When was the last time you laughed out loud while watching a Pakistani film? Don’t remember?
Well I do … the name of the film was Maya, it was recently released and was supposed to scare you. Instead, it sent me and my friend on a laughing spree that was last observed while watching Andaaz Apna Apna!
Also read: 7 horror movie cliches in 'Maya'
Everything about Maya was wrong. The film seemed more like an amateurish work than from a veteran of 20 years, Jawad Bashir. Now we know the Jawad Bashir is multi talented – he started as a comedian in the mid 90s, came up with Dr & Billa music band, directed TV shows, hosted game shows and is now one of the many actors who promote Ufone by being crazy, but that doesn’t mean that everything he does would turn to gold. In fact, Maya is one of the worst films ever produced in Pakistan and even the ‘Support Pakistani Cinema’ card at the end of the movie was unable to save it from falling into the ‘flop’ category.
However, it's also very important to add that although the film disappoints on all levels, there is something that must be commended - the director's decision to do something different. The script by his wife may not be the best but the duo managed to release a horror film in a country where release is always an issue.
Maya follows a group of friends who travel to a farmhouse to spend some quality time, but unknown to them the ‘house is haunted’. There are graves outside the house and for a normal human being, it would have been a warning but not for the cool dudes who travelled from Lahore to have some fun.
The over use of drone camera for the exterior shoot then makes your life miserable; more miserable than the actual ghost who turns out to be related to one of the friends. People also recognize that person in the market, in the church (why does it always have to be a church) and if that wasn’t a warning that ‘go leave’, I don’t know what is.
There was a twin sister who was possessed by the devil; Christian parents who wore cross even in their sleep, a woman who doesn’t know about her past but has successfully become a model and friends who had nothing else to do but to go to a party!
And then there was a character that appears for a minute dressed as Joker (Heath Ledger version), murders a character and then goes away without any explanation. The police arrives for a scene, takes one of the friends to the station and that’s the end of the matter. Nearly all the actors in the movie overacted for most of the flick whereas the absence of background music as well as natural sound (in most of the scenes) give you the impression that the director just wanted to release the film, no matter what.
On the whole, this film does more damage to the Pakistani cinema than help it because without it, there was just one bad film – Jalaibee. Now there are two and until and unless we get good flicks (hopefully this Eid), we will not be able to continue our journey on the path of revival.