Two very unique films,’Masaan’ and ‘Aisa Yeh Jahaan’ hit the silver screens today. Masaan is a Neeraj Ghaywan directorial, starring Richa Chadha and Vicky Kaushal and ‘Aisa Yeh jahan’ is directed by Biswajeet Bora, starring ‘Euphoria’ fame Dr. Palash Sen and Ira Dubey in the lead roles. We will look at both the films individually.
Talking about Masaan first, it takes us through the holy town of Varanasi, which is a lot more than just a tourist place where ‘white’ people come to trip on ‘chillams’ and the Hindus come to liberate the souls of their beloved. It tells us about the natives of the city, especially the young generation who is trying hard to get over the age old concepts revolving around caste, class and gender. The title ’Masaan’ is a colloquial word for ‘Smashaan’(burning ground for Hindus). The film portrays stories of rebellion and repression set alongside the Varanasi cremation ground.
The film is mainly a depiction of the kind of impact social networking causes on the minds of ‘small-town’ individuals and the plot further progresses where Devi (Richa Chadha) faces the guilt of getting physically involved with Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) and later faces the aftermath by being blackmailed by a nasty cop, who has evidences of her being present at a shady hotel. She gets caught in social and moral restrictions and complications further increase when her father (Sanjay Mishra) is caught into the same restrictions because of the blackmailing cop.
Other scenes where orphan boys dive in the rivers to fetch coins and young men and boys burning piles of dead bodies give us an overview of the real life in Varanasi.
The movie is gathering compliments from Bollywood celebrities as well. Praising the movie, director Kabir Khan tweeted,” #Masaan is an extremely engaging and moving film.. Loved the textures. Super performances and soulful music… A treasure chest of brilliant performances… @ghaywan @varungrover @RichaChadha_ @battatawada @vickykaushal09. #Masaan.”
The most special part of the film is that it did not cut slices from any other world hits or even Bollywood films in the past. It has got its own which is beautifully weaved in the form of a story which will leave the audience wondering about the difference between ‘What it should be and what it actually is’.
Coming to Aisa Yeh Jahaan, the makers call it India’s first carbon neutral feature film. It revolves around ‘Save the Environment’ cause and is partially shot in Assam, which makes the film aesthetically pleasing. The only message of the movie is- ‘Plant trees’, but the supporting plot somehow kills the original message.
The plot of the movie revolves around the life of a couple who has moved from their hometown to Mumbai(like millions of others), aspiring for a better life. The couple definitely manages to make themselves comfortable in the fast paced life on a metropolitan city, but the wife’s overambitious nature makes it difficult for the husband to fulfil her needs, having the responsibility of their child as well. He misses the natural bounty of Assam, stuck up amidst the heaps of plastic bags and a huge concrete jungle.
The film also shows how Palash and Ira’s child is almost uprooted from Assamese culture and knows Hindi more than her mother tongue. Things change when the couple gets a girl from Assam to act as their domestic help as she makes them realise how the rat race has resulted them being lost from their culture, values and responsibilities towards nature. The movie also puts light on the discrimination towards the people from North-East India. The plot of the movie might carry a very strong message, but it does not have many factors which can be of any help to build up a strong direction. The treatment of the film is loose and does not manage to be strong on the social message it tire to give away.
The film is made to endorse an environmental cause, but is also inclined towards commercial success with the presence of model Carol gracias in an item number song. With having Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan in the theatres and internationally acclaimed ‘Masaan’ releasing on the same day, the success of the movie is as difficult as ‘Save the environment’ mission.