Release Date: 24th July 2015
Starring: Richa Chadda, Shweta Tripathi, Sanjay Mishra, Vicky Kaushal, Pankaj Tripathi
Directed by: Neeraj Ghaywan
Produced by: Manish Mundra, Macassar Productions, Phantom Films, Sikhya Entertainment and Pathe International (a French production company)
Music by: Indian Ocean, Bruno Coulais
Story by: Neeraj Ghaywan, Varun Grover
Duration: 2 hours (running time)
Censor Rating: A
Gradually the Indian Cinema is evolving and coming up with more polished and relatable works, touching subjects that were earlier either not accepted by the masses for being too critical or were not seen as being profitable enough in fear of being tagged as “flops”. Neeraj Ghaywan, who had assisted well known director Anurag Kashyap on “Gangs of Wasseypur”, with his directorial debut Masaan has proved his stance in the world of content-based cinema.
Masaan (English title: Fly Away Solo) was premiered at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival this year. The movie not only was treated with a long standing ovation but even bagged two prestigious awards – FIPRESCI (International Federation Of Film Critics) award and Prix de l’Avenir which is a special, “promising future prize” from the jury of the Un Certain Regard section. With its realistic narration and balanced drama, the movie is getting the appreciation it truly deserved. Our Tinsel town celebrities including Shabana Azmi, Ayushmann Khurrana, Kalki Koechlin, Javed Akhtar, and many others have only praises for the movie.
Plot: Set in Benaras, two stories contrive the film, each of which is dealing with the complexities, misconceptions and conservatism prevailing in Indian society. One is a tale of a simple girl Devi (Richa Chadda) who and her father are blackmailed by a police inspector for money after she is caught in the act with her friend Piyush. The other narrative is a love story of Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) and Shaalu (Shweta Tripathi) who belong to different castes and how they decide to overcome the social obstacles to be together. How they all struggle through the stringent, archaic norms besides unpredictable nuances destiny throws upon them, and eventual overlapping of the two stories, forms the base of the film.
One of the oldest Indie rock bands, Indian Ocean has done the music of Masaan that simply gels with the spirit of the film. With just three songs – ‘Tu Kisi Rail Si’, ‘Mann Kasturi’ and ‘Bhor’ – the band has accentuated the emotional elements which the movie narrates.
A powerful script, earthy characters and a subtle locations mold the movie into a saga that speaks volume about the brutal truths of life and all the challenges it brings in. It is not just about the weakness and shackles the society imposes on us, but the mindset and will to choose to either surrender to these setbacks, fight against them or simply hold back with an open mind.
Richa Chadda pulled off the role of Devi so diligently, it truly turned out to be by far her best performance. The character she played demanded vigilance, confidence and strength to dare and take stand for oneself despite of going through a very difficult phase in life. Sanjay Mishra, who played her father simply redefined the father-daughter relationship that we have been watch on the silver screen. An ordinary man who struggles to pay off a threatening police officer, yet sticking to his ideologies was most exceptionally portrayed by him.
Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) and Shaalu (Shweta Tripathi) shared an endearing love story and have made their debut with the film. While Shweta Tripathi suited well for her role as a simple, charming girl, Vicky Kaushal was simply outstanding with his flawless and honest delivery.
The movie is truly a trendsetter for Bollywood! It showcases the realities of life through extraordinary performances and brilliant cinematography.
There’s always a challenge when we integrate multiple stories in one movie. Devi’s story somewhat lacked the emotional quotient, the love story of Shaalu and Deepak could have more elements to it.
Verdict: You need guts to make movies like Masaan and patience to watch them. But if you are ready, it wont disappoint you!
Rating: *** and a half
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