Maya Movie Review

Review Overview

Performances
Screenplay and Direction
Technical Aspects and BGM

A viscerally satisfying, well-crafted horror flick!

Maya is a terrific, well-crafted horror thriller which stays grossly unsettling right from the first frame. Apart from its success as a bona-fide horror movie, Maya also accomplishes as an intriguing whodunit steadily. Highly recommended.

Cast: Nayanthara, Aari, Robo Shankar, Lakshmi Priya, Amzath Khan & others

Cinematography: Sathyan Sooryan

Music: Ron Ethan Yohaan

Editing: TS Suresh

Art Direction: Ramalingam

PRO: Johnson

Visual Effects: Prism & Pixels

Written & Directed by: Ashwin Saravanan

Produced by: Potential Studios

Distribution: Sri Thenandal Films

Release Date: 17-09-2015

Run Time: 02:20:00

Debutant director Ashwin’s Maya is a terrific, well-crafted horror thriller which stays grossly unsettling right from the first frame. Apart from its success as a bona-fide horror movie, Maya also accomplishes as an intriguing whodunit steadily.

There is nothing that you haven’t seen before in other horror films. But what makes Maya standout is the plausible presentation and deft handling of the script using the familiar tropes of the genre. Done and dusted horror movie props like diary, doll and ring are part of the film. But, nothing is exploited to death solely to give you the heebie-jeebies. Very rarely do horror films in Tamil come without provocative clothing, sleazy characters, objectifying camera angles, special effects chaos and most importantly, a social message. Maya has neither of the aforementioned banalities and still works well as a suspenseful flick.

Maya narrates the story of Apsara (Nayanthara), a debt-ridden single parent, who is an actress by profession. When a condescending money-lender confronts her at the door step, she takes an unexpected decision which turns her life upside down.

I liked the conviction with which Ashwin gradually builds up the intensity of the film by making us invested in his characters cleverly. I liked his inventiveness to employ the crescendo-esque ending pitch of Anupama’s ‘Konjam Nilavu’ song from ‘Thiruda Thiruda’ to trigger a creepy moment. I liked the sweaty-palm tension he has stirred up throughout the film without any overdose of bloodshed, gore or violence. Man, Ashwin, certainly, looks like a talent to watch out for.

The overpowering technical values are a stellar addition to the film. Cinematographer Sathyan Sooryan’s well devised shot compositions, aided by editor Suresh’s nifty, superbly thought-out cuts and pauses will leave you cowering in the corner at few important junctures. Ron Yohaan’s mellifluous passages capture the film’s atmosphere sublimely. Nayanthara delivers a measured performance as Apsara with great ease and it’s a delight to watch her perform in a role which demands a good deal of restraint.

Maya is a highly recommended watch for every true horror movie fan. It is a viscerally satisfying film which has genuine creeps to grab you by the throat.

Maya Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5

Also read our other Tamil Movie Reviews

Written by Surendhar MK

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