Tamil Reviews

Maiem Review: Brain Freeze

Producer AP Shreethar promoted Maiem with a single USP. Maiem’s technicians were college students. At the film’s audio launch and press meet, these students seemed to love the media attention. Experienced journalists. Tough questions. But there was little first-time fumbling. Director Aditya Baskar, in particular, exuded so much confidence and maturity that his age seemed incidental. No wonder then that expectations for Maiem were high. That, and of course, Kamal Haasan and Gouthami unveiling the audio.

Maiem follows six characters as they face the consequences of one dreaded and well-planned ATM robbery. Three youth, Kumaran, Hashim and Jai Quehani, are forced to stay inside an ATM. Terrorised by a tall guy (Naveen Sanjai) who has just murdered the security guard with his crowbar. How do they escape? That’s the rest of the story. Plus some Robo Shankar and some growling sounds. And that, pretty much, is Maiem.



AP Shreethar’s initiative, to bring aspiring young filmmakers into the Tamil film industry, is laudable. Aditya Baskar is a third year Mechanical Engineering student who is just out of his teens, and has never been to a real shooting. Not once. That’s not the real problem, though it did result in the occasional odd angle shots which reeked of inexperience. The problem is the story and screenplay, penned by none other than AP Shreethar.

It’s five minutes into the film. New characters pop up every minute. It’s hard to keep track of and hard to watch.  Maiem was, incidentally, promoted as a film with a social message. Well, you have to scrape the barrel for any social message. If the message is about ATM security, it isn’t convincing, thanks to a wafer-thin storyline. Maiem might have worked as a short film. At its feature-length runtime of two hours, it’s simply one and a half hours too long. The editing, barring the sloppiness of the ‘Makka Makkosa’ song, is crisp. But, sadly, all the leads have a tiny repertoire, in the realm of expressions.


The story. Even a 10 year old child would have figured out a way to escape from the ATM. There’s a bike and a car parked outside. But the youth inside are afraid that the crowbar-sporting Naveen Sanjai might kill them. Robo Shankar had promised some comic elements, but the end credits start rolling, and there ain’t no comedy. It’s true that Robo Shankar makes jokes. It’s also true that I wasn’t the only one staring at the screen with genuine longing. Longing for the film to get over.


There’s a twist in the climax. Straight out of the most attempted genres in recent Tamil cinema. In short, Maiem is a badly made film that really tests your patience. AP Shreethar should do everyone a favour, and stick to the older form of artistry, which he is so good at.


The Maiem Review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.