Five years ago, a team of debutants gifted Indian cinema a film that to date, remains one of the finest, most honest, and most heartfelt explorations of grief. It was Neeraj Ghaywan's debut film, Masaan.
Masaan went on to win a National film award, and two awards at the Cannes Film Festival. And in an interview with film critic Rajeev Masand, the film's actors, writer, and director unraveled the magic of the movie:
The team talked about how the film was a turning point for all of them, especially writer Varun Grover, director Neeraj Ghaywan, and actor Vicky Kaushal - who were all debutants on the film.
For a bunch of young actors, still in the beginning stage of their career, Masaan was a difficult film to be in.
And yet, all three, for different reasons decided to do the film - because just like the audience, there was something about the characters, and the movie, that resonated with them.
Of course, whenever you revisit a project, some interesting facts are bound to be revealed.
Like the 'real reason' why Shweta Tripathi was cast as Shalu.
Or the fact that acclaimed French actor, Sylvie Testud, was part of the film and heartbreak wasn't the only thing Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) was destined to suffer through.
Or that the film's most memorable song sequence (Tu Kisi Rail Si), that was supposed to be the easiest to shoot, could have just as easily been shelved.
And that Biryani is, indeed, the solution to everything.
Naturally, the interview also talked about the one scene that today, defines the film - the one where Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) breaks down and cries, "saala, yeh dukh kaahe khatam nahi hota?"
But, it also threw light on what motivated writer Varun Grover, and director Neeraj Ghaywan, to showcase such a profound, raw, and moving portrayal of humanity in the film:
You can watch the complete interview here:
All images are screenshots from the interview, unless specified otherwise.