Masaan is intriguing, simple at heart yet puts together many elements of traditional, small-town Indian societies. The film is reminiscent of the time when Bollywood was yet to turn glossy and edgy. The 3 stories in the film interlink and the actors have played their parts to perfection.
The cycle of life and death is effectively portrayed in the story of each character struggling to come to terms with outdated practices which restrict free movement, love, and sex. Vicky Kaushal weaves magic with his sordid tale of a boy belonging to the Dom community who is in love with an upper caste girl but loses her and has to cremate her body as part of his duty is a member of the Dom community who burns dead bodies in ghats. Richa Chaddha plays a rebellious character who is judged because of her decision to have pre-marital sex while her father struggles to pay the hefty demands put forth by a cop.
The suffocative, conservative, patriarchal mindset of small-town societies which serve as a huge barrier to young aspirations finds a poignant portrayal in Masaan and therein lays its beauty. Directed by Neeraj Ghyawan, Masaan has a soul and a lyrical rhythm found only in small towns like Banaras.