The romance genre in Indian films is mostly dominated by two storylines – A man and woman falling in love and then there are problems, either caused by their parents or goons, or a man stalking a girl till she falls for him in the end supported by a mix of romantic songs.
Here is where the Malayalam movie Mayaanadhi comes into the picture. Starring Tovino Thomas and Aishwarya Lekshmi , the movie stands out as a one-of-a-kind movie in terms of story, characterization, and performance.
Several special aspects lend a magical touch to the movie. John Mathew a.k.a Mathan (Tovino) is introduced as a racketeer who is trailed by the police while he is immersed in love with Aparna (Aishwarya) who is now ambitious in making it big in the cinema industry. Aparna who has distanced from Mathan owing to a small rift ends up being loved by him again (or falling in love again?)
Director Aashiq Abu takes the movie slowly, giving enough time for the audience to get the feel of the movie. Mayaanadhi is refreshingly realistic in terms of dialogue delivery and the depiction of the society in general. The sequence where a Aparna’s mom prods her to come home to attend family functions and proudly mentions her educational qualifications to the guests. The film has a feminist undertone in it, which subtly delivers the message and is not forced into the movie with hard-hitting dialogues. Aparna never mentions her ambitions nor desire to settle down, yet Mathan never intends on giving up on her. She is stuck, at times confused and silently craves for Mathan’s love.
The cinematography by Jayesh Mohan is top-notch, especially in the romantic love-making sequence where the lead characters are blissfully into each other and capturing their faces of happiness. Rex Vijayan delivers soundtracks lend a memorable touch to the movie, with use the soundtrack of ‘Uyirin Nadhiye’ in various parts of the movie.
There is one line by the heroine that made an impact in the movie – “Sex is not a promise.” I cannot reveal anything more about this particular sequence or about the movie as it will lose the magic. This one sets a benchmark in Malayalam cinema and for Indian cinema as a whole.