Well, what can I say about this film except that you need to watch it.
Masaan is a multilayered film featuring several characters at a certain point in life which they can either let define them or make them stronger.
The film starts with a young girl (Devi) watching porn before meeting a young boy in secret for a sexual encounter, which unfortunately ends in tragedy. The police then blackmail her and her father (who happens to be a respected Sanskrit translator) into making payment or they will reveal the details to the everyone in the city.
The film then focuses on a love story between a lowly boy (Deepak) from a lower caste falling in love with a girl (Shaalu) from a higher caste. Deepak works in the family business of cremation ghats by burning funeral pyres but hopes to get out by completing his studies in civil engineering. At college he falls for Shaalu, they eventually get to know each other and share a intimate moment, but Deepak fears Shaalu will not be with him due to his background, however he eventually opens up and tells her.
She says it does not matter what her parents and people think and she would run away with him if needs be, but he needs to get a good job. Overjoyed he gets into his studies full throttle. But, this is where things turn. I will not go into what happens, but the scene which climaxes at a pivotal point is one of most powerful scenes I have seen in the last few years, I actually got goosebumps.
The story then interweaves between each character coming to terms of their predicament and how they deal with it. These scenes are the scenes you normally do not get in most Indian films, what happens after an event, as like in real life – life goes on.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, the acting is top notch, the cinematography is pristine – the Ganges have never looked so beautiful and the music is excellent. The film covers quite a few aspects of South Asia which it is still looking to address, including the abhorrent caste systems and respecting the family’s honour, things which may take some time to change, but talking about them is definitely a step in the right direction.