The first thing that attracts the audience in a film is its name. Pandiraj scores that with the name, Marina. The next thing that the audience care about is the director’s previous work. With Pasanga (critically acclaimed for its uniqueness) and Vamsam (did not shine much) in his repertoire, one expects Pandirajan to deliver a movie with a decent story, very slow screenplay, excellent casting and a serious message for the society. That’s precisely what Marina delivers.
Marina, as the many would have guessed from the name, is about the lives of the people who live in Marina. The last time we saw a film like this is Angaadi Theru which portrays the lives of workers in a market. This is a similar story with a not so impressive screenplay.
Though Sivakarthikeyan is portrayed as the “hero”, he is just a guest who visits the beach maintained by different groups like the sundal vendors, horse riders, beggars etc. Sivakarthikeyan belongs to the “going to the beach with a figure at least once” gang. It is his light humour throughout that reduces the boring factor. This film requires him to be himself without any artificial expressions or dialogues and he delivers the cake as ordered. His witty counters, after break-up revenge and fake bike stunts – everything gets what is expected from the audience. His Thathuvam friend is another highlight. Each and every kaathal thathuvam of his is forward-message worth (though we have heard some of them already). Oviya, who has already proved her mettle in her previous films, delivers again but still irritates with some of her ought-to-be-cute expressions.
It is the children’s life that leads the film. Theirs laughs, difficulties, friendships – everything is showed beautifully. Pandiraj, who has already proved himself in handling such stories, has squeezed out the best from every child. No one can find a flaw in the acting or the dialogue delivery of the children which is commonly found in children in other films. The other side actors such as thatha, horseman, singer and his daughter and the postman provide the perfect icing for the cake. Jayaprakash is again appealing in his cameo. *spoiler* When the suspense that prevails in the first half is broken in the second half, anyone who is more than 10 years of age will lose their temper. For such a silly reason why would a S.P. spend so much money and phone calls? *spoiler*
Though Vanakkam Chennai is not a Why this kolaveri, Girishh, being a debutant, should be in cloud nine. All the songs are praiseworthy. Marina Theme and Life in Marina will stay in our playlists for quite a while. Though the BGM reminds of some music in the past, it syncs with the scenes mostly and goes unnoticed.
If Pandiraj had concentrated on a single message, the screenplay could have been a little more interesting and could have proceeded at a decent pace. He has tried to juggle a lot of messages and loses in delivering them perfectly. It is the humour parts that show the film as a “motion picture” without which it might as well have been considered a documentary.
On the whole, Marina is a one-time watchable film for audience who appreciate good flicks without any usual cliches such as item songs, action sequences and the like. Others, stay away!