Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
Writer: Varun Grover
Stars: Richa Chadda, Sanjay Mishra, Vicky Kaushal, Shweta Tripathi
Runtime: 103 min
Released: 24 Jun 2015
Synopsis: Four lives intersect along the Ganges: a low caste boy hopelessly in love, a daughter ridden with guilt of a sexual encounter ending in a tragedy, a hapless father with fading morality, and a spirited child yearning for a family, long to escape the moral constructs of a small-town.
Two stories- one involving a father-daughter tormented by the orthodox architecture of a small-town, another following the musings of a young couple from different castes, meander along the shores of the Ganges, as the river of life touches them in different ways, destined to coalesce at the Sangam.
Set in present-day Varanasi, the plot of Masaan follows two seemingly separate stories that converge eventually.
The first of these tells the story of Devi. The film opens with her and her fellow student, Piyush, checking into a hotel room. They are interrupted during sex when the police bursts in, after being tipped off youngsters indulging in “indecent behaviour”. As the inspector records the barely clad Devi on his mobile phone, the boy Piyush, who also is barely clothed locks himself in the bathroom and commits suicide. Devi and her family are subjected to blackmail by the police, particularly by Inspector Mishra, who demands a hefty bribe of three lakhs from Vidyadhar Pathak, Devi’s father to hush up the matter. While he struggles to fulfill the demand, she switches jobs due to the ‘stigma’ associated. She eventually gets a government job in the railways in Varanasi. News regarding her pre-marital sexual indulgence reaches there, marred by the supposedly parochial mindset of people, she leaves Varanasi and joins a course in Allahabad.
The second narrative concerns Deepak, a boy (also from Varanasi) from the Dom community (a low-caste of corpse burners) whose family works in cremation ghat by burning funeral pyres. Deepak wants to transcend the restrictions of his caste. He studies Civil Engineering at a polytechnic college where he meets and falls in love with Shaalu, an upper-caste girl. They start meeting each other and during a trip to Allahabad at the banks of Ganga, Shaalu falls for Deepak and accepts his proposal. Back in Varanasi, Deepak tells her about his caste and the work he does of burning corpses. Shaalu remains firm and tells him that she will be with him even if her parents refuse. She asks him to focus on his placements and get a job, while she reaffirms her commitment to him.
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