Maya Movie Review
Written & Direction : Ashwin Saravanan
Production : Potential Studios
Cast : Nayantara | Aari | Amzath Khan | Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli | Robo Shankar | Mime Gopi
Music : Ron Ethan Yohaan
Cinematography : Sathyan Sooryan
Editing : T. S. Suresh
Distribution : Sri Thenandal Films
Release date September 17, 2015
Run Time : 141 mins
Looks like Tamil cinema has become the factory of horror flicks with more two dozen films released in this couple of months. Surprisingly, how Maya stands out exceptional among the latest offerings is its treatment. Rather than offering an experience brimming with bundle of guts and gore, Maya binds us with emotional quotients. This comes well packaged with immense technical bonanzas including stunning visuals, excellent sound designing and an ensemble cast with best performances.
The film travels as a drama of two parallel tales – Nayantara an aspiring actress leads a life separated from her husband. She takes care of her baby in spite of many financial problems and doesn’t expect any help from her hubby as well. On the other end, Aari is seen as a cartoonist in a leading Tamil magazine. He is assigned to sketch some pictorial representation of characters in a horror story published on weekly basis for his magazine while Nayantara takes up a challenge of watching a horror film alone in theatre to win a sum of Rs.5Lacs offered as prize money.
How these tales get connected is narrated with some spine-chilling moments, though not gruesome with a twist in climax.
Filmmaker Ashwin already known for some of his best short films crafts a tale that might not blatantly strike similarities with erstwhile references. He keeps the plot neat and perfect, with limited characters and everyone gets a proper sketch. It’s clear that his intentions are not just to scare the audiences, but add an emotional flavour and yes, with some spine shuddery moments. The characters embedded with non-talkative factors are yet another attraction. Especially, for Nayantara and others who have limited lines to utter, but meaningful and coherent to the script. But what becomes a sort of slight confusion is the narrative part.
It looks like Ashwin wanted to try something on the Hollywood’s pattern of storytelling, where it proceeds with Act 1,2 and 3 rather than first and second half.
But if the length was trimmed and made it little crisp, the audiences would have felt the pulse instantly. The first half rarely has its involvement in the actual story. But the twist that comes unveiled by the end of story is impeccable and everything is justified.
For the first time, we find Nayantara without lengthy dialogues and any other unwanted elements. She sticks so much well to the role and her performance peps up the emotional connection. Aari is groovy with what has been offered to him. Lakshmi Priya is vibrant and chirpy. Mime Gopi is excellent. Robot Shankar surprises us in a serious role, though shorter in duration, he brings some smile with his situational gestures.
The sound designers deserve the best credits for adorning this film with crème de la crème effects. Their detailed work even on minutest sound effects offers best impact.
Cinematographer and editor have got their acquaintance to the best level with this script. Musical score by Ron Yohan is fantabulous. He avoids unwanted harsh instrumentals, but emphasizes more prominence to the strings and chorus, which intensifies the emotional feel.
Maya stands out well with some good plot and different treatment of script. Maybe, it would be a cherry pick for multiplex audiences whereas the ones down there at suburban and rural zones might feel perplexed with this new dimensional horror. Had the director had trimmed down the duration from 140 minutes to 100-110, the film would have gained additional impact .