Direction: Ashwin Saravanan
Cast: Nayanthara, Aari, Lakshmi Priya, Mime Gopal, Amzath Khan, Robo Shankar
Music Director: Ron Yohan
Cinematography: Sathyan Sooryan
Editor: TS Suresh
What is it about: The movie revolves around a fictional place called “Mayavanam” which is ought be a mental asylum run under pretence of curing the patients, but what goes behind this noble operation is disturbing. When we ponder on what’s so scary about this place, the story is built with great characters. There is a director (Mime Gopi) in the film who is struggling to release his movie, who has an assistant (Lakshmi Priya) helping him with it, who is also friends with the lead character Apsara (Nayanthara) who happens to be a single mother, on top of which a struggling artists trying to make it in the industry. Among these characters there are others, an artist, publication chief, a cop and a best friend played by Aari, Amzath Khan, Robo Shankar and Sharath Kumar, who are persistent to find out the truth behind the cursed asylum. The story of “Maya” is not that simple as it sounds here, with this simple notion Ashwin Saravanan (Director) weave a story which leaves you spellbound.
Why it’s disappointing: I wouldn’t ponder too much on negative points on the movie, as they are negligible with the given premise set by the director. So you can leave this section a rest for this movie.
What to watch out for: The screenplay plays the lead role in the movie, which is the strong hold in this flick. The director made it a point to scare for the obvious reason of it being a horror, but the way he chose was different, which is why “Maya” stands out and other recent releases take a back seat in this genre. All the basic elements along with the important ones were handled meticulously by Ashwin who doesn’t cease to spook you throughout. The narration was impeccable which keeps you in knots, but when it unravels you just applaud.
Nayanthara can proudly say she has hit the point where she can be called out for performance rather than being a baby doll, she always had the potential but in our industry glam shadows the talent, Nayan in “Maya” did a great job. Aari did a good job and his character is quite interesting. Amzath Khan, he was seen alongside of Nakul in “Vallinam” after which he got a good breakthrough with a different shade in “Maya”, which suited him quite well. Lakshmi Priya was damn cute, even though there was Nayanthara couldn’t take eyes off her, she played the role of Swathi and did a good job, and can see that she will be going places. In this intense horror drama Robo Shankar eases you a bit with his funny antics. Sharath Kumar showed some really good performance which kept us entertaining during his screen presence. And Mime Gopi had a short stint but a pivotal one.
The technical crew of the film is the backbone to it, which made “Maya” what it is, cinematography was splendid by Sathyan Sooryan he was remarkable with his lens magic, the movie had a whole different outlook. This was matched with ace editing by TS Suresh. Whenever it’s a horror movie, sound plays a vital part along with the cinematography, and it was mixed perfectly which was in sync with the visuals, DOLBY ATMOS was at its best for the first time in a Tamil Movie, which added more thrill to it. Ron Ethan Yoohan, his name sounds very new and different so was his score, it was great and brought the required feel and essence to movie which made “Maya” reach the audience.
Verdict: Maya is a well woven script in which you get webbed with its mystical knots. Ashwin sure does know how to scare and at the same time kept it subtle, which is the beauty of “Maya”.