One Line review: An unmissable intense narrative that revolves around the combat between the societal rules, norms and the individual's choices.
Positive Points: Powerful script, Brilliant character performances, Brings out real picture of Indian society, Excellent cinematography.
Negative Points: Film slows down a bit in the middle part.
Plot: 'Masaan's poster says it's 'A Celebration of Life, Death and Everything In Between'. The film spins around two different and daring tales. Devi Pathak (Richa Chadda) and Piyush Agarwal (Saurabh Chaudhary). Devi's friendship with Piyush lands her in a shady lodge, where she is caught in the act as police raids the place. A corrupt police inspector (Bhagwan Tiwari) starts blackmailing Devi and her father Vidyadhar Pathak (Sanjay Mishra) due to this reason. Piyush escapes from the problem, but Devi and her father become helpless victims.
The second story speaks of the love story of a low caste boy Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) and his higher caste girlfriend Shaalu (Shweta Tripathi). Their love tale starts blossoming through Durga Puja pandal visits and Facebook chats. Although the lovebirds fear the caste-system, they do have dreams of their good future in their eyes. Deepak works on the Ghats of the Ganges and is in charge of burning funeral pyres. With caste-system as a huge barrier in their love, the rest of the story narrates the further happenings in the film.
Direction and other technical aspects: Neeraj Ghaywan's debut flick 'Masaan' presents two heart-breaking desi tales with a seasoned storytelling. As the movie unravels in an unhurried way, the multi-layered tale is well presented with characters having an intense side to their personality. The film offers the hypocritical society's realistic portray that exists even today. The cinematographer Avinash Arun has enhanced the beauty of the film with his great capturing of the ghats of Banaras. The romance of Deepak and Shaalu filled with Facebook messages, boat and bike rides unfold the tale in a gentle way. One of the reasons to see this flick is to watch how the youngsters caught in the problem but armed with confidence, give answer to gender stereotypes and caste barrier in their own way and that too without being rebel in a dramatic manner. However, the film seems to be a bit slow in the middle part.
This emotional journey goes deep into the topic and comes out shining as a gem. The tale is penned in a sensitive manner and Varun Grover's screenplay along with Ghaywan's direction reflects the tussle between the society and individual. 'Masaan' is studded with basic essence of life and is paired up with crisp dialogues and brilliant script. The background score is good and editing is well done.
Performances: In this character-driven flick, the performances of all the characters are awesome. Richa Chadda steals the show with her brilliant performance. The actress has played the role of Devi with strength and dignity. Vicky Kaushal has played his part with great convenience. Shweta Tripathi displays cuteness and essays her role very well. Bhagwan Tiwari and Nikhil Sahni portray their respective roles in a great manner and lend a good support.
Music: Indian Ocean has given a melodious music that goes in sync with the storyline of this flick. The track "Tu Kisi Rail Si" gels well with the film. "Mann Kasturi" forms the soul of the movie and the visuals of the song are also worth to see.
Final Verdict: The engaging and powerful plot of the film makes it worth to watch for all. 'Masaan' can be tagged as the elite film which can join the list of superlative cinema. Although it's not for the audience who love masala entertainers, this piece of meaningful narrative is a must watch for all who wish to watch the disturbing reality of Indian society presented in an intellectual way.
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