Star Cast: Richa Chaddha, Sanjai Mishra, Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi.
Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
Producer: Drishyam Films
Claps for: Direction, powerful story and script and path breaking performances.
Slaps for: Nothing
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Story: The story is set in the small town of Varanasi where youngsters are struggling to strike a balance between western values and social norms. Even in this age the caste system is prevalent and pre-marital sex is a stigma. Two stories intertwined in one both ending in tragedies, because social norms take over humanity.
Performances: Richa Chaddha's finest performance till date is 'Devi'. She convincingly plays the role of a naive small town girl, who is clearly clueless about 'birds and bees'. The opening shot shows her watching porn as she prepares for her first sexual encounter with her boyfriend. The couple are caught having sex by the police, who later turn into moral hypocrites and began blackmailing Devi and her father Vidyadhar Pathak, Richa plays a simple yet a powerful character who is struggling to find her identity and find herself in a world ruled by social stigmas. 'Devi' is an euphemism for Richa who is pure at heart and is marred by the social stigma of pre-marital sex. Richa's acting prowess is marked as she pulls of the role of a small town girl with ease and with finesse.
Sanjay Mishra plays Vidyadhar Pathak, a Sanksrit scholar who now runs a shop selling funeral ware. He is stuck between sticking by his morals or siding with his daughter. All this while, he is hiding an ugly truth of his own. Sanjay Mishra's role is more poignant than Richa's because how does one convince a middle aged to let go of his morals and values. Sanjay can pull off a serious role and yet provide comic relief at the same time. The movie is pulled on by Sanjay and Richa till the very end.
Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi play the roles of lovers who belong to opposite sections of the society. While Vicky belongs to the 'Dom' community, Shweta is a poetry loving and quirky youngster who belongs to an Upper caste community. Their love story is caught in the web of caste systems even in the age of 'Facebook' and 'Youtube'. Being their debut movie, Vicky and Shweta have done justice to their roles as the 'Deepak and Shalu' two youngster smitten in love.Their love story provides a refreshing outlook on couples in small towns, who are coming of age and using the social media platforms for expressing love. Their love story also provides a certain relief from the darker story of 'Devi'.
Direction: Neeraj Ghaywan takes you on a social pilgrimage to Varanasi, where the holy city is still governed by moral brigades. The fact that he did not cast big names or big stars in 'Masaan' proves how he did not want his story to be diluted by names. The movie is set against the background of small town life, which struggles with an existential crisis. A pot powerful story played by simple yet poignant characters. Neeraj who is a debutant director for 'Masaan' and Varun Grover the scriptwriter with subtlety explained 'life' by using a milder word for 'death' meaning 'Masaan'or a crematorium. The director wants you to kill your social stigmas and bury the age old beliefs. That is the crux of 'Masaan'. It does not talk of life or death, but of the journey in between. It talks about the pressing choices of letting go at the right time, be it morals or life or lovers.
Combo-On-Offer: Social Message + Brilliant Acting + Airtight script + Heart-touching songs with soulful lyrics.
Verdict: We give the movie thunderous Claps for the acting of its central characters, powerful script and perfect direction.