Neeraj Ghaywan’s “Massan” not peddling poverty

Neeraj Ghaywan is testing his directorial skills with his first film titled as “Masaan”. This film has won the heart of Cannes critics too. This film was shot in beautiful locales of the country.


He said, “I am actually getting that (criticism on peddling poverty) already. There are a lot of Twitter trolls who are asking ‘Oh! is he just another filmmaker who is peddling poverty and cashing in on it'”.

He added, “But trust me when you watch the film, you know that is the thing we (me and my writer Varun Grover) also hate it equally. The film has got to do with characters and their inter-personal stories. It has got nothing to do with socio-political bias”.

Stars Richa Chadha, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi and Vicky Kaushal, had won 2 awards at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival are part of the film.

The film is set under the backdrop of four lives which intersect along the Ganga river. In this a low-caste boy falling hopelessly in love a daughter ridden with guilt of a sexual encounter ending.  In a tragedy, a hapless father with fading morality, and a spirited child yearning for a family, long to escape the moral constructs of a small-town.

Through “Masaan”, Ghaywan wanted to revive the “innocence” of small-town romance seen in Bollywood oldies like “Nadiya Ke Paar”.

He also made a conscious decision to show small cities in a “different light” and narrate how Varanasi is evolving instead of “exoticising” the famed ancient city situated along the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh.

So you won’t see the ‘aarti’ at Dashashwamedh ghat, the naked sadhus and other examples synonymous with Varanasi, he said.

“We did not want to show that part. The characters and stories are more important so we wanted to stay away from that. It was a deliberate choice in scripting.

“We are not showing cycle rickshaws. We are showing e-rickshaws, mini taxis and the youth talking about ambition… though they are from lower-middle class, they are hanging out on Facebook. They are talking about evolution theory etc…,” Ghaywan said to buttress his point.

He added: “We are showing how India is in a transitional phase.”

Bollywood celebrities like Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi have praised the film.

He shared, “I am receiving praises about how the film is being loved by everyone and not just the youth. I am talking about every age bracket. This is because basic emotions at the root level is the same. A father and daughter in France are culturally and socially very different from us, but the way the father cares for a daughter remains the same”.

He quipped, “And we have been very honest. Generally, festival films show muted reactions… very European sensibilities of emotions but we are trying to show genuine Indian emotions”.

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