Dhanush's "Mariyaan", which released on 19 July, has opened to a grand response from film buffs.

Post the success of his Hindi debut "Raanjhanaa", Dhanush is back to impress the audience down south.

Directed by Bharat Bala, an ace ad filmmaker, "Mariyaan" is about a fisherman who deals with life's challenges and struggles for his survival in extreme conditions.

Mariyaan  (Dhanush) is a fisherman who shares a close bond with the ocean from where he earns his livelihood in an adventurous manner. Panimalar (Parvathy Menon) is in love with him for a long time, but he does not reciprocate her love.

Soon, Mariyaan realises that he also loves Panimalar. However, trouble comes in the form of Theekkurissi (Vinayakan) who has his eyes on Panimalar. Her father had borrowed some money from Theekkurissi, but is unable to return it.

Theekkurissi seeks marriage with Panimalar in exchange for money that her father had borrowed. He rejects the offer which angers Theekkurissi, who threatens to kill him if he does not repay the money.

In order to repay the money, Panimalar convinces Mariyaan to take up the job of a construction worker on a two-year contract in Sudan. With just one week more to finish his contract, Mariyaan is happy to return to India and to see his lover Panimalar. Unfortunately, on the day of his return Mariyaan and his co-workers are abducted and held as captive by African terrorists, who demand ransom from the company that Mariyaan works for.  

The rest of the story is about how Mariyaan fights for his survival and reaches his ladylove Panimalar.

"Mariyaan" songs, composed by AR Rahman and teasers have already generated a lot of buzz among his fans. Film critics have also given positive reviews to "Mariyaan", deeming it as a must watch for its breathtaking visuals and the performances of the lead cast.

Here is what the critics have to say

S Saraswathi of Rediff.com says, "The film is great technically, the music is remarkable, and the performance of the lead actors exceptional."

"However, what brings the film down a notch is the pace, especially the second half, which seems to drag quite a bit. And though the film may not appeal to all, it is definitely a must watch."

Heaping praises on the film's cast, Indiaglitz says, "Acting wise, no little or lengthy words to explain the magnificence of Dhanush, he can go up with heads high of the fact that, he is no more an ordinary actor down the lane and more is left in that lean body."

"Parvati as Panimalar is sure to create a crater size impact on Indian Cinema, her eyes twinkle and do most of the talking, but that doesn't stop the actress, her chemistry with Dhanush is one of the best in Tamil Cinema. Rest of the cast Appukuty, Uma Riaz, Jagan, African cast all live up to their expectations as well."

According to Behindwoods Review Board, "The movie's pace is leisurely all the way and the director might have deliberately slowed it down for the audience to feel the intensity of the emotions longer. The first half is mostly used to set up the deep bond between Maryan and Panimalar and whether this bond can withstand all the pain and suffering, is what the second half narrates."

On the technical aspects of the film, sify.com says, "Technically, Bharath Bala has made a brilliant film. Maryan wouldn't be half the film if it weren't for Marc Koninckxx breathless, dazzling cinematography with a gamut of varied camera angles to convey emotions against the backdrop of the beautiful sea and dry African deserts."

"Much credit must go to AR Rahman for contributing some great tunes and a sumptuous soundtrack which proves a worthy accompaniment to the film's crackling narrative. Songs are placed well and goes with the narrative."

Verdict:  A must watch to feel and relish the excellent visuals and the performances of the lead actors.