When a movie has three national award winners, two best actors and a best supporting actor, an Oscar-winning music director, a Belgian cinematographer, and a veteran ad film maker, you tend to expect something that is way ahead of the ‘ordinary’ league. Maryan does exactly that.
Maryan is the story of how the power of love transcends continents and boundaries and about how a man can overcome the most gruesome of situations by sheer will power and hope.
The story unfolds with a first person narrative of Maryan (Dhanush), who works in Africa. Maryan and Saamy (Jegan) are colleagues, working for the same oil company. After a two year contract with the company, Maryan is all set to return to India to meet his love interest Panimalar (Parvathy Menon).
As Maryan recalls his life in India, he is the Kadal Raasa -‘King of the Ocean’ a term that he uses to refer to himself, which proves its significance in the climax sequence. Maintaining his image of playing down-to-earth roles, here, Dhanush portrays the role of a fisherman involved in spearfishing. The plot revolves around his friends, mom, and love interest. The delightful encounters between Panimalar and Maryan, with the latter rebuking her attempts to win over him and how he falls for her eventually, has been brought to life by the natural performance of Parvathy and Dhanush. Sakkarai (Appukutty) as Maryan’s friend, Seeli (Uma Riyaz) as Maryan’s mother and Thomayya (Salim Kumar) have played their miniscule yet significant parts to perfection.
As events move back and forth, the protagonist and two of his colleagues are kidnapped and taken hostage in Sudan. What happens henceforth forms the rest of the story.
While you can never fail to appreciate the technical extravaganza the film has to offer, the director narrates the story at a pace that provides time to think and appreciate the finer aspects of the movie. He helps you relate to a few real-life incidents that you have read or heard of.
Vivek Harshan’s nifty editing helps you to cope with the draggy screenplay. With the two time Oscar award winning maestro A R Rahman at the helm, the music adds an extra dimension to the story with soulful BGMs and Bharatbala has done full justice to the songs by beautifully juxtaposing the songs with the narrative. By releasing the movie in Auro 3D sound technology, the director has soared in scoring an extra run.
Mark Koninckx, the Belgian cinematographer, has done a spectacular job and the underwater sequence in the Sonapareeya song and the deserts scenes in the Nenjae Ezhu song leave the viewer with lingering memories of the movie.
Dhanush, in this movie, reaffirms why he is one of the finest actors of his generation. The various shades of Maryan as a love-struck fisherman, a terrified hostage, a lone survivor, wandering about in the desolate deserts, are portrayed by Dhanush with effortless ease, which only prove that he has virtually lived the role of Maryan. The scene where he speaks to Panimalar in the guise of speaking to his boss and the scenes where he eats desert scrubs are applaudable and make the audience empathise with the pitiful plight of Maryan.
Parvathy is at ease when it comes to dialogue delivery and performance. In the age of overly made up heroines with their fake dubbed accents, Parvathy is like a whiff of fresh air in her de-glamed look.
The film doesn’t work with just one aspect, the Sudan terrorists. They look very young to be categorized as terrorists and are not scene stealers; probably the director’s visualization of an impoverished nation.
Maryan makes a successful journey from the deserts of Sudan into the hearts of the audiences. With power packed performances by the lead actors, soul-stirring music, and enthralling visuals the movie is a technical extravaganza and it definitely qualifies as a classic of its time.