A movie has to be seen in the context of its temporal, spatial and socio-cultural milieu. In other words, is there any other decent Telugu movie in a freakin' 100km radius at that time. Maya Bazaar kind of passes that test, depending on your definition of "kind of", "passes" and "that".
Maya Bazaar is a guide on what you should expect if Kubera himself comes and gives you untold wealth. That way, it's not a must-watch. The film is the story of Srinivas (Raja), whose farmer father gives his entire family poison when Srinivas is still a kid, since he is unable to provide them enough to eat. Unfortunately even the poison is not enough, and so Srinivas survives.
Srinivas grows up to be a righteous and kind-hearted man, who'll give away anything he has to help someone hungry. This kind of attitude is okay to have for 1 or 2 hours when you're asleep, not for a lifetime. Failing to realize that, Srinivas, a driver, adopts a kid Siri (Harshita) who's abandoned at an airport.
It turns out that this kid has holes in her heart, and needs surgery at a cost of Rs. 3 lakhs. Which is why it is not a good idea to adopt anyone with a heart. Anyway, Srinivas tries hard to generate the funds, but all the people he meets have already earmarked their spare funds for other charitable causes, mostly involving themselves.
He comes to Tirupati upon the kid's request, but sends her in with pal Bhaskar (Ali), since he doesn't like God. He then bitches wildly against God sitting outside, when suddenly Kubera (S P Balasubramaniam) appears in front of him and tells him that he is pleased with his devotion and wants to give him Rs. 5 lakhs. Yes, you should bookmark the place where Srinivas bitched from, and, preferably, the precise words he used.
Why does Kubera appear? Firstly, it's hard for any god to be taken seriously these days if he doesn't appear in front of someone. Not everyone takes note if you just choose to be heard as a voice - almost everyone hears voices in their heads these stressful days, and some people even hear explosions, which means your voice will perhaps get drowned. And choosing to appear in a dream is a risky option - what do you do about people who don't dream, or worse, people who don't even sleep?
Secondly, Kubera has his own set of problems. He's been cursed by sage Gautama for behaving recklessly with him when drunk. This is why several people say that you should not drink too much. Those people are wrong - they are just addressing the symptom of a much bigger problem. To eliminate the problem at the root, you should always stay away from sages.
Anyway, Gautama tells Kubera that he will have to collect the wages of sin from humans (a concept explained in easier terms in the film but unnecessarily complicated for you by our writers) until he helps a flawless human being and serves him all of that human's life.
So Kubera helps Srinivas, who he finally finds as meeting the criteria for a perfect human being. He makes Srinivas start a business, and it grows at a pace that even Dawood Ibrahim would marvel at. Srinivas also donates 50% of his revenues, something Dawood Ibrahim would not marvel at, since 100% of his revenues are donations.
Srinivas keeps bumping into Anupama (Bhumika), who helps him out in his loser days and who now applies to be his secretary. Just as they fall in love, Kubera decides that the best way out of his curse is to get Srinivas to die.
The film is reasonably entertaining due to the humor here and there, but no characters are well-developed (there we go again). Raja does what his director tells him, while Bhumika lends some grace to a very half-assedly written character.
SPB reminds you of S V Ranga Rao because of his looks, and that is unfortunate since neither can he lend that power to the character, nor does he have the dialogues. Also, why are these gods and asuras so thrilled when they see their own special effects? Kubera is laughing away at his own tricks in making vessels clean themselves.
The screenplay is not very convincing, even forgetting the fantasy theme. And the music sounds like all music by Radhakrishna. The film can, however, change a few impressionable young minds into being good, and gives a glimmer of hope to all those foot-soldiers of God who spend all their lives being honest and caring and forgiving, waiting for a reward one day, perhaps a power, that God will give them as the Chosen Ones, to change the world. Happy living.