Aashiq Abu’s Mayaanadhi has become 2 years old. Written by Syam Pushkaran – Dileesh Nair duo, this film is one of the best to come out of the genre in ages. It is one sort that absorbs you inside through it’s mystic flow, charming protagonists and delectable atmosphere. Mayaanadhi which translates to Mystic River in English is a mood swinger. It has an incredible pace and delicacy. Night shots plays big role in settling the mood.
These are some of the most memorable sequences from film that can pounder intimacy of romance and unsettle your heart strings.
Maathan & Appu walking in Kochi night lights. First combination scene.
This is the first scene of the film in which we get to see Maathan and Appu together on screen. Since then, we don’t get a connection of these two. It’s not a fall in love at first sight romance or a stalk show. He calls her at first, asks; shall I come and see you now, when she affirmatives only he comes to the scene with a small chuckle of innocent smile and lucid fear. Appu slaps at his face right away and starts walking quickly. There’s a backstory that ended up in a relationship lull, which is beautifully portrait through Rex Vijayan’s soothing song later. So, Maathan doesn’t slap back, follow up or stalks her way through. Only, when she stops and gives nod after taking a few steps only he goes near and they start walking through the beauty of the night lights of Kochi.
Tovino Thomas and Aishwarya Lekshmi’s enchanting chemistry, exchanges, smiles. Like their relationship process from scratch here, we too starts falling in love with the film. For the irresistible urge Appu has for Maathan’s love.
Maathan yearning for Empathy. Forgiveness.
This one frame where Maathan close to the walls looking Appu counting her receipts is miraculously glittering and heartfelt. He yearns for forgiveness. It is a speechless apologising scene, for the mischief he has done with her life, her love and their relationship. I doubt if any other young actor in Malayalam today could replace Tovino in this very scene. He made me root for Maathan so badly. Undoubtedly the career best character of his alongside Thejas Varkey.
Love Making & Shahabaz Aman.
Appu has finally done well in her audition, she has a gut feeling that this might be it, her first break. She’s happy and wants to celebrate it with Maathan. Calls him to her house at Kakkanad. The whole stretch here is cozy. Exquisitely staged. They starts making love. hands down, this will be the best choreographed intimate scene in Malayalam Cinema. Tovino and Aishwarya Lekshmi kisses and cuddles each other with so much passion, unlike many other films (from India) that makes a mockery out of the art by faking kisses/gimmickry staging. Aashiq Abu and his cameraman Jayesh Mohan does nothing than delicately capturing these moments as palpable as possible. The lovely Mizhiyil Ninnum sung by Shahabaz Aman plays in background when they goes intimate again.
Aashiq Abu treats the musical video as a magical Maryland. The epic sex is not a promise statement follows after this stretch.
Final encounter & trust in relationship.
Finally, the films most poignant scene, is the climax, filled with mist and blue overtones that gives a sense of gloominess. The riveting police investigation track coming to the conclusion with Maathan’s encounter. On the way, the conversation put forwards a debate on patriarchy and trust in relationship, the senior police officer and Maathan’s dynamics is an interesting contrast of two perceptions. He wants to kill him with more pain than enough, lying that it was Aparna who turned him into them. But Maathan knows Appu is true. Not because he knows the cops are lying. But knowing that anything she does is right. How the climax ends is a hit on patriarchy and patriarchal perceptions of men in relationships (the film leaves this open to interpretation). And, this is how ultimately toxic relationships work. But Maathan’s smile at the end is an emotional injection empathising humanity.
Tail end: An ultimate ode to love!
I love this. The final frame and voice over of Appu who says, ‘Naale padam release aanu, santhosham varumbol njan maathane orkkum. Ingane nadakkumbo pettonnevidunno avan ente aduthekk odi varunnundenn thonnum’.
Appu is still persevering her love for Maathan. Hoping that he’ll come back, as she believes he is a survivor. We hear Maathan’s voice from behind; calling ‘Aps’. Screen blinks dark with Shahabaz Aman’s and Neha S Nair’s melancholic vocals rhyming together: Mayaanadhi, title appears! It’s a seamless river continuing to flow, and an ultimate ode to love.