Movie Reviews

Maya, On YouTube, Makes A Writer’s Demons Look Charming

Writer, editor and director: Ani IV Sasi
Cast: Ashok Selvan, Priya Anand
Cinematography: Divakar Mani
Music: Ron Ethan Yohann
Streaming On: YouTube (Ondraga Entertainment)

Spoilers Ahead…

What you first discover in Maya is how autobiographical elements of it really feel. Written and directed by Ani Sasi, the brief begins with Ashok (Ashok Selvan), a critically acclaimed director, writing his subsequent movie. All the acclaim seems to have solely confused Ashok (they referred to as his sensible movie the “best commercial fantasy”) to the purpose that he’s undecided what he ought to even be writing. But by Ashok’s second draft, Maya turns into a captivating origin story for and commentary on Theeni (the director’s earlier movie) earlier than fantastically looping again into itself and changing into a commentary on itself.

It has this self-aware high quality as a result of it’s primarily a relaxed depiction of the noise in a author’s head. Everyone, besides the author, is imaginary in Maya, nonetheless actual they could really feel; and each layer of creativeness offers rise to a brand new layer of actuality. Maya is a one-man act and all of the dialogues you hear are in Ashok’s head. 

Ashok’s inspiration for his feminine protagonist is his spouse, Maya (Priya Anand). But by the way in which, he redundantly describes her actions though we are able to see for ourselves, we all know that he’s prepared her into existence via phrases. Ashok then makes use of his — now actual sufficient — Maya as the idea for his feminine protagonist, which leads him to the plot of Theeni. And in the long run, when it’s clear that Maya, the character, isn’t actual, Ashok goes again to sq. one and begins to put in writing Maya, the brief movie, as a approach of constructing her actual. The artist invents his personal inspiration.

Why he must invent Maya is, partly, defined by his anxiousness to put in writing a “commercial film”. The movie opens with objects on his desk: a gramophone, fountain pen with ink bottle, a mechanical watch, a replica of ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’. Even a typewriter lies forged apart and unused as if it’s too trendy for him. A author with this angle has to put in writing a business movie that’s higher than his earlier profitable movie, Anba. Ashok retains repeating the phrase “commercial” to himself. It’s as if he can’t perceive its that means past its sound. He has to curb a pure inclination to make movies on social topics and he finds himself paralyzed. Much like Jonathan Livingston Seagull, he can’t fly with the others. So, he imagines his approach out of the state of affairs by inventing Maya.

Visualizations of every iteration of the love story that Ashok is writing have a half-mocking tone, acceptable for a way a primary draft would possibly look in a author’s head. The characters he creates additionally work together with him and get cross together with his tendency to kill characters off, making tragedies out of romances. Ashok’s commentary on the creation and reception of Theeni (additionally starring Ashok Selvan) is particularly endearing.

There’s even a tongue-in-cheek quip about its visuals: fullah backlightah vechu smokeah pottu, pazhaya PC sir shoot panra maari shoot panlaamfeelah yethalaam, azhagu kaati oora yemaathalaam. Ashok Selvan says these traces with such self-aware glee that they sound hilarious, particularly in the event you’ve watched Theeni. And traces in regards to the reception of Anba is also about Theeni.

From an account of how Theeni was written and obtained, Maya loops on itself like a Mobius strip and turns into an account of its personal creation by the tip. But past the autobiographical angle, Maya can be a sensible and amusing visualization of what occurs in a author’s thoughts as he’s on the lookout for a narrative with solely the demons in his head to maintain firm.

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