Behind the Movie Maaya: Director Neelakanta renowned for screen writing and directing films in new genre is here with a subject of ESP mixed with romance. As movie raked enough of fascination among movie lovers, let us see how far it lived to our expectations.
In the Movie Maaya: Story begins with childhood introduction of Meghana whose god given gift of ESP (Extra Sensory Perception or Sixth Sense) could not save her mother’s life. Meghana (Avanthika) grows into a popular TV Journalist working for TV 21 channel whose next assignment is to cover the Traditional Fashion Show arrangements of Fashion Designer Siddharth Varma (Harshavardhan Rane).
In no time, they two develop a romantic crush. Story takes a sudden twist with entry of Meghana’s childhood friend Pooja (Sushmaraj) introduced as Siddharth’s fiancee. Meanwhile, Meghana through her ESP finds a shock of life where in Siddharth is going to kill Pooja. What happened later to this triangular love story? Who is another girl in Siddharth’s past love life? Did Meghana save Pooja or not? All these form rest of story.
Values & Out of the Movie Maaya: Psychological dramas amalgamated with thrilling elements always offer a new aroma for audience. Despite this kind of unusual genres aren’t frequently touched in Tollywood, when the case is with director Neelakanta, one can easily take it for a minimum guarantee.
ESP or Sixth Sense is a special state of mental being where in one can sense the future or unseen past with mind but cannot surface in physically. In long past, I can remember ‘Surya The Great’ of Mammotty as a film which left strong imprint. Later on, the genre is forgotten till Neelakanta raised the curiosity.
In ‘Maaya,’ the triangular romantic backdrop looked familiar. It’s the ESP quality of heroine made the difference. Notwithstanding the excitement and interest one has about ESP, Neelakanta rubbed this area only with four to five scenes out of which just two are linked to our core plot. Obviously for viewers who enter into theater with ‘Maaya’ in mind are deviated from ESP hysteria for no good reason.
Without creating any impact of ESP, most of the screen time fades away on unripe romance between TV journo and fashion designer. Story moves at snail pace with no big twists and turns till Sushma Raj gives an entry. Its just pre interval when Meghana gets receptive of final turmoil, a mild jerk is felt.
Into second half, a sub plot of Siddharth Varma’s past affair with social activist and her suspicious death lives a new mystery for solving. This is a complete breach diluting the original essence. Thank god, here on Neelakanta took the drive so carefully unfolding the locks springing a few surprising facts in last 30 minutes. Climax was although convincing yet a loud bang was missing.
Sekhar Chandra’s background was better than songs score. Bal Reddy’s camera work is decent while Naveen Nooli’s editing lacked in sharpness essential for thrillers. Screenplay is also feeble with liberal loopholes. Dialogues generated an inconsistent ambience. Production values of Madhura Sreedhar are worthy accountable when experimenting a new genre.
On performance point, Harshavardhan Rane did a decent job with good looks, Avanthika struck to single expression even sensing those odd psychic vibrations while Sushma Raj was versatile in closing scenes. Jhansi as Psychotherapist offered useful information and Naga Babu did not have much to do. Nalla Venu comedy was subtle and rest did not need a mention.
Overall, ‘Maaya’ is a brilliant opportunity for Neelakanta to show his touch apart. Per contra, he could have kept a far better output if the subject is closed in crispy time. Lengthy runtime and unwanted scenes languidly scrubbed the very ESP essence of ‘Maaya’ making it into a simple triangular romance. So, this is less of ESP and more of love story kind.
Cinejosh Verdict of Maaya: Moderate to Weak ‘Illusion’
Cinejosh Rating: 2.5
Reviewed by Srivaas