Neeraj Ghaywan shows you that side of incredible India which no other filmmaker has managed to capture it till now. Masaan set in Benaras takes you in the corners of the city, depicts lifestyle of people there which is not possible to see or experience until you visit the place. Neeraj beautifully manages to bring that on screen with a bold fiction story topped with some outstanding performances.
Discussing story would be unfair to Varun Grover who has written the brilliant script of Masaan. It would also lead to spoilers. Richa Chadha proves that the roles she does, no one can do justice to them except her. With limited lines she spoke a lot with her face and that is something only Richa can pull off excellently. Vicky Kaushal is a discovery of Neeraj and perfectly casted. He has lived his role. Falling short of words to describe phenomenal Sanjay Mishra. Shweta Tripathi creates an impact with her short appearance. Avinash Arun’s cinematography is an altogether another character that captured Benaras superbly. The crematorium and diving shots are breathtaking. Avinash made sure the audience sees real Benaras with his splendid cinematography. Editor needs a special mention. With two stories going on parallel not a single moment of disappointment complaining about completing one scene from one track and then moving on to other. In fact at places the film just dives from one story to another yet you are waiting to know what happens in both the stories. Music supports the film well but performances and story enough to entertain.
Masaan is definitely for the classes but also diminishes that thin line between so called art cinema and commercial cinema. It is art cinema for its concept, treatment and realistic performances. Commercial mainly for its narrative and direction that engage and also entertain you. The argument and consolidation scenes between Richa Chadha and Sanjay Mishra; also the scene where Vicky Kaushal breaks down are highpoint in the film and examples of masterpieces. Masaan should be watched for everything; story, direction, cinematography, editing and most importantly for the flawless performance. Masaan is notheing less than an exercise for filmmaking students of every department.