MAAYAVAN SYNOPSIS: A series of murders are happening in the city, and a cop realises that they are all eerily similar. Can he find out the link and capture the murderer before it is too late?
MAAYAVAN REVIEW: In his directorial debut, CV Kumar, the producer of films like Pizza, Soodhu Kavvum and Irudhi Suttru, gives us an gripping thriller — a whodunit with a touch of sci-fi. The film does take a while to get going, but once it begins to focus on the main plot with single-minded devotion, it turns into a thrill ride.
It all begins for Kumaran (Sundeep Kishan, who is pretty good, save for the fake moustache), an inspector, when he stumbles upon a murder. In trying to apprehend the criminal, he has a near-death experience. Against the advice of psychologist Adhirai (Lavanya Tripathi, no lip-sync, slightly better expressions), he goes back to work, only to freak out when he comes across a murder which is eerily similar to the previous one. But how can that be, when that killer has already died? A couple more deaths happen, and Ruthran (Daniel Balaji, in a quintessential Daniel Balaji role), a motivational speaker, becomes the prime suspect. But is there more to these murders than meets the eye?
One of the best things about Maayavan is how it manages to keep us guessing until it reveals the killer and his modus operandi. Right from the beginning, we sense something creepy happening, and Ghibran’s moody score only adds to the eeriness. And the film manages to clearly explain the high-concept involved. Credit should go to the script, by Nalan Kumarasamy. It is pure pulp and gloriously so.
There are a few false notes, too. Kumaran’s PTSD gets quite a bit of screen time in the beginning, but gets resolved too quickly. A hostage situation and a chase that follows are quite crudely staged. Also, the prologue, set in 2037, feels unnecessary.
But these are minor stumbles (call them first-timer’s mistakes). Otherwise, the storytelling here is solid that we are engaged throughout.