‘Dear Maya’ movie review By G9 Divya Solgama
Hindi films are known for its hero, songs, drama and heroine. The audience loves watching their favourite heroine on the big screen. The beauty of these heroines have been loved and cherished by their fans for decades. Now, when it comes to acting there are very few female actors who are mainly known for their acting skills and not due to their physical appearances. These actors despite of aging looks great on screen and shines out in their characters. But, for rest of them, the physical appearance has been the major point of their survival in the world of Hindi cinema. Thus, many of these glamorous actresses vanished away from the film industry and only a few of those survived who were beautiful as well as talented in terms of their acting skills. Many beautiful actresses made their comeback in graceful manner in the form of some powerful character role or in the role of mother. Durga Khote, Kamini Kaushal, Jaya Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Nutan, Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rehman, Sridevi and many such actresses made a bang with their comeback vehicle. The latest to join this list is Manisha Koirala with her film ‘Dear Maya’, where this actress has not only played a role suiting her current age but has dared to look non glamorous. Thus, let’s find out whether the audience will accept their favourite girl from the 90’s era in this daringly different role or the movie might just end up being one of those forgotten films of such yesteryears actresses.
‘Dear Maya’ is a story of two school going girls Ana (Madiha Imam) and Ira (Shreya Chaudhary) from Shimla. Ana and Ira are best of the friends and lived their life on their own terms. One day Ana discovers details about her neighbor Maya Devi (Manisha Koirala). Ana’s mother (Iravati Harshe) informs her that Maya Devi is a middle aged lonely woman, who has been trapped in her own house since her childhood. Maya Devi is reclusive and disinterested in her life. Ana and Ira decide to spice up Maya Devi’s life and thus decide to write love letters to her. These letters are written by Ana under the fictional name of Ved, who claims to have met Maya in her young days. These letters start a series of changes in Maya and her boring life. Ana and Ira are happy over these happenings, but, one fine day Maya leaves the town in order to find Ved. Ana tries to stop Maya but fails miserably and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.
Screenplay & Technical Details:
The story is interesting as well as engaging. The theme is fresh and beautiful. The first half display the bonding of Madiha and Shreya followed by Manisha’s track. Though the movie takes some time to come on, its right track and it’s only after Manisha start reading those letters, the movie picks up its momentum. Manisha’s expressions after reading the letters are priceless. Her sadness is reflected in the earlier scenes through her body language and the dryness in her face. Later, these sadness transform gradually and displays her joy. You will love and connect with the world of Manisha Koirala. The middle portions are a bit inconsistent as there are some good scenes while other few are just forced and dragging. Madhiha convincing Manisha not to leave followed by her repentance, Madiha and Shreya’s face off after a long gap followed by both of them expressing their guilt, Madiha bonding back over their memories and few more scenes are remarkably good in the dragging middle portion of the film. The finale track featuring Manisha is sweet and engaging. You will love the small happiness in Manisha’s life and the entire track where she opens up to life. These scenes and moments are the main highlights in this movie. The treatment of the film is slow and lethargic. The movie could have been exceptionally good if only the treatment was crisp and engaging. The screenplay after a point keeps dragging without any reasons, due to which the whole impact of the film gets diluted. The cinematography is of top notch.
The music by Anupam Roy (known for his music in films like Piku, Pink, etc) is sweet and refreshing. The initial songs are passable, but it’s the songs in the second half, which manages to steal your heart. ‘Saat Rangon Se’ by Rekha Bhardwaj and ‘Sune Saaye’ are highly melodious and gels brilliantly with the flow of the film. Background music is good and goes with the mood of the film.
Director Sunaina Bhatnagar comes up with a slice of life type of tale and presents it in a brilliant manner. She manages to extract some fine performances from her lead actors. One can feel with the emotions of the characters and that’s all due to good supervision by the director. Sadly, it’s the slow treatment of the film, which ruins the whole fun. The weak screenplay along with few unwanted scenes dilutes the flow of the film.
Manisha Koirala is simply outstanding in her role. She will remind you of her iconic characters of Saira Banu and Rajjo from ‘Bombay’ and ‘1942 A Love Story’. If these characters grow old, they will be combined effect of Maya’s character. Every expression of Manisha’s misery and joy is brilliantly expressed by her. Madiha Imam is cute and talented. Shreya Chaudhary looks good and supports well. Iravati Harshe and others lend good support. Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra’s cameo is welcomed.
So on an overall basis, ‘Dear Maya’ is a precious performance based intelligible tale, which gets mildly ruined by its slow treatment and weak screenplay.
Rating – 2.5/5 [Source – Bollywood Times]