‘Mastar’ means jealousy. This is a Gemplex original, premised around the anarchy that prevails in the age-old cast system, in a village around the city of Jamshedpur (famously known as Tata Nagar). The 55 minutes long original streamed on the 21 of March 2020.
What is the story about?
‘Bauwaa’ (PRem Sharma) and ‘Raghu’ (Rajeev Kumar Ranjan) are two best friends residing in the interiors of Tata Nagar. They hail from the sect of ‘Chamar’, the lowest caste in the Hindu hierarchy. ‘Bauwaa’ works hard to earn his daily wages. He polishes shoes for a living, earning a sparse sum. ‘Raghu’ on the other hand is after some quick bucks. He aims at looting an ATM and running away. According to ‘Raghu’, owning a gun makes him a powerful man. The day he loots the ATM his life is set. ‘Raghu’ promises ‘Bauwaa’ his share. But on a chosen day Raghu has made his loot and has eloped with the loot. Bauwaa goes to the ‘Daroga’ (Aman Kumar) and tries to talk them into arresting Raghu. He even speaks to the Village head, ‘Sarpanch’ (M.S. Alam). But they simply dismiss Bittu naming him a ‘Matsar’. This enrages Bauwaa. He begins to complain of his very existence to his wife Anu (Prachi Priyam), and how people look down upon him. The next night as opportunity strikes, Bauwaa makes the loot and runs away leaving him home and wife behind. Bauwaa enjoys life king style when he meets with Raghu again. What happens next?
Director Avie has simply received blobs of clay, that he’s artfully moulded to perfection. Prem Sharma, who is a theatre artist, has unlearned his skill as a stage performer to take onto a different style in order to enhance his skill set. Rajeev, on the other hand, is a pro with the camera. He delivers his dialogue with absolute conviction. His expressions are pronounced, and one can witness his mood evolve with every passing scene. Prachi role as Bauwaa’s wife is insignificant. She is reduced to nothingness at the departure of her husband. She could’ve emerged as a stronger woman.
Music and other departments
The film is brilliantly executed in spite of it being a low budget sort. The sound could have been a little more original. The music at certain scenes is random and insignificant. It seems like someone has just spluttered blobs of sound cause it has to be put! The direction is clean and Avie has brought out the best in form his cast as well as the plot. Pritam Kumar has written a brilliant story. A few more twists could’ve added more flavour to the plot. The incident is common among village folks and has made it very relatable. The dark side of each character emerges brilliantly. A better production budget would scale the height of this film, making its way to an expansive audience.
The performances are the biggest highlights of the film. The plot is just as interesting. It makes for one of the best originals Gemplex has.
The low-budget hasn’t got the film to actually go places. Lack of evolution of an already telling base plot could’ve done wonders.
Did I enjoy it?
I did enjoy this, but it’s only something I’d watch when I’ve run out of options. It’s pretty much the last thing on the list of ‘must-watch films’. But yes it does exist on the list!
Do I recommend it? And Why?
I certainly do IF you’re trying to understand the socio-economic conditions of the village culture in India. I would recommend it if you’re trying to comprehend the deep-rootedness of the caste system in the Indian village culture.