Maya (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2018)
What’s this all about?
Bland man falls in love with even blander girl in one the blandest love stories of them all.
After presenting Things to Come, her best work to date, Mia Hansen-Løve returns with a lifeless project where the French director disappointingly employs the cliché of the “exotic setting as a place to find yourself”.
In Maya, Gabriel (Roman Kolinka) decides to spend some time in India after being held as a prisoner of war, but the movie’s intentions are far from being an in-depth exploration of how to bounce back after a traumatic experience. Hansen-Love smartly doesn’t resort to flashbacks to illustrate Gabriel’s suffering and doesn’t turn him into a psychotic character either, but her clichéd view of the world, where sunshine and getting away from the city make you see things differently, makes its analysis on PTSD rather naïve.
Once in India, Gabriel starts a platonic relationship with a much younger girl, but there’s hardly any passion between the two lovers, not even tenderness. When Gabriel and Maya (Aarshi Banerjee) are holding hands, it looks like they’re carrying luggage instead.
Mia Hansen-Løve’s filmography is characterised by not being too dramatic on her dramas, which can be a remarkable thing, but this time she also forgot to give her movie some spirit.
Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve | 2018 | France, Germany
Main cast: Roman Kolinka, Aarshi Banerjee, Alex Descas, Judith Chemla, Johanna ter Steege, Pathy Aiyar, Suzan Anbeh