Director: Ashwin Saravanan
Production Co: Potential Studios, Sri Thenandal Films
Music Director: Ron Ethan Yohann
Cast: Nayantara, Aari, Amzath Khan, Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli, Robo Shankar, Mime Gopi
Maya is a well executed horror film and comes as a whiff of fresh air amidst the truckload of pretentious horror flicks in Tamil cinema including the likes of Munis, Kanchanas and Aranmanais.
Inspired from real events happened inside a mental asylum situated in the Mayavanam forest, the film focuses on the life of Apsara, played by Nayanthara, who delivers a brilliant performance. Apsara falls in love with Arjun and ends up pregnant before tying the knot. Arjun abandons Apsara since the latter doesn’t pay heed to the former’s advice of aborting the child. Apsara’s friend Lakshmi Priya plays the role of an assistant director who is involved in a mysterious project called Irul. When debtors take Nayanthara heads on, en emotionally charged Apsara participates in a terrifying contest for the prize money. But her problems are far from over and the contest serves as the beginning of all.
Director Ashwin deserves a standing ovation for constructing a bang-up horror thriller without any cliched elements usually associated with the genre. We don’t have brawny villains, brainy heroes, cleavage-exposing sirens but the film is suffused with extremely engrossing intricacies which will leave you in awe of the splendid writing involved in generation the intensity of the movie. The poetic title credits, the scare-inducing close-up shots are some of the highlights of the film which neither doles out over the top sentiments nor melodrama.
The subtlety of the screenplay is maintained throughout the film to keep us on the edge of our seats. Ashwin’s vision to develop a proper outcome is commendable and his effort is quite visible in the way he has handled the second half.
It is recommended to watch this only in a Dolby ATMOS enabled theater near you to catch the immersive acoustics involved in the film. It will definitely be a moderate scare fest on all terms with the fantastic technical values which is included Sathya Sooran’s skilful frames and Suresh’s suspense.
Though Nayanthara has only average scope to prove a point with her performance, director Ashwin has taken more limelight with his directorial finesse which warrants mention.
Maya is a huge break from the cluttered Tamil film releases and a definite addition to the horror genre in Kollywood.
3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)