Posts Tagged ‘ Avinash Arun ’

Masaan

masaan-poster

Masaan
Release date: July 24, 2015
Directed by: Neeraj Ghaywan
Cast: Rich Chadda, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi, Vicky Kaushal, Pankaj Tripathi, Nikhil Sahni

Death, relocation, and even a certain kind of trauma all have one thing in common; they can be the catalysts to change. I wrote about change in my review of Killaa Marathi film directed by Avinash Arun, who is also the DP of Masaan. He shoots Neeraj Ghaywan’s film, co-incidentally themed on the similar premise of forbearing to the thrusting waves of change and shaping one’s existence in the ways circumstantial activities force themselves upon the cinematic universe.

This universe is thickly veiled in realistic dimensions, subtly trying to grapple with the major forces of caste-barriers, a narrow-minded populace in a highly idealized place of pilgrimage and plays with innocuous young love. Devi Pathak (Richa Chadda) is the well-mannered, soft spoken daughter of a high-caste Brahman, Vidyadhar Pathak (Sanjay Mishra) who manages to work the computer by the day, eventually earning much more than her father and is more ambitious than he could ever be. In the midst of harboring this ambition, she sees herself in a bad predicament. A predicament which wouldn’t make much sense to a first-world inhabitant, but is a very grave situation for a young lady who aspires to a simple life where she wants to be enabled of leading her life with not much fuss.

On another bank of the Ganges, lives Deepak Chaudhary (Vicky Kaushal) of the Dom community, which has been unceremoniously handed the duty of crushing skulls of bodies that burn in the funeral pyre at the Ghats, so the souls of the dead can leave their bodies, as a character points out. He’s a mechanical engineering student vying for an urbane job that would possibly elevate him from his surroundings into a somewhat fair world where he’ll be judged by his potential and work.

Both of the parallel protagonists are closely connected by the common chord of a form of loss. They face a certain transformation brought along by the loss and try to sail along the calm waters of the Sangam. Devi’s conflict sets in motion at the start of the film, whereas Deepak’s surfaces in the later portion. Deepak’s infatuation and adoration for Shalu (Shweta Tripathi) is perhaps the dynamic that a lot of people in small cities have in their first romantic relationship, one that Devi could have shared with the boy at her workplace, which is never shown. The young love manifests itself very cutely, filled with prized gestures and amateur kissing skills.

Debutantes Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi enact their well-etched parts with equal portions of grace and charm. Never do they let you in on the jitters or any hints of discomfort. Chadda and Mishra are restrained as the emotionally wounded daughter and father. And little Jhonta (Nikhil Sahni) and Sadhya (Pankaj Tripathi) are delightful support players.

These characters indicate the strength in the writing of the film and the execution of combating with grief and other morbid objects isn’t gravely morose as it could have been. The film doesn’t steer clear of heavy drama, unlike stereotyped ‘film-festival’ movies. Neeraj Ghaywan and Varun Grover know when to delve deeper into the confrontations and when to pull back, when there’s a requirement for a breakdown and when there’s a need to stay composed.

Masaan never lets the backdrop of its location, i.e. the town of Banaras, or the shocks of the narrative, take precedence over the entire film. As one of the film’s featured musical composition goes, “Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai, main kisi pul saa… thartharaataa hun.” the film passes by melancholically and rattles you gently.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5)

Killa

Killa-Marathi-Movie-Poster
Killa
Release date: June 26, 2015
Directed by: Avinash Arun
Cast: Archit Deodhar, Amruta Subhash, Parth Bhalerao, Gaurish Gawde

Change is inevitable. Change is hard. It is defined by the replacement of an existing entity by another unacquainted entity. At times it is the deliberate loss of a possession for a new, advanced and improved one. This is when it could be pleasant, if it’s desired. The involuntary loss of a possession or a person is what hits hard.

Chinmay (Archit Deodhar) is a prepubescent boy, who’s grappling with the perils of a set of forced changes. His mother (Amruta Subhash) has been served with a job transfer to the coastal Konkans, from the urbane settings of Pune. Chinmay has to cope with the repercussions. He’s a timid, well behaved boy, who wears his hair neatly parted and chooses his friends cautiously. As an aunt of his points out, he’s wiser than his age.

But, yet, he is an eleven year old, faced with the urge to fit in with the boisterous bunch of Suhaas/Bandya (Parth Bhalerao) and his fellow hell-raising young ones. Chinmay shows his considerateness by taking in the stray dog that was almost sodomized by the same set of boys he’s trying to befriend. He gets into the cool backbenchers gang by helping Yuvraj (Gaurish Gawde) answer a math teacher’s question.

His mother is also dealing with monumental changes in the work atmosphere at her new office. There are co-employees who shirk their duties in lieu of comfort and convenience and she isn’t used to it. Debutant director, who’s also the film’s cinematographer, Avinash Arun shoots this melancholic tale in the serenly old world backdrop of the rural mangrove-inhabitated coastlines and the greens of the rain. The children ride bikes and catch crabs by the sea.

The proverbial transformation of the protagonists comes along in an understated sequence. The drama is subtle, assisted by the harmonious background score of Naren Chandarvarkar and Benedict Taylor. Archit Deodhar as the little Chinmay is adorably poised with the set of emotions he’s asked to deal with. Parth Bhalerao, after his powercracker performance in Bhoothnath Returns last year, returns as delightfully amazing mischievous Bandya. He’s loud, he’s cocky, and yet he retains empathy for his friends. He only speaks of an uncle at his house, and that’s all we know about his family. It would have been a monster truck sized incentive to see what his background is.

It’s evident, when Arun declares that the film is dedicated to his parents, it’s a story which has autobiographical roots in his growing up years. Tushar Paranjape, his cowriter, makes the film entirely relateable for every demograph. The Killa (fort) holds strong and dusts off the settled moss in all glory.

My rating: **** (4 out of 5)

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