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Maayon Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 2.5 / 5

Maayon Movie Review : Maayon’s intriguing premise let down by inadequate filmmaking

Maayon Movie Synopsis: A gang of idol smugglers plots to steal the treasure hidden in an ancient temple that has unfathomable secrets.

Maayon Movie Review: Maayon begins and ends with the following quote: There is two ways to live your life.. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. This gives us an idea right away on what the tone of the film is going to be. Taking a leaf out of Tamil writer Indra Soundarrajan, who has made a career out of penning novels that combine mystery and mythology, Kishore N gives us a film that gets the basics right. On one end, we have Arjun (Sibi Sathyaraj), a talented smuggler, who works for Devarajan (Hareesh Peradi, typecast yet again), who puts up a team to steal the treasure hidden in an ancient temple.

The temple, we learn, is filled with wonders and dangers. The local legend tells Arjun and team that the place is where Lord Krishna came to rest following the Kurukshetra war and that Gandharvas play music for him every night. This is also why no one is allowed to be inside the walls of the temple after 6pm, for anyone who hears the music either loses their mind or even their life. Does Arjun manage to find a way to succeed in his dangerous mission?

If you are a fan of the 90s TV series Marma Desam (written by Indra Soundarrajan), the premise Maayon will instantly attract you. The film’s writer, Arunmozhi Manickam, comes up with quite a few interesting knots. Even as Arjun and team are plotting their mission, the cops have set up a special team to nab the smugglers. Meanwhile, the local big shot, whose family is in charge of the temple, too, tries to prevent anything untoward from happening.

Kishore has a few impressive set pieces, like a song during which Arjun uses a drone inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, and a shadow puppetry segment that explains the legend of the place. The idea to turn some portions of the second half into a horror film of sorts that is set inside a temple feels interesting. The final twist is also a convincing one.

But beyond the set pieces, the filmmaking in the rest of scenes feels ordinary. Most of the plot developments are delivered through exposition, and the staging doesn’t give us a sense of the geography of the place. The casting and characterisation, too, don’t work. Sibi Sathyaraj strains to pull off the layers in the character while Tanya’s Anjana is mainly a token female presence. The tacky visual effects pretty much belong to the films we got when Marma Desam was on air. Perhaps realising this, Ilaiyaraaja comes up with an uncharacteristically bombastic score that tries to compensate for the lack of visual grandeur. The film leaves us with the feeling of having squandered an opportunity to give us a desi version of The Da Vinci Code.

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