Film: 'Marina'; Cast: Siva Karthikeyan , Oviya, 'Pakada' Pandian, Sundararajan, Jitan Mohan, Attakati Aarumugam, Jayashree; Director: Pandiraj; Cinematographer: Vijay; Composer: Girish G; Rating: ***
National award winning director Pandiraj has tried to explore Marina beach. The world's second largest beach is a synonym for romance in many Tamil films but there is more to it than that. It is also home to many vendors and beggars.
If romance flows on the beach, child labourers are also a common sight. Pandiraj, who started his journey in the industry by exploring the world of children in his directorial debut 'Pasanga', which won national awards, has attempted to advocate the cause of educating young children who sell the sundal snacks on Marina beach.
Ambikapathy ('Pakada' Pandian) comes to Chennai from a remote village. He makes Marina beach his home and earns his livelihood by selling water packets. He soon befriends children of his age group, who are involved in small businesses there.
It is fun under the sun for children, who are cared and loved by grandpa (Sundararajan), a beggar, and a postman (Jithan Mohan). A singer (Attakathi Aarumugam) and his daughter also live on the beach.
The story has a subplot, where the director shows the romance of a young couple (Siva Karthikeyan and Oviya), a regular visitors to Marina.
Pandiraj blends all characters to send a strong message about the need to provide every basic education to every child for a better tomorrow.
'Marina' is a feel-good film that moves at a leisurely pace advocating a strong message.
Pandiraj takes a close look at the deprived class them and their plight. Despite touching upon such a serious issue, the script is fun filled and lively.
With romance as accompaniment, the director conveys a message about upliftment of child labours and he must be lauded for making all the characters so real.
But the movie also has a documentary feeling at some places. It also suffers from stereotypical portrayal of characters.
The selection of other supporting characters makes the film stereotypical. The beggar, the singer and his daughter, the horse rider, and the postman look real.
But the way Pandiraj has put them together around these children and the way he uses them to move the story are cliched. The twists involving these characters are quite predictable and hence they mar the overall impact of the movie.
All the characters revolve around Pakada Pandian and the young artist delivers a good performance.
Siva Karthikeyan's one-liners elicit laughter. Oviya is wasted as she has little scope in the script.
Others in the cast, from child artistes to Sundararajan to Jithan Ramesh, fit well into their roles.
The kids emote well and almost live the characters.
Cinematographer Vijay's captured the life and colours of Marina in a pleasing manner. Debutant music director Girish background music is lively, especially in horse race scene. His music effortlessly replaces dialogues in many places.
Despite a documentary feel and predictably, 'Marina' has succeeded in its attempt to drive home a message in an entertaining way.