Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
Cast: Richa Chadda, Shweta Tripathi, Vicky Kaushal, Sanjay Mishra
An eagle's eye for detailing coupled with some excellent piece of writing is what largely works for 'Masaan', apart from other fine things. Neeraj Ghaywan in his debut film offers a realistic portrayal of the hypocritical society that we live in, which looks at premarital sex between two adults as a taboo, but doesn’t hesitate exploiting it in every other way.
Richa Chadda in a still from 'Masaan'. Pic/Santa Banta
Devi (Richa Chadda) finds herself in a strange, helpless situation, thanks to her one ‘indulgence’ with the man she was attracted to. Her father, Vidyadhar Pathak (Sanjay Mishra), a small-time shopkeeper selling goods used for last rites of dead people, is most embarrassed by his daughter’s ‘immoral’ act, but ironically compromises on his own morality, when it comes to saving her honour.
On the same ghat runs a parallel story of budding love between poetry-loving Shalu Gupta (Shweta Tripathi) and a passionate, ambitious engineering student Deepak (Vicky Kaushal). Deepak belongs to the Dom community, which is in charge of burning pyres on the ghat, while Shalu comes from an upper caste family.
The three young characters in the film — Devi, Shalu and Deepak — are special because they outwardly seem like small town people desperately caught in the archaic, traditional ways of the society that they belong to. As the story unfolds, you realise with pleasure that these youngsters armed with quiet confidence, shun caste and gender stereotypes in their own unique ways, without being dramatically rebellious or raising unnecessary rubble.
The film is more of an emotional journey. One moment you are facing the ultimate and humbling truth about death and the next, you are re-introduced to life as some of the most beautiful poems by a few of the celebrated poets of the country are intertwined with the dialogues.
Vicky and Shweta make an exceptionally impressive debut. The former, especially, surprises with his nuanced and absolutely believable performance. Richa had a difficult role to play and as expected of her, she largely does a great job of it. But at times, one feels that her performance is a bit too internalised and perhaps a flicker of obvious emotion might have worked better under certain circumstances. Mishra is brilliant.
A gutsy debut by Ghaywan, who dives deep into the subject in hand and comes up with a little gem. Sensitive writing by Varun Grover makes it more valuable.
Watch the trailer of 'Masaan'
Bollywood celebs heap praises on 'Masaan'
Tinsel town celebrities like Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and Rajkummar Rao, among others, have lauded Neeraj Ghaywan's directorial 'Masaan' and have called it a beautiful, great and an outstanding film.
Here's what the celebritries tweeted:
Javed Akhtar: Saw "Masaan". A film that was given two awards at Cannes is undoubtedly a great movie. Congratulations team Masaan.
Shabana Azmi: @RichaChadha_ @guneetm MASAAN is truly a coming of age of Hindi cinema. Direction writing photography ensemble acting first rate. MUST WATCH.
Ayushmann Khurrana: Loved Masaan! Class act by @RichaChadha_ & Sanjay Misra. Vicky K & Shweta T are such amazing finds. Hail @ghaywan @guneetm @CastingChhabra
Kalki Koechlin: So many beautiful performances in one film #Masaan @RichaChadha_ @battatawada #SanjayMishra #VickyKaushal
Neil Nitin Mukesh: Just finished watching the screening of an outstanding film. Technically brilliant,a film the entire cast and crew should be proud of MASAAN
Rajkummar Rao: OUTSTANDING! Top notch in every dept.Take a bow @ghaywan U've made a truly special film.@CastingChhabra @avinasharun20 hats off guys.#Masaan
Milap Zaveri: #Masaan is heartbreaking, hopeful, beautiful, brilliant! Amongst the pathos there is humour too! Kudos @RichaChadha_ @ghaywan @varungrover.
Monica Dogra: Monica Dogra retweeted Masaan Can't say it enough... #Masaan is amazing. Watch this film!!
Aditi Rao Hydari: Amaaaaaaazing writing @varungrover... Looooooved #Masaan