Maara is the name of a man who spreads joy in the lives of people around him. A sincere remake of Malayalam movie Charlie (2015) in Tamil is more about the search for Maara than it’s about him and the enthralling experiences that the protagonist Paaru gets to see in the journey. Paaru listens to a story as a child and years later finds herself in a quest with a drive that this enchanting story gave her. Shraddha Shrinath, reprised the role of Parvathy, looks very captivating and earnest in her conviction of what she doesn’t want in life. She never misses to entertain herself when she grabs a place where she steps foot for the first time, when she stays unbothered about the broken lock to her door, when she goes on a quest to learn about people and places without any inhibitions, Paaru tempts you to explore too. She surrounds herself with art and nature.
R. Madhavan plays this titular role and reprises Dulquer Salman’s character. And he’s only reduced to reason the title. While the characters relish in Maara’s presence, reminisces through his memory, revere for his goodwill and literally glorify his shadow larger than its life form, those are sadly trapped in just word form rather to strike a deep connect to yearn. The beauty of Maara is that it celebrates its characters around Maara even when it holds him in high regard. When MS Bhaskar’s wife expresses herself in just 3 lines, that she hasn’t got a chance to explore the world when she wished at her young age and imbuing patriarchy, affects a lot more and gives a picture of her life in few seconds than we know of Maara except he loves the art and loves to keep the people happy because he doesn’t come with a sad story. The immediacy and closeness you feel with the characters is more than with Maara himself. Abirami as Selvi, in a short but poignant role, hits you. Alexander Babu, in his promising debut comedian role, spills hilarious one-liners. Paaru, a travel lover, who’s enticed by fiction, a book lover, seems to be captured in an utter excitement when she finds the people from Maara’s portraits in real through her quest.
The crux of Maara is love that binds people for life, a love that lends hand in need, a love that lets you see the world through different eyes from time to time. It’s like a shining tear drop that generates at an ecstatic happiness. Ghibran’s haunting background score casts its spell to this magical tale. The brilliance doesn’t go unnoticed when juxtaposes people, places and things to convey the heartfelt story. Like when Selvi takes the half-eater Khulfi from Maara, when Vellaiah meets Maara and how it catapults the moment that aligns the story of Vellaiah-Meenakshi with Maara-Paaru, when Vellaiah’s love story is recited by his friends instead by himself, who have heard it at least a million times by now, carry the soothing candor of how one’s life is not just one’s but it is weaved with each other they come across. It defines the character arcs of Selvi and Kani who choose their second chances differently. And the magical tale within a tale movingly overwhelms you, tempts you and leaves you with a great satisfaction of witnessing something truly amazing in your lifetime.