'Maryan'- brilliant love story with stellar performances

Film: "Maryan"; Cast: Dhanush, Parvathy Menon, Uma Riyaz Khan, Appukutty, Salim Kumar and Jagan; Director: Bharatbala; Rating: ***

It is believed that love has the power to move mountains. But, would you believe if I tell you love has the power to make someone escape from his captors in Sudan, and run for his life in the scorching heat of African desert, because he wants to reunite with his lover waiting for him in a small town called Neerkodi?

Answer is yes. "Maryan", a simple story of love, makes us realise its power in the most visually extravagant way.

In realisation of love, there is always struggle, and to overcome it one needs strong will power. That's "Maryan" for you.

The literal translation of "Maryan" is immortal. That's an apt title for the film, which features Dhanush as Maryan, a fisherman, living in a small fishing hamlet. His life revolves around fishing underwater, smoking beedi and spending evenings leisurely with his friends.

Maryan is loved and longed by Panimalar (Parvathy), but sadly her feelings are not reciprocated. The more Maryan tries to keep Pani away from him, the closer she tries to get. This eventually leads to Maryan falling for Pani.

Panimalar is caught in unfortunate circumstances and to support her financially, Maryan is forced to take up employment on contract basis for two years in Sudan.

He successfully completes his tenure and packs bags in jubilation to return to his ladylove, but tragedy strikes in the form of Sudanese terrorists, who end up kidnapping Maryan and two of his co-workers and demand money for their freedom.

After 21 days in captivity, Maryan escapes and runs for his life. Will he able to meet Panimalar again or not form the rest of the story.

Playing a character suffering is not new for Dhanush, who has played such characters several times on the screen. However, what differentiates "Maryan" from his other films is that Dhanush has an equally strong co-star Parvathy, who at times looks too intelligent in her role, in the film.

Typically, films starring Dhanush turn out to be a one-man show, but director Bharatbala deserves credit for giving us a stronger female character. It's not for the underdog you root here, it's for Parvathy, who believes in Maryan forever.

The first half of the film is a tribute to love. I haven't seen a better build up of a love story in the Tamil cinema, so poignantly touching, in a long time. The romance between Dhanush and Parvathy comes alive on screen with a hint of charisma and passion.

A fisherman's strength is in the ocean reference works brilliantly in favour of the film. You appreciate it only when you reach the climax. In that instant, you want to cheer for the director for developing his lead characters flawlessly.

"Maryan" is technically brilliant. Be it the scenes in the fishing hamlet or in Sudan, where even the driest desert looks stunning, these scenes never fail to dazzle you every instant.

The film's pace could one of the reasons masses may not embrace "Maryan", as much as they have cheered for Dhanush's films in the past. Irrespective of its box-office response, I believe this one will go down as one of the brilliant love stories.

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