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DEAR MAYA - Cinema means 'New Untold Stories' and this beautifully fulfills the requirement with two bright young girls and a charming Manisha. (Review by Bobby Sing)

04 Jun, 2017 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases

In the late 80s and mid-90s, our TV content used to be so rich, enlightening us with novel stories in serials such as KATHA SAGAR, DARPAN, RISHTEY, EK KAHANI, YULE LOVE STORIES and later STAR BESTSELLERS too. DEAR MAYA took me back in those days through its novel storyline full of love and warmth and that’s indeed like a fresh cool breeze in the current repetitive storytelling format of Hindi cinema. 

Without revealing much about its basic theme, DEAR MAYA is about a mysterious lonely lady living in Shimla (with her dogs/birds) and two young school going girls interfering in her life just for the sake of fun and excitement, unaware of its serious consequences. Exactly like a short story format, the film takes you into a different world of adolescence, loneliness and expectations, represented through its three relatable characters and then ends with a highly positive twist pointing towards the gift of life that needs to be lived to the max, instead of losing the trust and hope in the ever-caring existence.

The film not only deserves attention for being a comeback film of Manisha Koirala post her winning fight with cancer, but also needs to be noticed for being an all-women project directed by the debutant Sunaina Bhatnagar displaying a lot of promise. The director intelligently divides the film focusing on two different aspects of life in its two halves and successfully narrates the story with the much required spirit and heart.
Apart from a pleasing, eye-catching cinematography, DEAR MAYA has a worth noticing background score too enhancing the sequences on screen through its well-chosen instruments and notes. Dealing with multiple themes in its script such as unintentional mistakes by the adolescents, growing up facing the unexpected losses in life, middle-age crisis, loneliness, finding love in the later years and more, the film has a certain kind of honestly written all over it right till the end which actually makes you ignore the shortcomings discussed later in the review in details. 
Manisha shines in her different appearances in the film’s two halves and I personally loved the mysterious ambience created by the director in the initial moments of the film presenting her as a women dressed in long black robes with a dagger hanging from her waist, having nothing to do with the world out of her dark old-time house with all the windows closed. Moreover, for the first time I found a comeback made openly accepting the wrinkles on the face and age without any hiding behind the makeup as usually done in the fake glamour world quite often. A fact that clearly represents the spiritual transformation Manisha must have gone through in the recent decades facing the ugly demon of cancer.
Both Madiha Imam and Shreya Chaudhary as the two young, bright school/college going girls impress with their likable natural acts in the two different sections of the storyline (making debuts) and the supporting cast assists them well in their few important scenes as per the requirement. On the other hand, though Rakesh Omprakash Mehra looks fine in his surprising last moment cameo, but he doesn’t add anything significant into the film that remains completely focused on Manisha, heading towards an insightful climax.  
Moving over the praises, it does have a few major limitations of extreme cinematic liberties taken in terms of time-span jumps and logical reasoning. But most importantly it’s too slow at intervals and could have been much more engrossing with a sharper edit, chopping off all the dragging moments (especially in the film’s second half). It also doesn’t have any melodious song you can take back home remembering the life-teaching message. And at times the plot as well as the dialogues seem to be of a film straight from the 90s before the age of internet and advanced means of communications. However that doesn’t hamper the impact made by the final 15 minutes of the film straight reaching the hearts.
Overall, DEAR MAYA is a refreshing, honest attempt by a group of talented women, with a novel story to tell giving a positive message. And since CINEMA actually represents the art of story-telling………., this certainly deserves to be given a chance at the earliest.  

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Tags : Dear Maya Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Manisha Koirala Comeback film, Debut Director, Hindi Films Released in 2017
04 Jun 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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