Movie Review: Masaan

Attributes: Movie Reviews

Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
Cast: Richa Chadda, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi, Vicky Kaushal

There is something mystical about rivers in India and somehow we connect to them in some or the other way; especially if it has something to do about life and death. Director Neeraj Ghayawan chooses Ganga and the Ghaats of Varanasi as the backdrop of Masaan (*means Crematorium) and tells you a tale of two troubled souls surrounded by small town people and their mentalities.

Devi is introduced to the viewer in the first frame who is watching porn in the day time, who then rushes to a local ‘lodge’ with a lover where they pose as a married couple. Caught in the act by police (part of moral police in India) as if they have encountered a prostitution racket. This track goes ahead with her father (Sanjay Mishra) being threatened by a police officer for money to settle case.

Alongside you witness a parallel love track involving Deepak who belongs to lower cast of Dom family of corpse burners and Shaalu Gupta of course belonging to a higher cast. The cast-difference hardly plays a role here as the young love blossoms with utmost innocence, and with the help of Facebook and a few long phone calls.
With a background like this, there comes a twist in the tale (which is not very unexpected) and you see these two souls trying to get back to life.

The film is no run-of-the-mill story where you’ll see unrealistic events leading to co-incidents. But it has real small town people who are trapped in this small-town mentality.

The film is heavily benefitted by its engaging script which has some small yet terrific characters. Same goes for the acting department which has a good bunch of performers even if they have a very little role to play.

The back-drop of Ganga and its Ghaats is not glorified here but DoP Avinash Arun (Killa fame) captures it with its raw emotions and makes it a part of the story. A beautiful score by Indian Ocean and Bruno Coulais is apt and never overpowers the screenplay. The sound department deserves a special mention as the film banks heavily o the local sounds and most of the parts don’t have a background music. The sound takes you on a trip to Varanasi’s Ghaats and Gallies.

Masaan has its soul in the right place. Even if it tells you a sadistic story, you don’t come out with a sad heart. That’s where the success of this Cannes winner lies.

3.5 shor out of 5. Watch it! 

Tags: Masaan, Masaan Movie Review, Hindi Movie Review, Bollywood Movie Review, Richa Chadda

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