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3.5 Star popcorn reviewss

So last night, after a lot of contemplation I decided to watch The Malayalam Romantic Thriller, Maayanadhi directed by Aashiq Abu. Yes, the director played a big role here as he was the one who directed the excellent movie ‘Virus'(available on Amazon Prime and highly recommended). Is Maayanadhi worth your time….lets find out.

Maayanadhi is a complex love story between a small time gangster and an aspiring actress. You may have seen a lot if meet-up-break-up love stories but here in lies the complexity. It seems real and legit, perhaps a little hard to explain too. The screenplay is also well penned though the thrill element does seem a bit far fetched. Having said that, it adds a certain layer of complexity in the already complex love story. Here I would like to mention, I did not entirely connect with the movie but it was when the movie had ended, it stayed with me as I kept brooding about the end. Herein lies the victory of the director, Aashiq Abu. You may not like it instantly but certain things in the narrative that will pull you back towards it. What seemed like ‘yeah have seen better love stories’ eventually turned out to be ‘Ok, this one is intense’. Also, a couple of the side tracks really work for me, like the brother sister one(you will know when you watch it). The dialogues are pretty good. The music is outstanding. A word on the direction – Pretty Good!

Lilo Jose Pellisary(director of Angamaly Diaries and Jallikattu, both highly recommended) plays a director in the film, an extended cameo to perfection. Soubin Shahir is there for just 2 scenes but he leaves a lasting impact as the brother Ikka. Such a fine actor! Leona Lishoy as Sameera is good. Harish Uthaman as Inspector Harish has tremendous screen presence too. Aishwarya Lekshmi as Aparna aka Appu looks so pretty and she has a layered role to deal with and she comes out with flying colours. Tovino Thomas as Maathan is another fine actor and here too he shines in a role that requires him to internalize a lot. Watch him particularly in that finale scene, brilliant!

Maayanadhi (signifying mystic river) is a movie that doesn’t disappoint. It is a unique love story narrated in a unique manner filled with many smaller moments to cherish. You may not like it instantly but it is a love story that stays with you long after the end credits roll. Available on Vodafone Play, Jio Cinema and Sun Next!

PS : This is the 2017 Malayalam movie and not to be confused with the 2020 Tamil movie of the same name!

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