'Maayavan' review: Science fiction or science lesson?

A still from the movie 'Maayavan'   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Maayavan opens with Ilaiyaraaja’s soothing ‘Keladi Kanmani’ number playing on what looks like a radio. But the listener isn’t someone sitting in a tea shop in Thanjavur; he is lying in what looks like a futuristic hospital bed. The year, we’re informed, is 2037.

  • Director: CV Kumar
  • Cast: Sundeep Kishan, Lavanya Tripathi, Jackie Shroff, Daniel Balaji
  • Storyline: A cop stumbles upon the case of a series of murders that have strange coincidences

Within the next five minutes, we’re shown two different set of sequences in today’s times – a funeral taking place and subsequently a cop chasing a thug.

That cop, Kumaran (Sundeep Kishan, who seems to be having a good year at the movies), stumbles upon a murder in the house next door. The killer sprints, and the cop goes after him. Kumaran is injured and admitted in hospital – and is set to join work weeks later.

But there’s a hitch: he has to pass a psychiatry test that will be conducted by Ramya (a likeable Lavanya Tripathi, who looks and plays the part well). There’s an argument, and they end up meeting often...and meeting more often. One of Maayavan’s achievements is that there’s no obvious romance between the two. They do get a song, but the love is underplayed till the very end.

It needed to be. The filmmaker’s intention is to go on the murders – the why of it, the one that Kumaran is besotted with. He just can’t get the connection – the murders seemingly have no connect with each other, but the modus operandi is the same. It is the same killer, he decides, but who and why. The film tries to answer that by exploring the angle of a scientist who’s working on a futuristic dream – one that’ll ensure that man lives forever, even if the mortal body dies, by moving his “brain data into another person”.

On paper, it’s a brilliant idea and Maayavan could have drawn from the basic premise and created some wonderful things. But it doesn’t – it ends up like a science lesson. And so, we’re shown below-par visuals of how the brain works (can’t filmmakers think of more creative ways to show the workings of a brain?) and how this scientist’s project works. The ability to transfer brain data to someone else is perhaps the biggest breakthrough in mankind...and what does its creator do? Kill someone who spilled juice on him!

There are quite a few such glitches in the film. But the pacing helps. The music by Ghibran adds value. The performances too add flavour; while Sundeep is sincere as the cop, managing to sport an angry face throughout the film, Daniel Balaji sneaks in a neat performance as a motivational trainer. Jackie Shroff makes a late entry in the film – one wishes there was more of him to tap into the actor in him.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:21:38 PM |

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