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"Maaran"... a family drama that takes off well.

WHOEVER WAS responsible for the casting for Power Media's "Maaran" deserves a pat on the back. Rarely does one come across such apt choice of artistes for the various roles. Be it the middle-aged Maaran (Sathyaraj), his wife Seetha (Seetha) son Sudhandhiram (Raghuvannan), daughter Anita (Preethi) or the villainous Sivadas (Robert) every actor fills the bill beautifully.

A. Jawahar makes his debut as writer and director. "Maaran" takes off so well and so differently but the maker obviously got jittery mid-way and allows regular formula fare to take over, with revenge as the pivot.

Maaran is a government servant at the Collector's Office. His contented, happy family, comprising wife, a teenaged son and daughter, is blown to smithereens when a macabre incident snatches away his son. The soft and quiet man is stirred into revenge — and a gory, bloody spell follows.

The story inspired by nerve-wracking, tragic cases of ragging is gripping and natural in the first half, till the point it turns too theatrical and hence unnatural.

Those of us, who resented Sathyaraj's crudeness and callousness in the name of comedy in some of the earlier films, will definitely enjoy his mature, mellowed down portrayal as Maaran. Even in movies like the emotion-filled ``Walter Vetrivel,'' Sathyaraj had been unnecessarily loud. But here dignity is the irrefutable mainstay. One hopes that the veteran continues with the new trend.

Seetha shows sense in taking on the role of the mother of two adolescent children, as her come back vehicle. Her exuberance in the early stages and her sad, vacant look later have been well contrasted and well presented.

A word to the dance master of the "Anandam..." song — there was no need to have made her run, even the few yards — it was too much to take both for Seetha and the viewer. In fact, Seetha did not appear comfortable running even a decade ago — the song sequence with Kamal Hassan in "Unnal Mudiyum Thambi" is an example.

Raghuvannan as the studious first year medical college student suits the character so well, that you forget that the lad is just acting out a role.

Robert, whom we have seen as a child in films such as "Azhagan" and a dancer in a couple of films, makes a worthy debut in a full-fledged role as the spoilt, arrogant senior student of the college. A notable find.

Delhi Ganesh as Maaran's colleague is in his elements throughout. Levity or gravity, this actor scores easily. Again Sarath Babu as the District Collector is another apt choice.

Dialogue (Pattukottai Prabhakar) does its bit too.

In no hospital in everyday life can you see a deserted ICU, (with no nurse or doctor), that conveniently allows the murderer to enter and kill. And it is pathetic that even in today's cinema, a pair of coolers and a tonsured head are enough to hoodwink CBI folks!

Pitfalls there are and revenge of this kind may be possible only on screen. Yet when injustice and crime are mercilessly punished, it makes the helpless layman happy. That way the plot of "Maaran" and the denouement satisfy you.


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