Sunday, July 26, 2015
Masaan is a story set in real Benaras which is better known as Kashi. Why did I mention real Benaras?
This film makes you meet the other side of Kashi which is more active in the night than the day, the cremation Ghats where the dead bodies are burnt as per Hindu rituals. The cremation Ghats of Kashi has been mostly portrayed in films and serials as a mystic place but here the director, a debutant Neeraj Ghayawan and co-writer Varun Grover portrays the cremation Ghats as a usual business place where the bodies are burnt after dying.
But, the film has a hidden treasure beyond the burning of the bodies in the cremation ghats. It’s the burning of people griefs and the courage to let go their guilt to celebrate a new life.
The urge of arriving in life is portrayed by each central character of the film – Richa Chadha as Devi, Sanjay Mishra as Devi’s father and Vicky Kaushal as Deepak. While Devi wants to get out of the narrow mindedness of the city and attain more liberty in the form of experiencing love and pleasure, the other character Deepak wants to break his shackles of being a pyre burning lower caste youth of becoming a civil engineer and dreams of marrying his upper caster girlfriend.
Sanjay Mishra runs a small shop at the cremation ghat and is trying to rejuvenate the cold relationship with his daughter and in order to protect her from a scandal; he breaches his own moral principles when he forces a child who works in his shop to take part in the dangerous game of collecting coins from the Ganges.
The story brings twist in the each character’s lives when they are forced to do a soul searching. Their soul searching brings dark moments in the film when you feel sad about their lives. But wait, there is light after the dawn and no grief is permanent. The films at the end leaves you with a message that Masaan is not only about burning the physical bodies but also about letting go your grief and making your soul guilt free.
The film is beautifully written with a strong message and a good debutant director attempt towards the serious sensible storytelling cinema. The music by Indian Ocean gels with the characters lives and the city’s backdrop. The lyrics and music of the songs ‘Tu Kisi Rail si gujarti hai’ based on Dushyant Kumar’s poetry and Man Kasturi re’ are simply magical and has lifetime music value.
All credits to the Director Neeraj Ghayawan who has been trained under Anurag Kashyap and the co-writer Varun Grover for such a beautiful story. Both the seasoned and the debutant actors have worked hard on their characters and that is evident from their acting.
I want to end this review for Masaan with these few lines…..
‘Jo Man ko Chu Jaye Use khubsurat ahsas kehte hai,
Jo Atma ko Chu Jaye Use Masaan Kehte hai !