It’s not often you see a film that affects you, keeps you from sleeping with your thoughts going around the subjects that were discussed. Masaan (English Title: fly away solo) is one such movie, set in Varanasi (aka Kashi) it’s about happenings in the life of two youngsters who live there.
Richa Chadda as played brilliantly the role of Devi Pathak, a young girl who is studying and working part time, raised by her single parent, a retired Sanskrit scholar Vidyadhar Pathak (played by Sanjay Mishra) who is running a souvenir shop on the steps to River Ganges. The film starts with Police barging into a hotel room where Devi & her boyfriend are in bed together; on seeing the police, worried for his dignity the boy commits suicide which lands Devi & her father in trouble. From there it’s about how Devi fights her way out, first getting a job in a local company, then a temporary job in Railways ticketing counter and finally managing to get into Allahabad University for a post-graduation study. It’s a tricky role to play for an actor, you can’t come flamboyant, and you can’t be seen dumb, Richa has managed that balance, playing her role subdued yet showing the boldness in her body language. Sanjay Mishra has brought to life, the agony of a father going through the difficulty. In the scene where he sees his little helper, a child Jhonta (played by Nikhil Sahni) getting drowned, we can see his full emotions bursting out in that scene, which he was bottling up till now.
Deepak Chaudhary as played the role of Vicky Kaushal, an engineering student from a low caste family of cremators who manage one of the burning Ghat in Ganges. Vicky falls in love with an upper caste girl Shaalu Gupta, all was going well but he ends up one night seeing her dead corpse after a fatal accident. Shaalu is shown to be loving poetry which is apt, as the budding love that’s shown between Vicky and Shaalu has been pictured poetically by Director Neeraj Ghaywan. Shweta Tripathi as Shaalu Gupta comes out as your next-door young girl, she is cute and fits the role like a glove.
This is a heavy subject film that makes you emotional but is delivered palatable and enjoyable. Any appreciator of a good cinema should see Masaan.