There are only few movies in Tamil that take a place as the main lead of the movie. I am counting out the innumerous spiritual movies about temples. Pandiraj showed immense promise with his Pasanga and winning a National Award on debut is not a mean achievemnt. A special thanks to him for choosing Marina as his story back drop but did he win over the hearts is debatable.
Marina is a story about the bunch of boys in the beach who live their life by selling sundal to the visitors of the beach. Ambigapathi (Pakada Pandian of Pasanga fame) drops in to Chennai in a mortuary van and slowly joins the gang of boys after initial tiffs. Aargh, I could not write any more about the story because it doesn’t have a central plot and that’s the biggest let down. The movie is filled with innumerable sub plots like the love angle between Siva Karthikeyan and Oviya, the old man who was thrown out from the house, a boy who hit a SP’s son on the head, a dancing girl and her father and a mentally deranged man who claims that he owns Marina.
All the characters are interesting, lovable and even some moments are hilarious but the lack of central plot that needs to stitch the sub plots leaves a big vacuum in the proceedings. Pandiraj has once again proved that he is a man of words with his sharp witty dialogues and one-liners. The one-liners of Siva Karthikeyan’s friend about love will make rounds in text messages and facebook updates for some months.
But one-liners and quirky comic scenes will not make a great movie. It was said that it’s a portrayal of lives in Marina but the movie categorically refuses to go in to the darker side of Marina. There lies the difference between a typical Tamil movie and a world cinema classic. It would have helped a great deal to the movie if the director showed both sides of the coin. Except for Vanakkam Vazha Vaikkum Chennai, Girish’s music doesn’t make the mark including the background scores. A big kudos to the director and cinematographer for using real locations and even the horse race scenes were taken in the Chennai beaches. A lot of effort has gone in to the picturisation of those scenes
I am not saying that Marina wasn’t funny or quriky but the big plot hole makes the movie dull and uninteresting, especially the second half is extremely dragging and pointless. Pandiraj had all the ingredients of a classic and that would have fecthed him few awards nationally and internationally but he chose to falter, miserably.
A 2/5 for Pandiraj’s vision and I wish he did well than what he had done.