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Bimal Roy Memorial Presents A Screening Of Masaan (Crematorium).

Bimal Roy Memorial Presents A Screening Of Masaan (Crematorium).

by The Daily Eye Team February 1 2016, 7:33 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 52 secs

6th February, 2016 ,6 pm at
St. Paul’s Media Centre, 3rd floor,
above Title Waves Bookstore,
Near Tava Restaurant, off Turner Rd., Bandra West.
Running time - 1 hour 49 minutes.

The Hindi film Masaan is an Indo-French Production (2015) directed by NirajGhaywan, with screenplay and lyrics by Varun Grover and cinematography by AvinashDhaware. At the Cannes Film Festival (2015) the film won the FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard section and a 'Promising Future' prize (Prix de l'avenir) for debut films. At the All Lights India International Film Festival at Kochi, the film won the Golden Flame Award for Best Feature Film, besides winning the Stardust Awards for Best Screenplay Writer, Best Lyricist, Best Female Performer of the Year 2016. It also won the Filmfare Best Debut Director Award 2016.

At the recently held Bimal Roy Festival at Bhavan’s from 11th January to 16th January, 2016, NeerajGhaywan won the Bimal Roy Award for Best Debut Director “for the sensitivity he brings to realising Masaan, a haunting story of love, longing and loss.”

NeerajGhaywan’s deftly crafted Masaan is a multi-layered portrait of a hidebound society in rapid flux. Dripping pain and poetry in equal measure, the film presents intertwined stories of repression, rebellion and repentance set against the funeral pyres of a Varanasi cremation ghat. Its multiple strands add up to a cinematic tapestry that is both moving and stimulating. Its depiction of disruptive social change – represented by the growing impingement by Facebook and YouTube – and how it plays out in the lives of four small-town individuals is subtle, naturalistic and sure-handed. The minds of the men and women in Masaan, caught as they all are in a social and moral bind, are anything but small. Devi (RichaChadda), the protagonist of one of the tales, feels cornered, but remains defiant. She seeks escape from societal confines, but strictly on her own terms.

Masaan has another equally spirited woman: Shaalu Gupta (Shweta Tripathi), a poetry-loving college girl who catches the eye of the film’s male protagonist, final year civil engineering student Deepak Kumar (Vicky Kaushal). On learning that her boyfriend belongs to the Dom community, Shaalu makes light of the revelation. While remorse and anguish are the dominant emotions in this drama about caste and gender, none of the characters is the kind who would give in without a fight. The deep fissures that separate Deepak’s ‘fiery’ world from Shaalu’s protected cocoon are brought out in bold relief in that one forceful scene, which upends a brief, heady getaway by the lovers to Sangam, Allahabad.

This dazzling debut film is an unmissable gem.

Masaan received overwhelming critical acclaim from the mainstream media. Calling it "a very engaging debut" by NeerajGhaywan, Allan Hunter in Screen Daily wrote, "Vicky Kaushal brings a gauche charm to Deepak andRichaChadda invests the long suffering Devi with a weary, unwavering determination to move forward. Cinematographer AvinashArunDhaware captures some fantastic images of Banares that convey the bustling spirit of the city from the brightly lit street markets to the flurry of sparks that dot the night sky from the funeral pyres. Deborah Young writing in The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "a classically poignant drama of star-crossed love" and "part of the new generation of indie films whose clear intent is to set ablaze a hidebound society’s constrictions on personal liberty.”
Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta wrote in his National Interest column that Masaan left a deep impression on him, "get[ting] the pulse of small-town India as no other I have seen.” “The director has woven Ganga intimately into Varun Grover’s tight screenplay,” Gayatri Gauri wrote in First Post adding, "Several crucial moments swirl around the Ganga, beautifully shot without succumbing to visual exotica, and after you leave the cinema, they linger in your memory, like the flames dying slowly in the cremation grounds where so much of Masaan unfurls.”

Shubra Gupta wrote in The Indian Express, “Masaan is imbued with a sense of place and time, poetry and lyricism, and it captures the essence of Banaras, constant-yet-changeable, with felicity and feeling. It also announces the arrival of new talents in its writer and director: Grover’s story is eminently worth telling, and Ghaywan tells it beautifully.” “Ghaywan, in his very first film, creates a deeply affecting world that devastates and uplifts at the same time, and that becomes a part of your world long after the film is over," wrote Nikhil Taneja reviewing the film for The Huffington Post.


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