Masaan - Review
Despite being set in a crematorium and having a sense of morbidity throughout, Masaan isn't grim. Nor is it gay despite its wit. Masaan carries equanimity of sorts in the “life is what it is” kind of a way with simplicity and flair in equal measure.
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“It will all sort itself out.” says a girl to her boyfriend earnestly, a spark of optimism shining through her eyes at having found a solution. A solution to her problem. A solution to all problems – including yours and mine. An answer to a question the film itself raises, “When does this grief go away?”. “It will all sort itself out,” hardly a profound statement, but a hope that we all have to live by, if life has to make any sense at all. Masaan set in those parts of the River Ganges that is a crematorium – has talks about life. And it goes about its business with tenderness. It does leave you with a sense of discontent – maybe its own way of making one last comment on life.
Masaan narrates the stories of two very ordinary lives, except for that one big event that turns their worlds downside up. Not only do they have to overcome those incidents but also break free from bondages that were holding them in the first place.
While Masaan is set in a small town, these two stories would resonate with any section of the audience from any place in the country. Maybe because they aren't spectacular tales. Their problem could be replaced by ours and the way we cope with it remains more or less same.
When you are talking about a film and the first few things are related to how engaging the theme is, you know the film has done its job in all the departments. In fact, Masaan makes a comment about the country's attitude towards sex and the lop-sided morality it carries for men and women. But, as the film progresses and becomes less and less about that. It becomes about the other themes and all other aspects of film-making are taken for granted.
The writing, for example, is thoroughly engaging. Not only because it has witty lines or insightful ones, but because it also has ordinary lines that are timed perfectly. In fact, the timing of the dialogue (and not only how it is delivered) draws you further into the narrative.
There are unresolved scenes which add to the narrative and the discontent. You don't know the motivations of a character and eventually it doesn't matter. You are in the moment with the characters and that's all that counts.
The characters – Devi (Richa Chadda) or her father Choudhary (Sanjay Mishra), Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) - are all a bit broken and thus complete. Deepak's girlfriend Shaalu (Shweta Tripathi) is that one person in anyone's life who is vivacious and yet balanced. Even a largely dark character like a blackmailing police officer shows a hint of humanity.
Vicky Kaushal, Shweta Tripathi and Sanjay Mishra are such naturals in their roles that Richa Chadda who usually stumps you with her performances feels drab. Sure, her character is yet to recover from the shock that life has brought on her. Yet, she sticks out as vacant amidst the candour of the rest of the actors.
There isn't much of a situational connect between the two stories. The connect is more philosophical. Hence, we'll never know what would happen if the actual connect which seems forced wasn't there. What if the stories ran parallel with the river Ganges, the ring, the train serving as connects.
And the loneliness. The impermanence of it all – love and grief over the loss of love; life and grief over the loss of life. Equanimity.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: None.
- Language: A few abusive words.
- Nudity & Sexual content: There is a sex scene and a few kisses. Also, there is talk about sex.
- Concept: The “is”ness of life.
- General Look and Feel: Real – gritty yet not necessarily grim.
Masaan - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Drishyam Films, Sikhya Entertainment, Macassar Productions, Phantom Productions
- Producer: Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Guneet Monga, Manish Mundra
- Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
- Lead Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Richa Chadda, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi
- Supporting Cast: Saurabh Chadhary, Harry Rice (II), Bhagwan Tiwari
- Cinematography: Avinash Arun Dhaware
- Editor: Nitin Baid
- Music Director: Indian Ocean, Bruno Coulais
- Lyrics: Varun Grover, Sanjeev Sharma
- Costume Designer: Shruti Kapoor
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 110 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Philosophy
Masaan - Trailer
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