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When was the last time an Indian horror film scare you the maximum! I can’t even remember when that happened. Mysskin’s Pisasu reinvented horror in a different format but it was a supernatural movie that didn’t create that fear factor.
Aswin Saravanan’s Maya is one horror film that serves its very purpose to the maximum. With some brilliant sound effects and less clichés, here is a film in the horror genre that stands tall technically as well as how the presentation of the story goes.
Using the word cliched to describe recent desi horror and supernatural flicks is itself a cliched usage. Breaking that shell and still making you scare deserves full credit. Director Ashwin has succeeded in making the viewers hooked onto the edge of the seat with mind blowing sound effects. The other notable aspect is that the film is just not dependent on the sound factor alone. It has much more in it. Suspense is retained almost till the very end which is a rarity these days.
I am not going much into the story line as that would break the suspense part and act as a spoiler. All I would say is that Maya revolves around a village named Mayavanam which is isolated from the city limits. There was a mental asylum there thirty years back and the story revolves around these two aspects.
A multi layered approach is storytelling is adopted which has worked out in a positive way without much confusion. There is some element of predictability towards the final stages but that is acceptable and tolerable in an otherwise superior movie.
The emotional elements brought towards the end did not go against the movie and it was a touching final stages though we could predict the outcome once three fourth of the film is completed. That itself is a big thing. To retain the thrill and suspense covered till that stage is a big achievement and all credit goes to the director Ashwin Saravanan.
Coming to the acting side, Nayanthara’s presence definitely lifted the film since she was the lone star face among the acting crew. She didn’t have much to perform as Apsara but her onscreen presence did something good for the movie. Aari plays a very important role which he enacted well. Rest of the actors did their part as per the demands of the character.
Technically the film can boast about its brilliant background score and sound effects. Overall sound design is top notch. Cinematography with some brilliant shots especially the night scenes and lighting helped to create good amount of tension. Edits were also nice keeping the film as sharp as possible.
In a nutshell, the film was able to sustain the horror factor and suspense almost close to its finishing line. Don’t just ignore MAYA as just another scary movie, it has that element of thrill and fear to make it a near perfect horror movie. I will go with three and a half out of five and a big thumbs up to Ashwin Saravanan and his team.
Review By:- Chandra Mohan Gopinath