“Masaan” by Neeraj Ghaywan

“Masaan” by Neeraj Ghaywan

Masaan (transl. ’Crematorium’; also known as Fly Away Solo in English) is a 2015 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Neeraj Ghaywan.[1] The directorial debut film is an Indo-French co-production produced by Drishyam Films, Macassar Productions, Phantom FilmsSikhya Entertainment, Arte France Cinema and Pathé Productions. (Wikipedia)

One doesn’t cross paths unless one is in the same mental state. Devi Pathak and Deepak Kumar would not have made it to the “Sangam”- The confluence of the Ganges (Ganga), Yamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati River. (Wikipedia) together, unless they were not tossed and turned by circumstances very much the same way. Devi Pathak is a rebellious young woman, who out of Jigyasa (curiosity) ends up in a hotel room with just an acquaintance called Piyush. May be a rebellious mind would do all that is meant to be done to prove oneself to be a rebel. They are found in a compromising situation in a shady hotel by a bunch of police men headed by a police officer. Devi had no idea that this rebellious behavior which she defines to be synonymous with curiosity would lead her to many more nightmares in the future. The first to begin with is the unexpected suicide of Piyush in the hotel bathroom and then comes a life long humiliation and a blackmail for a good ransom by the corrupt officer. The plot of the film starts with a disaster and later  runs on the track that the  protagonist is huddling to overcome.

Deepak Kumar is a young college student who comes from a place where his family has an occupation of burning dead bodies in the crematorium (Masaan). Deepak Kumar is finding a light for survival through education and eventually through love, far away from his life in Masaan.

Both the stories run parallel with scenes unsynchronized (with respect to the protagonist not knowing each other) yet gives a sense of mystery to the whole film. The two protagonist Devi and Deepak are always screened significant to a puzzle and  heading to a common destination. Deepak is reaching that stage of life which Devi already faced  and started her struggle. Deepak one day to his greatest dismay finds himself burning Shaalu’s dead body, who was his girlfriend.

Metaphors used like the detailed description of Sangam or props used objectively like Deepak saving Shaalu’s finger ring and Devi’s visiting Piyush’s home for returning his possession is appreciable. A vehement piece of art is exemplified metaphorically with the scene of the corrupt police officer who has a little  girl  yet still is unapologetic and unquestionable to his conscience for blackmailing someone else’s daughter (Devi).

Eminent detailing has been made in contrasting the psychology of the characters, like when later in life Devi meets a young couple who is having fun, making love in a hotel, going around but not guilty about it to anyone nor  humiliated by any. On the other hand Devi is ostracized, humiliated and punished  a lifetime for doing the same.

The film has multiple use  of imagery as metaphors which hit straight on the social and psychological stigmas the characters are going through.

A sense of vulnerability emerges on screen with the life of Devi and Deepak and a sigh of relief when they reach the Sangam together.

Work cited

Ghaywan, Neeraj (Director). Masaan (Film). 2015. Drishyam Films, Macassar Productions, Phantom FilmsSikhya Entertainment, Arte France Cinema and Pathé Productions. Youtube.

Wikipedia contributors. “Masaan.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Nov. 2021. Web. 23 Nov. 2021.

Wikipedia contributors. “Triveni Sangam.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 Sep. 2021. Web. 23 Nov. 2021.

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Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul is a poet, author, researcher and filmmaker. She is a filmmaker by heart and a film critic by words.

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