Why you cannot not watch Masaan – Part 1
Films are pictures in motion that a director and writer make the world see, as per the budget given by the producer, through actors they cast, ultimately sold by the marketing team. Take one out and you have a cocktail with a key ingredient missing.
Rarely do we make films in India that converse with our hearts. Some films want to stimulate your mind, some ask you to keep your head home! Some tickle you and some make saline trickle from your eyes. Films always target the human senses. When they hit bulls eye, i.e. reach all five, you get a film you won’t forget for a long time. And that is what Masaan did to me at the opening of the 6th edition of the Jagran Film festival.
The biggest story every told, Mahabharatha, introduced us to a Guru that only taught the elitist of the elite. Princes, Kings; destined warriors. Guru Dronacharya’s own life had more failures than success until he took that role. But the biggest achievement of the master warrior and strategist was; his supreme student Arjun, who won the war and won over his Guru.
In Hindi cinema, Guru RGV gave birth to the Dronacharya of Independent cinema – Anurag Kashyap, who believed in telling stories as we see it, without any sugar coating. Ironically merely weeks after Kashyap’s biggest box office failure comes Masaan made by his proteges. A film that went on to win big globally and creates a parallel road for Indian cinema that we have come to know so far.
2015 started with even a mainstream actor like Akshay Kumar giving a film that’s core is a strong script & story. The biggest hit of the year, so far, has been lead by Kangana Ranaut and not the Big 4 of Bombay Talkies. City multiplexes are having a riot at the box offices screening small stories of smaller towns be it Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Court or Qissa. Popular film awards like Filmfare for the Best Actor have been awarded to actors like Sanjay Mishra and the most expensive Hindi film of the year will be a southern film, Baahubali.
The coming of age of the Hindi cinema watching audience, if it is happening, is happening because makers like Anurag Kashyap, Rajat Kapoor, Vikramaditya Motwane among many many others; Hulk – smashed the big producers and proved that passion to tell real and honest stories, strong scripts, characters, dialogues and most importantly, passion for cinema are the new stars and marketing tools. Anurag Kashyap though deserves a special mention for standing up for it and making the so called ‘Jhola Chaap’ or ‘Art house’ or ‘independent cinema’ mainstream for film goers and for what its worth, in terms of revenues too.
And today he has given us from his lot of assistants (which I bet would be in 100s if we have to count now) a humble Director in Neeraj Ghaywan and brilliant Actor Vicky Kaushal. Not just these fine filmmakers but his regulars Varun Grover (writer) and Richa Chadha (actor) in a new light. He is the Batman of Bollywood, who we needed more than we deserved, so watch Masaan to thank him.
Varun Grover is an engineer who wrote with a team of staff writers for the TV series The Great Indian Comedy Show, a show that changed the comedy scene in India. Whose lyrics for films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Dum laga Ke Haisha & NH10 and will make you question yourself, whether he’s the same stand-up comedian you saw on that big stage. He who wrote Masaan, this beautiful film about people who might just be living a mile away from you and has got details of all living and dead so right that it will scare the holiness out of you, watch Masaan to thank him.
Sanjay Mishra, who says MAIN BAS JEETA HU (sic) ‘I Just Live’ on asking why his onscreen appearance is always so real that it is hard to believe he is acting. Who has come a long way to get his due finally in all humbleness, to more movies like Aankhon Dekhi and Masaan, cheer for him and thank him.
Richa Chaddha, who blew my mind as Dolly in Dibaker’s Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and has been giving the most amazing performances in some of the most underrated projects, making you hate, love, lust and laugh & cry with her. Watch Masaan because she deserves many thanks for every film she has done.
Shweta Tripathi, from a Disney princess to a lovable poet. Thank her for she shines bright in a galaxy that Masaan is.
Vicky Kaushal, needs many thanks to show you hope and vigor. To make you believe in a bigger fate in film and off it. Watch the film because he deserves it.
Indian Ocean need your thanks for brilliance.
Manish Mundra (Drishyam Films) and all the producers at Sikhya, Phantom, Macassar, Arte Films, Pathe Films need your gratitude to continue making such films and giving them a platform like any other film of 10X the budget.
And most importantly, Neeraj Ghaywan because if you don’t thank him now, you will be sorry for yourself. Also, because a film critic in India and an assistant director have not made a film that can prove their criticism right and their mentor bigger and smaller at the same time.
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