The demonetisation decision by the Modi government in 2016, still echoes across the country almost four years later. The immense discussions that have surrounded the subject have not escaped the attention of filmmakers, a handful of whom cashed in on the subject – Bengali film Shunyota, Tamil film Mersal, Telugu film Jai Lava Kusa are some examples. Now, yet another filmmaker, Radhakrishna Reddy, has attempted capturing the aftermath of demonetisation and its effects on life.
The film is mostly woven around three people -- Joseph (Achyuth Kumar), an honest police officer promoted to a higher post, professional thief Kubera (Raj B Shetty) and Raaji (Vasishta Simha), a middle class youth who is in love with a rich girl (Chaitra Rao), whom he sweetly calls Baby.
Joseph, the police officer, is known for his loyalty, but circumstances lead him to take advantage of the note ban and he makes use of Kubera and Raaji to make a fast buck. Will his reasoning work out in his benefit? This forms the crux of Mayabazar, which also looks at the flipside of being an honest person.A conversation with a policeman by director Radhakrishna Reddy led to the story of Mayabazar:2016, which is mostly interesting, with technical details given much importance. On the whole, the film has decent performances.
The thriller, however, works more as a comedy, and the director has made the effort to add humour to a serious subject. There is also a message -- the temptation for money will force even an honest person to steal, hide, and lie, and this is something very well-portrayed through Achyuth Kumar’s character. The conversation between the helpless husband and his wife Usha (Sudharani) at the hospital does make you tear up. Raj B Shetty draws equal attention with a neat performance and the two share a good rapport. Vasishta’s role as a loverboy works in his favour and he is able to charm the audience, while the presence of Prakash Raj as ACP Ashok and Sadhu Kokila as Corporator Pataki Pandu makes it a thorough entertainer.
A couple of medleys by musician Midhun Mukundan are soothing. Special mention to the song - local Mayabazaar--featuring Puneeth Rajkumar and sung by SP Balasubramanyaj individually stands out. Overall, the content and actors go hand in hand through the film. However, there is scope for improvement which needs to be looked into by the director in his future projects. With rumours of the Rs 2,000 note getting banned, Mayabazar:2016 can give a better understanding of the good and bad side of money.
Director: Radhakrishna Reddy
Cast: Achyuth Kumar, Raj B Shetty, Vasishta Simha, Prakash Raj, Sadhu Kokila and Chaitra Rao
Production: PRK Films (Puneeth Rajkumar)