Nigazh Maayai (Real illusion) Review- An Indepdent Tamil Thriller Short Film with English Subtitles by MJ Arun Babu (Watch Full Film Here Too!)

“Reality is merely an illusion”

Real illusion which is the translation of நிகழ் மாயை (Nigazh Maayai) is an Award-winning Indie (Independent) Tamil Thriller Short Film created by MJ Arun Babu & released on YouTube on May 31st 2019 by BehindwoodsTV Channel .

It explores Phantasmagoria, that is ‘a sequence of real or imaginary images like that seen in a dream.’


An Aspiring filmmaker falls into his illusion before pitching his script to the production house.

Official Trailer:-

Spoiler-Free Review:-

While the movie is in Tamil spoken language, the English subtitles are very accurate so you will understand everything properly. The movie starts off with the lead getting a call from the production house telling him to meet the producer with his script. We also see him being with his friend who is making fun of his laziness. The friend also says that he would have stolen our lead’s script if he still had the dream to be a director.

We also see our lead writing the script and also waking up multiple times. The script is re-imagined by the lead and he sees all the characters doing what he is writing, almost like the popular PC and Xbox 360 horror game, Alan Wake, where the horror novelist’s characters and situations come alive.

The way story is shown is very fast paced, with no time being wasted on unnecessary characters or situations. The scenes where we see the characters come alive feel like we are seeing the ghosts, and the film near the end makes it look like a sci-fi thriller with the exploration of the perception of reality as our protagonist tries to find which incident was a dream and which one is a reality when he finds out that perhaps he never wrote a script and was just visualizing the scenes in his head while sleeping. If he remembers having a written script in his hand, how is it possible that the script is blank now? Was his script actually stolen by his friend or did he write the script in his sleep and not in reality? The director has successfully created such situations that make it a movie worth watching. It reminded me of Inception but with less CGI and special effects.

The movie’s scene transition is smooth and also creepy. The acting is great, with simple and powerful performances by everyone. The editing, direction and production value is good for a short thriller movie like this. Music is suitable for a thriller. I like how this movie explores the dreams, psychological aspect of reality and not tries to have some cheap thrills by adding ghosts or other non-scientific elements. I would suggest the director of this film to do more crime & murder mystery films as the director is capable of handling the thriller suspense genre well.

Overall, this movie is a 14 minutes long thriller in Tamil language but with perfect context-sensitive English subtitles making it an interesting watch for both Tamil and English speaking audience. There’s no blood, bad language, nudity or violence (Except one chocking scene and mugging). The movie explores the dreams, reality, crime and ordeals of a struggling director looking for the first break. Without indulging in cheap thrills or ghosts, the mystery of the script and the reality of the mugging crime scene make this a thrilling ride from the start to the end. With stellar acting, editing, direction and screenplay, this film is yet another lesson in film making for creators who are interested in making intriguing thriller-mystery films with a tight budget, few characters and limited locations.

It is published on YouTube and is free to watch:-

Full Credits:-

Director | MJ Arun Babu
Music | Aravind Raghunath
DOP | Ameen
VFX/Editor | Jegan Raj
SFX | Sreesan
DI | Ram Pandian
Dubbing | Madras Talkies
Dubbing Engineering | William Vivek
Foley | Prathap Kumar
AD | Dingu Prabhu
Patch | Manikandan
Dubbing Artist | Seshu Vardhan
Subtitles | Adithya

Cast:- Vignesh Shanmugam-

Manoj –

& Nizam –

Official Poster:-

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