OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Maal Review: This hyperlink drama by a bunch of newcomers, fails to deliver the thrills

Debutant director Dinesh Kumaran's Maal is an idea that's good on paper, but completely falters in its execution

Maal Review: This hyperlink drama by a bunch of newcomers, fails to deliver the thrills
A poster of Maal

Last Updated: 01.01 PM, Sep 22, 2023


Story: An idol from the Chola era, brings together four unrelated people together who are forced to encounter each other

Review: Debutant director Dinesh Kumaran's Maal might remind you of Lokesh Kanagaraj's maiden venture, Maanagaram. Both films are hyperlink thrillers, but the similarities end right there. While Maanagaram revolves around four youngsters in Chennai, whose lives get interlinked; Maal focuses on idol theft and how an attempt to smuggle an ancient Chola idol, brings together four unrelated people, who are left with no choice but to encounter each other.

Right from the opening, Dinesh Kumaran doesn't waste any time in establishing the fact that the film is about idol smuggling and how the government is on a mission to retrieve the stolen idols.

We are introduced to a rare idol from the Chola era, which needs to be smuggled at the earliest. While the kingpin of the idol mafia, Chera, assigns the task to Karna (Sai Karthi), he, in turn, entrusts the task to his boys as he is celebrating his wedding anniversary! Soon, things go awry as the boys are found dead and the idol goes missing. How the lives of two media personalities (clueless), two policemen and chain snatchers get entangled in the situation, forms the rest of the story.

On paper, this is quite an interesting idea, but Dinesh Kumaran falters in the execution. The film begins on a very sluggish note in terms of screenplay. Maal takes its time to set the character arc. The frequent announcements of 'day of abduction',  ends up spoon feeding the audience, which only confuses you further. Right from the outset, you do not feel invested in any of the characters and hence, some of them dying, too doesn't make any difference to you. But Maal picks up a bit of steam after the interval, which leads to all the four parallel narratives meeting at a single point.

Considering Maal has been billed as a thriller, the film fails to provide any thrills. There are quite a few instances, where it is evident that the film is made by a bunch of newcomers. The story isn't gripping, cinematography doesn't provide a great visual experience, nor do the background score complements the scene. The performances of actors pass muster. Maal cannot be dismissed as an outright boring film, but had the film been made in a more chic manner, this idea might have struck a chord with the audience.

Verdict: A good idea let down by a weak screenplay, average performances and amateurish filmmaking

Get the latest updates in your inbox