Ghosts of Ganga and the Dazzling Display of Death in Masaan

When I try to paint a picture of the Ganga in my mind, I mostly imagine a pristine river with the rising Sun at the horizon. That’s how we all have been conditioned to imagine the holy river. Ganga stands for purity, tranquility and piousness; a river that may have been abundantly polluted over the centuries but, as per the millions’ belief and reverence, still holds the magical power to purify the polluted. Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan paints such a contrasting picture of the holy river and its mythical home –Varanasi that it shakes your conscience and unravels the ghosts that lie quietly somewhere deep inside the river bed.Continue reading “Ghosts of Ganga and the Dazzling Display of Death in Masaan”

In Conversation with Neeraj Ghaywan: On the Making of ‘Masaan’ and More

Neeraj Ghaywan, an engineer and an MBA, moved on from his corporate career in 2010 to pursue filmmaking. He has assisted renowned filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on the two-part film, Gangs of Wasseypur and was the second unit director for Ugly. He has also made two short films The Epiphany and Shor, the winner of the Grand Jury Awards at three international film festivals in New York, LA and London. However, at this point of time, he is best known for the man who gave us “Masaan” – the film that won FIPRESCI prize (International Jury of Film Critics prize for the Un Certain Regard section) and the Promising Future prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, 2015.

Here’s the excerpt of the conversation I shared with him on Masaan and more…(Spoiler Alert-note the conversation includes some heavy spoilers,so ideally it is advisable to read this if you have already seen the film)Continue reading “In Conversation with Neeraj Ghaywan: On the Making of ‘Masaan’ and More”

Masaan: Poetic Closures

As human beings, I find it impossible for us to not seek closure. In every aspect of our life, there is a desire to connect all the dots and conclude. Without conclusions, we hang free, unable to move forward or finish a part of our life, a relationship or even a simple task. The greatest of closures is death which guarantees flight from every open problem. Masaan or crematorium is the home for the ultimate closure. Neeraj Ghaywan’s debut feature, deals with life in a small town – Benares; through two tales. It is about love, heartbreak, morality, casteism, small town modernity and also about closure.Continue reading “Masaan: Poetic Closures”

Masaan Movie Review: From the Heartland with a lot of Heart

If you are a movie buff then it’s highly unlikely that you’ve not heard of Neeraj Ghaywan and his debut film Masaan which has released today, after all the film has been in the news right from the very beginning. Be it for winning the 2014 Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award or much later for making it as an official entry to Cannes this year under the Un Certain Regard section where it even won a couple of awards, Masaan or (Fly Away Solo as it was called earlier) has been making the right kind of moves everywhere, not everything by design of course. It isn’t often that a filmmaker manages to make his debut with all these aspects. Added to it is the fact that the film has an impressive cast and crew and is supported by producers who make things matter. So eventually it won’t be surprising when you hear people interested in knowing if Masaan deserved all this and if Neeraj Ghaywan has made a convincing debut, after all its to do with human nature.Continue reading “Masaan Movie Review: From the Heartland with a lot of Heart”

In Conversation with the Multi Faceted Varun Grover: On Masaan and More

For a guy who studied to become an engineer and passed out of IIT (BHU), Varun Grower stands on a different planet today. He is now the go to guy for all Indie filmmakers. After starting his career as a writer in 2004, he wrote for “The great Indian Comedy Show” and later wrote scripts for stand-up comedies. The big shift happened when he team up with Anurag Kashyap for writing lyrics for “The Girl in Yellow Boots”. Since then he has written lyrics for films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Aankhon Dekhi and Dum laga ke haisha.

An even bigger shift happened when he took up the role of screen writer and dialogue writer for Neeraj Gheywan’s Masaan. The movie has gone on win several awards in the festival circuit and is up for release in India.Continue reading “In Conversation with the Multi Faceted Varun Grover: On Masaan and More”

In Conversation with Editor Nitin Baid: Masaan Tales and More

Nitin Baid is a film editor based in Mumbai, India. He made his debut as a feature film editor with Masaan (2015), which received the FIPRESCI Prize and the Un Certain Regard Avenir Prize at Cannes this year. Born in Kolkata, Nitin did his graduation from Christ College, Bangalore, post which he pursued a course in Film Editing at Whistling Woods, Mumbai. Soon after his studies, he worked as assistant editor on Gangs of Wasseypur. Later, he worked as an associate editor on Hasee Toh Phasee.

He is the promo editor for some of the latest Indian films such as The Court, Supermen of Malegaon and The World Before Her which had received worldwide recognition. A Berlin Talent Campus alumni, his script has been selected among top 15 scripts from around the world to be pitched for the Berlin Today Award. He was also one of the very few who got selected to be a part of a workshop with Abbas Kiaraostami at Busan Film Festival.Continue reading “In Conversation with Editor Nitin Baid: Masaan Tales and More”

Masaan: The Soundtrack

Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan which releases on 24th July has music by popular band Indian Ocean. The soundtrack which has 3 songs written by Varun Grover is already quite popular,very different from the regular songs we get to hear in Hindi films of late.

Masaan Dialogue PosterThe first video that has been released is for the song ‘Tu Kisi Rail Si’ which is sung by Swanand Kirkire and the lyrics by Varun Grover are inspired by a ghazal by Dushyant Kumar.Continue reading “Masaan: The Soundtrack”

The Making of Masaan: Videos

Masaan Poster 5Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan has been making all the right moves, even making it to Cannes this year as official selection under the Un Certain Regard section. Featuring Sanjay Mishra, Richa Chadda, Shweta Tripathi, Vicky Kaushal etc, the film has music by Indian Ocean while Avinash Arun is the DOP and Nitin Baid is the editor.Continue reading “The Making of Masaan: Videos”

Anurag Kashyap: An Auteur Demystified

Anurag article cover image
Anurag article cover image

Introduction

Auteur‘is a French word which translated in English means ‘author’,  the creator of the work. Having said that, cinema unlike the other arts like poetry, painting etc. is a collective art and includes contributions from other artists to make it a completed film and is not the work of a sole artist. However, the ‘Auteur Theory’ suggests that there is one prime force that leads to the creation of the film and that individual guides all the processes of filmmaking. It is the vision and worldview of this individual who makes the film special and thus a work of art. Continue reading “Anurag Kashyap: An Auteur Demystified”