Cast– Richa Chaddha, Vicky Kaushal, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi
Director– Neeraj Ghaywan
Writer– Neeraj Ghaywan
Let me begin with the name and its meaning about which even I was pretty curious.The word is actually a colloquial term referring to cremation ground or ” shamshaan “.
As per the name, the story is set around the cremation grounds of Benaras with philosophical angle of ongoing circle of life and death.
Plot revolves around four young individuals based in Banaras with two parallel stories portraying their struggles with life and death. It’s the story of people’s spirit for life, curiosity for forbidden, living life on own terms, facing adversities, showing resilience, dealing with grief, absolution and moving on in spite of everything.
The beauty of the story is actually the ugliness of the harsh realities of life and the resistances thrown in the form of caste bias or societal norms ,and with that background , you see individuals with lively resilient spirit wanting to go against the winds.
The small town nuances , the problems of changing societal fabric , the onslaught of internet exposure and the curiosity and enthusiasm of the younger generation to explore the forbidden and go against the norms is all woven well.
The screenplay ( Varun Grover ) is great . Direction by Neeraj Ghaywan ( who assisted Anurag Kashyap in GOW ) is applaudable. Lyrics by Varun Grover and music by Indian Ocean deserves a special mention. It’s melodious and has a rustic feel to it .
Sanjay Mishra and Richa Chaddha are good as usual . The new comers are pretty impressive too. The rest of the cast is also well selected .
The film is grim and hard hitting and meant strictly for those with an appetite for niche cinema.