A head turner - had a sense of watching a true rural movie after a long time (since Bharathiraja, and yes - ParuthiVeeran is of a different genre!) Vijay from the fraternity agrees.
Unexpected script. Sasi has shown some real class here and there. (for instance, the scene where the sad father looks at three characters from the entrance to his house, each look conveying volumes of script).
Its definitely not a tear jerker - and I didnt feel the movie dragging as many reviews did or as my friend complained '25 years late in Tamil cinema'. The clue I think lies in the child-like debutant actor Parvathy and her skillful acting. She carries the film on her slender shoulders easily - she literally appears on every frame. The variety of emotions that she depicts makes it a rare performance for any actor in recent Tamil film history, let alone debutants. Brilliant cameos by the guy acting as Srikant's father and other minor role playing actors. Srikant has a rather forgettable role.
The biggest let down in the movie is the music - a subject as fresh as this deserved a better score!
Now, the topic could easily be classified as a mushy young love tale. But it is not - there is more to Mari's tale. An upwardly mobile society where lower middle class families fight traditional village bonds in their quest for 'the next higher social level'.
Sasi gives the viewers the full sense of impending gloom right from Mari's child like love by leaving no room for suspense. Thangarasu's father is willing to upset his sister to marry off his son to a wealthy family because he feels that society has no respect for 'hard work or grey hair'. Mari's happens to be one of the hearts that get broken under the Juggernaut of progress of the Indian middle class.
This extraordinary chase for the 'next higher level' is reflected in the father's pain when he hears that his son's salary is not going to be as high as he expected.The tragedy that happens when the best laid plans fail to yield happiness is not the tragedy of Mari alone, it is of an entire Indian middle class.
Another aspect is the hidden sea of emotions with which each main character enters matrimony. Thangarasu, Mari and the new wife of Thangarasu all three enter wedlock with a sea of hidden emotions that their other half could not have guessed. This proves to be their doom. The best laid of plans of men and mice...