Maara is not a mirror reflection of Charlie, but a well-adapted version of the 2015 Malayalam movie. To be more precise, both in Maara and Charlie, the treatment is the same but the approach is different.
The narrative matters
Like Charlie, Maara’s thread also begins with the female lead. While in Charlie, the movie begins with a wedding scenario from where Tessa (Parvathy) flees from home to avoid a marriage proposal.
On the other hand, in Maara, we get to see the premise of a magical realist being told to Paaru (Shradha Sreenath).
Like in Charlie, in Maara too, the film travels through different characters in Maara's life and ends with the journey that leads to Paaru meeting Maara after a magical chase -- like Tessa meeting Charlie.
On a related note, the feelings here are a bit different. We tend to root for Tessa and Charlie's meeting till the last in the original, and in this one we kind of know the duo are meant to meet.
So, the excitement kind of varies.
Characters and pace
Maara director Dhilip Kumar has taken the essence of Unni R's story and recreated it with characters similar to ones from Charlie.
Like Soubin Shahir from the original, there is a similar role which provides a dash of comic element.
Similar is the case with Abhirami, whose character is based on the one played by Kalpana in the original.
Sshivada's character is given a twist as a helpless doctor.
Director Dhilip also gave a back story to the central character. But, the childhood scenes of Maara was a bit odd considering that its absence gave Charlie an aura of mystery.
This also slowed down the pace of the movie.
The perfect casting is probably the highlight of both the movies. It would be hard to point which casting was best. Dulquer carried an energy and was like an enigma perfectly fitting as Charlie. And here, Madhavan was a like free spirit. His acting looked effortless, embracing the characters warmth.
Parvathy and Shraddha excelled. While Parvathy leaves a lasting impression, Shraddha got a big impact in the movie with more screen presence than the lead actor.
To sum up, Maara is not a lazy remake, but a good adapted version of Charlie. With amazing music and visuals, Maara is sure to grab attention.