Over the 4th of July holiday, I ended up watching an international movie titled Masaan. I’d run across it a couple of times as I scrolled through Netflix, however, decided that since I was in the mood for a great in depth cultural escape from my own, I decided to press play as I enjoy a good international flick.
I am glad that I chose to watch Masaan. Allow me to write all about it aka spoiler alert.
My quick rundown of the movie is that it takes place in India where there is in this particular area of India, strong culturally accepted norms and things that will come with severe penalty, such as premarital sex. There is a young woman, Devi, who is caught in such a deal along with a man who commits suicide after being caught by the cops, thus placing the engaging female in a huge bind as she could be destroyed as well, I believe it was prison or death. I can’t recall unfortunately. Either way, the penalty was HUGE for the crime.
The accused female was determined to save her own life in the end and winds up falling or escaping to another part of the land, along side a man (Deepak) with a love story narrative that takes place simultaneously, with different dynamics than her own except that they both lost their loves due to tragedy.
What I enjoyed about this film was its honesty and innocence. On one hand, inside the lives of these people, there was much for them to fear and be ashamed of as a result of the culture while on the other hand, those same feelings of infatuation, love and curiosity even, no matter how dangerous, are known throughout the entire human spectrum no matter where one is born and raised. The film brought two stories of love and loss together with an ending of potentially gaining love again.
The film also showcased the complexities of culture and class, rich over poor and the potential paranoias and assumptions that they all entail without regarding the basic item we all share – the potential to fall in love and the inevitable heartbreak that follows the trail of falling in love again…with life and possibilities.
The film, to me, brought one of the grandest circles of life, from the lowest to the middle and even to the higher forms, even in the case of the near loss of a child by drowning in order to earn money to save another life from prison or death via blackmail. It was Devi’s father who was trapped in his love for his daughter and his love for his own morale when he nearly makes the fatal error in using the innocent life of a boy to make ends meet for a cultural wrong his daughter place herself in. There is regret, hardship and remorse, but in the end, as the boat sailed off, there was potential and the ability to love again as the film concluded, or I can even say came together.
If I am to rate Masaan, it gets a freaking five star easily as it kept my attention with two narratives at once while pushing me to fall in love with the plight of the characters. It’s a great movie.