Sometimes, I hate my job. This is one of those times. Kamasutra Nights: Maya is more than just a bad movie. It is an endless void of stupidity and pointlessness, the kind of film that makes you hate being in the cinema. It is softcore pornography that’s had thirty minutes of it excised so that it can be shown in Asian cinemas. It is a pure manifestation of stupidity, and I feel horrible to have sat through it.
Maya (Zaim Jamal) is an Indian-American anthropology student who is making her first trip to India with her photographer friend Alexandria (Tanit Phoenix). She’s hoping to do research for her thesis and reconnect with her Indian heritage. Her aunt sends her off to explore some caves, and there, Maya runs into Mitra, a guru with great knowledge about the ways of the flesh. Maya falls in love with him, and soon grows distant from Alexandria. It turns out that there is something more nefarious behind Mitra’s rituals, something that alters the course of Maya’s destiny.
That last paragraph actually gives more credit to the film than it deserves. It makes it out that it has some kind of coherent plotline, even though that’s about as far from the truth as you can get. And truthfully, if you’re the kind of person who wants to go see a picture called Kamasutra Nights, you don’t particularly care. And that’s fine, even; I’m not going to judge. But even then, this isn’t the movie for you, because it doesn’t even have a lot of sex in it. A cursory search on the Internet reveals that the proper runtime for this film is 116 minutes. The version in our cinemas is 85 minutes.
So what does that leave in the picture? Lots of really bad dialogue being delivered by horrible actors, a couple of poorly edited sex scenes, a ton of references to Indian mythology, and amazingly bad special effects. It’s everything you never wanted to see. But what we do see of the sex scenes isn’t very good anyway. I suppose it would be a bit insipid to care about continuity and sound in a sex scene, but you want to pretend that they’re at least putting up the tiniest bit of effort.
The most entertainment you’re going to get from the film is from the actors. Not because they’re good, but because they’re spectacularly bad. Everyone sounds like they’re giving testimonials in an infomercial. No one comes close to resembling a human being’s intonation. Tanit Phoenix has just about the worst crying scene ever, her crying so utterly unrealistic that you can’t help but laugh. Watch out for the guy who plays servant Apu, who has a fantastic death scene. (Sorry for the spoilers. Except not really.)
I do not understand why we get movies like Kamasutra Nights: Maya in our theaters. Why, for some reason, well-reviewed R-rated films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Role Models are passed over in favor of stupid, pointless garbage like this. I mean, it isn’t enough that we’re getting a truly terrible movie, but we’re getting a sanitized version of it, doubling the idiocy of its arrival. Frankly, I think we should be insulted.