvan Shankar Raja after a decade. So, expectations were high when the announcement was made.
Sai Pallavi plays Araaththu Anandhi, and steals the show with her effortless performance. She is audacious and endearing, which is a rare combination. She packs quite a punch when she says, “Naan onnum usual-a vara loosu ponnu illa, Maari-oda Mass-u ponnu.” Watch out for the Rowdy Baby song featuring Dhanush and Sai Pallavi, which is a major highlight. Every movement bears the stamp of Prabhudheva, who has choreographed the song. What I really liked about Maari 2 apart from Sai Pallavi, is Tovino Thomas. In a couple of scenes, he does shine brighter than Dhanush. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar plays an IAS officer Vijaya Chamundeswari. I couldn’t find any variations in her role. All I could see was only ‘paapaa’. (Her role in Sarkar). She gets to wear more saris.
If you are a Dhanush fan, you would clap, scream and mouth dialogues like, “Senjiruven”, “If you are bad, I’m your dad!” along with him. Otherwise, you would simply want to say “thank you very much” and sit through the entire film munching a tub of popcorn.