Dear Maya is like a bedside story, simple and heartwarming. A largely delightful coming of age story, Dear Maya is about two sixteen year old teenagers, Ana (Madiha Imam) and her best friend Ira (Shreya Chaudhury), who think they have a great idea to get their reclusive neighbour Maya (Manisha Koirala) get a life.
Maya leads a caged life, trapped in her own fears and mistrust. The girls start writing fake love letters to Maya but they would never have imagined the repercussions of their actions. Maya slowly starts transforming and now she is itching to get out of the lonely miserable life that she led for 20 years. Suddenly propelled by optimism and hope, Maya ups and leaves for Delhi. Horrified at her actions, Ana's parents force her to leave Shimla. Six years later, Ana is all grown up, but still carrying a deep sense of guilt at having destroyed Maya's life. She's still upset with Ira for having taken the prank too far.
It is when the two girls come face to face again, that some truths start tumbling out and they set out in search of Maya.
While debut director Sunaina Bhatnagar displays an admirable amount of sensitivity while dealing with each of the characters, she gets a little too self indulgent at points. A short story stretched too far to make it a feature film, it might have helped if there were more characters with perhaps a parallel story running alongside it to qualify. The second half disappoints a bit. as Bhatnagar ties the loose ends in a too simplistic and convenient way.
This movie is also watchable because of the performances. Manisha Koirala breathes into the character very well, and the two girls are fantastic.
Stars : Three