Masaan, which actually means crematorium, is a story about the moral constructs of a small town of Varanasi - the city of religious beliefs, customs and traditions and most importantly, holy Ganges, and how it affects the lives of four people, whose interrelated struggles connect them to each other.
How they are affected by this city of religious beliefs and morality and how they try to retaliate and escape this social construct forms the main theme of their story.
Two love stories, both of them ending in a tragedy and how their partners suffered from the pain of losing their lovers and how they stand up again to face the cruel life again.
After all, life is all about a journey in which everyone has to keep going and anyone who stops, the life will go on, leaving them far behind and eventually people would be able to cope with their loss and overcome the grief.
In this movie, there is nothing black and white but everything lies in the thousands shades of grey, we don't know what is going to happen the next moment and this unpredictability is what it shares common with life.
A lower-caste boy who is in love with an upper caste girl, hoping for a better future and to rise above his caste, a girl whose sexual encounter has resulted in the sudden death of her lover, a father who is still suffering from the regret of not being able to save his wife and is worried for his daughter's future and an orphan, who desires to have a family which accepts and loves him. All this in the holy city of Ganges - Varanasi.
Nothing in this movie is coated with bling or glamour, it is about the dull colours of life. With ordinary characters and their not so ordinary journeys, everything has been portrayed with utmost beauty.
The main element in this movie is pain and suffering and it could be seen in all the poignant scenes of the movie, whether through enactment or through background scores. The mourning at the crematorium is what makes masaan, a real Masaan.
And some dialogues and nazms are so beautiful that one can do nothing but admire the beauty of such beautiful creations.
One such masterpiece is,
Tu Kisi rail si Guzarti hai, Mai kisi pul sa thartharata hu. Ek jungle hai Teri aankhon mein, Mai jisme raah bhul jata hu.
Coming to the background scores, "Tu Kisi rail si guzarti hai", this song is the beautiful background of a newly blossoming love between two young hearts. And the ending scene of the song, with two balloons dangling in the air following each other, as a symbol of their hearts, is a fine example of cinematic art combined with beautiful picturesque scene of a fair in Varanasi- a city of serenity.
"Man Kasturi" is a real meaningful song where a broken hearted person is mourning for his deceased lover, and her only token of love left with him is her ring. In a fit of anger, he throws it in the river but the very next moment jumps to retrieve it back, only to realise that she is gone forever now and no amount of mourning can bring her back.
Throwing that ring helps him to release the sorrow and pain that was accumulated inside him and freed him from this regret, he would now be able to move on in his life.
The last song "Bhor" is the song which starts when both the protagonists, after getting freed from the burdens of their past, come together for a ride to Sangam, indicating a fresh start of life.
But what will be the conclusion of their story, the director leaves this on the imagination of the audience.
All in all, Masaan is a masterpiece of Indian Cinema and a rare gem that Bollywood has produced.
Everyone has done commendable jobs playing their parts be it pandit ji, inspector, ticket manager and all else.
Vicky Kaushal is shining with his performance, even though this being his debut movie. He has effortlessly portrayed the pain of a person who is trying to break the predefined moulds of society and to win the love of his life. And Richa Chaddha leaves a mark on our hearts, supported by Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi, Pankaj Tripathi and others.
While Bidding adieu, we should take a note from the movie, a line that is simply magical for anyone who has loved someone with all his heart, only to remain in their hearts later but not in life.
Sitaaro Ko Aankho me mehfuz rakhna, Badi der tak rat hi rat hogi. Musafir hain hum bhi Musafir ho tum bhi, Kisi mod par, fir mulakat hogi….