In Varanasi, Computer Science instructor Devi gets entangled in in an embarrassing controversy that lets a Policeman wrest control over her & her distraught father. Elsewhere in the same town, Civil Engineering student Deepak who also supports his family working on funeral pyres at the ghats, falls in love with an upper caste girl. Both stories meet at the end when they have one thing in common and that is letting the past go & seeking redemption – symbolising what tourists at Kashi apparently do!
Running Time:
109 min
Release date:
24 July 2015
Directed by:
Neeraj Ghaywan
Produced by:
Anurag Kashyap
Guneet Monga
Manish Mundra
Marie Jeanne Pascal
Melita Toscan du Plantier
Shaan Vyas
Vikas Bahl
Vikramaditya Motwane
Written by:
Neeraj Ghaywan
Varun Grover
Richa Chadda
Vicky Kaushal
Sanjay Mishra
Shweta Tripathi
Pankaj Tripathi
Nikhil Sahni
Satya Kam Anand
Music by:
Indian Ocean
Bruno Coulais
Cinematography by:
Avinash Arun Dhaware
Editing by:
Nitin Baid
Distributed by:
Drishyam Films

What’s Hot

  • This effort from Neeraj Ghaywan is special & if there is one other word that can describe the screenplay & direction of Masaan involving the collaborative effort of Neeraj and Varun Grover, it would be ‘Audacious’. Sample the very first sound in the film (on the lines of American History X!) & the succinctly underplayed scene where Deepak realizes the calamity at the Ghat for examples.
  • There are subtle references and subtexts aplenty to explore in Masaan. The aspirations of youngsters in small towns, the caste divide & even metaphors related to locations – As an example – the choice of Allahabad for the final shot was magical and apt for the story that involves a confluence of Deepak (embraces dead bodies like Ganga), Devi (victim of societal pollution like Yamuna) & the 2 other pivotal characters (physically absent then, like Saraswathi)
  • Vicky Kaushal makes a welcome debut and is effortless in portraying the obedient & youthful Deepak. He displays a range of emotions with the way he portrays his feelings of love, distress & haplessness of the way his work/caste is seen. Richa Chadda as Devi plays commendably, a gutsy character who keeps her emotions in check and faces reality the way it is.
  • The supporting cast has had an able scope to perform thanks to the rounded scripting work. Sanjay Mishra & the young kid have an endearing parallel track, debutant Shweta Tripathi’s cute & expressive Shaalu is a likeable character & the policeman (and his daughter who appears in only one frame) represents the dark truth
  • Avinash Arun’s cinematography complements the space offered in the script towards capturing Banares in all its glory very well and the underwater cinematography team deserves a mention for the gripping children swim-race scenes.
  • Indian Ocean’s music gels with Grover’s lyrics and makes impact in “Mann Kasturi Re” & the editing of Nitin Baid keeps us stay with both the tales in tandem even as they are presented in an interlaced fashion.

What’s Not

  • With the story travelling back and forth between two prime characters, it is difficult to absorb the subtleties of the story-telling, with much concentration getting used up in trying to tie the events together.
  • Of the two twists in the film, one is fairly predictable & the other seems more deliberate and did not find much significance



Verdict Stamp

Masaan is an audacious tale of mistakes, mishaps & redemption in life. The perfect choice of locations (Banares for letting go & Allahabad for confluence), able performances from the cast and the script replete with other symbolic subtleties make it a classic debut for its promising director.