Towering performances for a towering script! MASAAN is all this and much more. MASAAN
provokes you, makes you think, and takes you on life's journey.
How do you handle varied emotions thrown at you? How do you engage in a movie which nudges at your conscience? How do you participate in a movie which makes your heart weep for the protagonists?
Finally, how do you applaud a movie that never once goes over-the-top? MASAAN (meaning crematorium) is a simple story told with all honesty and no frills attached. With MASAAN, first-time director Neeraj Ghaywan dishes out real-life trauma with close-to-real-life settings.
Although there are two parallel stories running on screen, you wait for the two to merge. You hope the two will merge. You guess as to what the ending might be. But Neeraj has other things on his mind. And for the first time, your guessing gets tossed out. This is not a Bollywood formula film to make you feel good at the end. Like I said in the beginning, this is a film that makes you introspect. Also Read - Richa Chadha: We Indians don't think our languages are cool
The film opens with Devi Pathak (Richa Chadha) watching porn on her computer screen. Soon she moves in to a shady hotel room with her friend Piyush (Saurabh Chaudhary) to 'experiment'. The cops come knocking; the couple panics. The 'moral police' shove a mobile camera in Devi's face for a confession and the boy manages to lock himself in the bathroom after being beaten by the cops. Once in, he commits suicide out humiliation.
Inspector Mishra (Bhagwan Tiwari) has his chance now to extort money from the hapless girl and her father Vidyadhar Pathak (Sanjay Mishra), an ex-professor selling 'Puja samagri' on a Benaras ghat.
Elsewhere, Deepak Chaudhary (Vicky Kaushal), coming from a Dom family who burn bodies at the ghats of Benaras, falls in love with an upper caste girl Shaalu Gupta (Shwetha Tripathi). Their love story spirals out of control to leave Deepak in an emotional mess.Also Read - MASAAN Movie Preview
Meanwhile, Devi has to come to terms with the trauma of losing her friend and also getting the truth to his family living in Allahabad. How she goes about this and how Neeraj handles every scene with the maturity of a veteran is what MASAAN is all about.
Simple scenes make for engaging viewing. The crematorium scenes on the ghats of Benaras and the Dom family are well picturized. Life among the dead, an irony no one can escape. The caste divide is levelled in one telling blow. The romantic moments are real and poignant.
Every character leaves his or her mark on the screen including Jhonta (Nikhil Sahani), the little orphan who works with Pathak.
The end leaves you craving for more. MASAAN is worth going miles to see!