The dance of life and death in Masaan

What’s a good film? It’s the one that makes us think and think hard. It makes us lose ourselves from our known environs and transports us to a land unknown. It makes us reflect, ponder and become one with the characters. It leaves an indelible impression on us that stays on for a while. 
Masan is one such movie that does all this and a lot more. Set in the small yet historically religious city of Varanasi, Masan tells a tale that is unique, relevant to millions and perhaps real. 

There aren’t any Princes galloping in white horses, there aren’t Penlopes anymore who wait for the Trojan Wars of their Ulysseses to get over, there isn’t any picture-perfect Garden of Eden to romance around. Life boils down to filthy hotel rooms, shady lanes and by lanes, dirty stares and urge for sex over and above anything else. 
Such is life, such is the hard reality of existence. And amidst it all life thrives. People manage to find their happiness in filthy corners, people make ends meet, people do fall in love. 

And amidst this chaos of life, death dances it’s way to glory. It’s present with life every step of the way. And Masaan show it well, very well. 

The male protagonist of the film Vicky Kaushal, studies hard. He dreams of becoming an engineer. And it is those dreams that lead him to dare, dare for a life far removed from the ugly by lanes of Varanasi. He bursts with enthusiasm, he loves life, he is full of it. And even when he engages in his family trade of cremating the dead, life cannot rob him off his lively zest.

But then, this same person falls in love. And it’s that perfect kind of love which lures one into believing that paradise can be sought even amidst this daily grind. Fate let’s him fly higher and higher, until he falls flat, to realise there is no escape and we have to seek our own redemption. 

The film shows life through an unfiltered prism, sans the sugar coating, without any the false assurance of happiness. It shows amply that we can never deny death, even in life’s most heady concoctions. 

There is a scene from the film where the camera zooms into the flames that burn the dead, to a straight shift into another that’s used as hearth, the ultimate symbol of life. This is life, this is the hard reality of existence and Masan does a damn good job of showing it all.

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