Movies

‘Maari 2’ review: An overlong yet entertaining sequel

Dhanush in ‘Maari 2’

Dhanush in ‘Maari 2’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The naughtiest don is back with much more zeal and pomp this time. Considering how ordinary Maari was, I had my doubts when Maari 2 was announced. The sequel, surprisingly, is far better than its predecessor which was marred by a weak villain. Balaji Mohan makes no mistakes in Maari 2. It begins by introducing Beeja, (Tovino Thomas), who’s convicted for a murder. There’s much more to Beeja’s arc than that. A fan of Murakami’s novels, he calls himself ‘God of Death’, and is hungry for Maari’s blood. Death excites him than money and drugs.

If Beeja is the human form of death, Maari (Dhanush), on the other hand, has dodged 100 attempts on his life. This dichotomy between the two characters makes you invested in the revenge angle, even if the writing is a tad generic. The second part goes on to explore the human side of Maari, who now has a close buddy in Kalai (Krishna), the son of his boss Velu from the first part. Cigarettes are lit. Punch dialogues are exchanged. Goons are trashed. And in the middle of all this, we have a star who’s in solid form. While Maari had Kajal Aggarwal in a plain, vanilla character, ‘Arathu’ Anandhi (Sai Pallavi is a revelation) is pleasantly fiery and is so much fun to watch. She gets one of the best lines, where she attacks the quintessential ‘loosu ponnu’ trope of Tamil cinema.

Maari 2
  • Cast: Dhanush, Sai Pallavi, Tovino Thomas, Krishna and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
  • Director: Balaji Mohan
  • Storyline: Maari’s past comes back to haunt him. Will he survive?

Having had a bitter experience with the first part, Balaji Mohan deftly shows how to write a crowd-pleasing masala film that does a hat tip to several Rajinikanth films including Lingaa. The film has its fair share of flaws, with a second half that leads nowhere and lacks the punch. One major issue with Maari 2 is its myriad characters, that, despite getting their moments, seem crowded at places. But it’s certainly not boring anywhere, thanks to Robo Shankar who comes up with the wittiest lines every time there’s a dull scene.

Dhanush is easily the most unconventional, unassuming star around. He’s someone who could convincingly pull off a reluctant gangster in Vada Chennai, a larger-than-life Kokki Kumar in Pudhupettai and a wacky don in Maari, and still make you root for these characters. Which is why you don’t mind Dhanush in a masala film, in which he’s asked to say, “If you’re bad, I’m your dad.”

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 1:43:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/maari-2-review-an-overlong-yet-entertaining-sequel/article25798174.ece

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