Jayammana Maga is the kind of horror melodrama that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and it's been ably supported by its cast in doing so. Director Vikas uses humour to complement the film's suspense.
Jayamma (Kalyani) and his son Naga (Duniya Vijay) live near a temple. The mother, a religious sort, is often spotted participating in the temple's activities and praying for her son's well being. Naga is a non-believer. All he sees is the potential to make money off people who come to the temple seeking a cure for possession by evil spirits from the priest (Ne La Narendra babu). Naga is the boldest youth in town and is always given the duty of nailing voodoo dolls in which the ghosts are captured. Divya (Dr Bharathi) visits the temple to perform a ritual and catches the attention of Naga who falls for her instantly. She has also caught the attention of a black magician (Uday) who wants to sacrifice her to bring back his father's soul. Naga challenges the black magician and, in due course, discovers how his parents too were trapped in a similar situation before his birth.
Jayammana Maga is certainly among the director's more complex and fascinating works. Several truly terrifying sequences come in quick succession, but none is gratuitous and the film never makes much space for exaggerated violence. Without harping too much on the mother-son sentiment, the film, in fact, veers towards the genre of slashers.
Vijay's acting is the highlight of the film. He strikes the right note for a film based on black magic. Dr Bharathi too has done justice to her role. Uday as the black magician and with Rangayana Raghu providing comic relief, both characters are well etched.
Sugnaan's camera glides effortlessly through the sets and creates a good visual experience aided by expressionistic sets, costumes, make-up, a few striking effects and good lighting. Arjun Janya has composed a score that adds to the overall effect of a horror film. As for Vijay, who turned producer with this film, it is paisa vasool time as the film is bound to attracts staunch believers of the Om Shakti movement.
Verdict: Jayammana Maga is serious, straightforward and a cinematic surprise, something that is hard to come by these days. Watch it.