Maara is a Tamil language romantic-drama movie directed by Dhilip Kumar. It is an adaptation of the 2015 film Charlie and stars Madhavan, Shraddha Srinath and Sshivada.
The first time I watched Charlie, I was absolutely mesmerised by the characters and the way the film progressed. A mysterious guy akin to a genie, an equally free soul of a woman and a story that baffled not only her but us as well. There is something about Charlie that captures your heart and soul and gives you hope, intrigue and spectacle in a beautiful bundle. It doesn’t help that lead Dulquer Salmaan is an equally charismatic man and Parvathy’s Tessa is someone we’d all want to be.
When I heard that they were remaking Charlie with Madhavan in the lead role, I was concerned. It is difficult to remake a movie which, like its lead, feels like the wind itself. And my concerns weren’t wrong either. Maara is a below-average remake of a spectacular film.
Charlie’s main pillars were Charlie himself and Tessa, two very strong characters who just gelled with each other. Both of them were like forces of nature, people you’d want to see on-screen because they were so magical. However, Paaru and Maara aren’t anything crazy or spectacular. They are normal people. I mean, there’s nothing wrong in that, but it just fails to capture the magic of the original film. If we consider Maara to be a standalone drama, then sure, maybe it works, but these characters aren’t special.
Case in point, Charlie’s Tessa didn’t need a fairytale story to be the driving force behind her life. She was who she was just because. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Maara. Here, Paaru’s driving force seems to be the story that she heard as a child. She fails to capture the craziness and the beauty of Parvathy’s Tessa. Similarly, Maara isn’t a larger-than-life magical maverick. He’s a normal guy with a heart of gold and can draw well. You don’t feel the connection that you felt with Charlie and that’s kinda disappointing.
There are a few secondary characters, too, that made their small impact on the story in Charlie that fails to create the effect here. Soubin Shahir as Kallan Suni was absolutely hilarious, however the same magic cannot be spun by Alexander Babu. Similarly for K. P. A. C. Lalitha’s Rachel, it does not spin the same magic and for some reason the grandmother character cannot speak in Maara. I am all for creating new character arcs for remakes, but it should atleast capture the essence of the original film.
Maara’s background score and songs also don’t capture the same magic as that of Charlie’s. I still remember the first time I had heard Pularikalo and I was mesmerised by it. Maara’s songs are fine, but nothing spectacular. The background score is oftentimes very loud. Although the cinematography is good, it cannot pull Maara from being an average entertainer.
Summing up: Maara
Maara does not capture even 1% of Charlie’s magic. It’s a realistic movie, maybe, but we’re not looking for realism with this character. I miss the mystery, intrigue and the nonchalance of Charlie and Tessa’s power and determination. Maara isn’t a horrible movie, but it lacks a lot of things and drags at a lot of places. The characters don’t really have an impact on you and you don’t care about them much either.
Also, they changed the ending and now it’s so cheesy. Charlie’s ending was like Charlie himself – nonchalant and impactful. But hey, sure. Make it basic and cheesy.
Maara is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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