Mollywood has always been a fertile ground for realistic cinema, and Aashiq Abu's Mayanadhi is the latest addition to the long list. Starring Tovino Thomas and Aishwarya Lekshmi, the film is a window that opens to the life of Mathew aka Mathan (Tovino) and Aparna (Aishwarya). Aparna is an engineering drop-out who is currently doing small advertisements, but aspires to be a leading actress. Mathan was her senior in college, and they were very close to each other. Their relationship had hit a dead end, but things take a U-turn when a trouble-driven Mathan comes to Kochi and tries to win her back.
The film moves forward in two narratives, the raw and emotional love story, and an investigation. The story has no surprises in it, but the treatment and the direction, make the movie a delight. The unadulterated depiction of life-like events makes it very relatable. By all means, Mayanadhi is easily Aashiq Abu's best work till date. Writers Syam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair have succeeded in striking the right chords with minimal dialogues, which set a special mood for the film.
Jayesh Mohan's frames and color tones have used Kochi's natural beauty and proved that the city is indeed worth the title 'The Queen of Arabian Sea.' Rex Vijayan's songs and background score play a pivotal role in giving the movie it's true feelings. The perfect blending of direction, performances, frames and music, result in making Mayanadhi a captivating watch.
Aishwarya Lekshmi is the backbone of the movie with a strong performance. She easily portrays every emotion convincingly and is bound to become the industry's pride. Tovino Thomas has always been moving step by step to becoming the next Superstar, and the actor flawlessly pulls off his character with a very decent and improved performance. Harish Uthaman and Ilavarasu as the investigative officers do justice to their roles while Lijo Jose Pellissery, Soubin Shahir, Basil Joseph and Aparna Balamurali entertain in cameo roles.
Mayanadhi is beautiful and real, but it does not have the pace you expect from a normal cinematic love story. Though the performances satisfy you, the lack of a novel storyline pulls the movie down slightly. It will touch your heart like a beautiful song on the radio during a long drive at night through the highway, but will it appeal the same to all kind of audience is debatable.