Let me begin by saying that I wasn’t a big fan of Maari in the first place. And I wasn’t really against the idea of a sequel to that movie. And the reason was that the character of Maari who has this comical angle gives it a peculiarity if used in a solid enough script that has more emphasis on fun. Maari 2 is an overlong exercise that explores the character of Maari too deeply taking away the fun considerably at many areas and with these festival entertainer compromises, the character of Maari still remains as one character that is still seeking for an interesting fully fun script.
So Maari has now moved from Chennai and now he is in a new city doing smuggling. The gang fights are happening on one side and on the other side there is a man named Beeja who desperately wants to kill Maari. There is a girl named Anandhi who is in love with Maari. Why Beeja wants to kill Maari and what happens to Maari’s life when Beeja eventually comes into the picture is what Maari 2 trying to show us.
There was a debate about Dhanush’s decision to omit Anirudh and include Yuvan Shankar Raja. Yes that is indeed one big setback for a movie like Maari that depended too much on the BGM buildup. The two things I liked in the first movie was the carefree irreverent character of Maari and the background score that pepped up this character. As I said, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first film. When they announced the second one my hope was that it will be more on the funnier side. But this two and half hour long movie has Maari falling in love, getting settled and, SPOILER ALERT, even having a family. Exploring a character is indeed not a bad idea, but a character like Maari doesn’t really need this kind of exploration. And what is disappointing is that this elaborate story’s other characters are not that deep in the same way.
Reprising the role of Maari, Dhanush has all the charm and swag. He even goes shirtless for the film to give an added punch to the package. Sai Pallavi was actually a good choice when you look at the character offered to her. But there was too much of emotional burden on the script that at one point audience howled when she cried on screen. Robo Shankar and Kalloori Vinoth have that comedy timing to keep things alive. Tovino Thomas as the antagonist looks powerful, but his dialogue delivery was very weak as the Malayalam dialect was evident in it. Krishna as Kalai doesn’t have that much of screen space here and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is also there in a character that doesn’t make much difference to the story.
Balaji Mohan is someone who is good with comedy that is not that typical in Tamil. Maari character is likable mainly because of that idea of Balaji to keep him rough and loveable. However, In Maari 2 the writing beyond the comedy aspect is too much. He is trying to make it look like a saga and the characters he created within one hour using just comedy were not enough for that. Maari should have been a full on fun package and the decision to make it extremely emotional backfires as the writing in those portions was underwhelming. There are so many things happening around the conflict that you won’t have much clarity about the story structure. The cinematography has the style. But the music and background score weren’t making any significant impression.
Maari 2 is like an elongated and unnecessarily emotional version of the first part. The character of Maari had all the potential to get used as a tool to create irreverent fun. But Balaji Mohan had other plans after a point, ultimately making it a slightly tiring entertainer.
Maari 2 is like an elongated and unnecessarily emotional version of the first part.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended