Mast Mein Rehne Ka review: Vijay Maurya crafts some warm sunshine for cold winter mornings

Director Vijay Maurya appears to be in his element in the slums and middle-class dwellings of Mumbai, telling an interesting story.

ByArkadev Ghoshal

Published:Dec 11, 2023

Mast Mein Rehne Ka review: Vijay Maurya crafts some warm sunshine for cold winter mornings
A story that needs to be told!
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Mast Mein Rehne Ka (Hindi)

  • Cast: Jackie Shroff, Neena Gupta, Abhishek Chauhan, Monika Panwar, Aasokaa, and Garima Agarwal
  • Director: Vijay Maurya
  • Producers: Payal Arora and Vijay Maurya
  • Music: Arabinda Neog
  • Runtime: 2 hours 7 minutes
  • OTT platform: Prime Video

From afar, Mast Mein Rehne Ka may seem like another slice-of-life film based in Mumbai. And it is true to quite an extent.

Director Vijay Maurya appears to be in his element in the slums and middle-class dwellings of Mumbai.

The result is a film that feels like warm sunshine crafted to light up cold winter mornings. The moral grey areas somehow make the on-screen relationships even stronger.

Thus, while one may not identify with the exact characters on screen, their struggles leave a mark, thanks to some honest writing and noteworthy acting by almost the entire cast.

The story and the execution

Retired widower VS Kamath (Jackie Shroff) lives a lonely but active life.

One day, when down-on-luck tailor Nanhe (Abhishek Chauhan) attempts to burglarise his home, Kamath catches him in the act and then asks to be killed.

Nanhe injures Kamath and escapes, setting the ball rolling for change in both their lives, which ends in both parties getting what they were chasing — in more ways than one.

Now, bringing a story — especially a film — to a heartwarming conclusion is difficult. Heck, it’s nigh- impossible!

Mast Mein Rehne Ka ends with something similar. Except, you don’t feel like it is impossible. Given its initial premise, it seems improbable. However, the finished product appears probable.

What unfolded on the screen

Jackie Shroff is a surprise: He is very believable as the Marathi-Kannadiga who has to convince a special person that he is not “Madrasi”. His mannerisms are quite convincing!

There are times you are convinced you are watching a Kannadiga nearly — if not entirely then at least mostly — when Jackie Shroff is on screen.

Neena Gupta, as Mrs Handa, is a little less convincing, especially when she laughs out loud. Those guffaws seem forced, especially for an actor of her calibre.

Abhishek Chauhan as the hapless Nanhe is also convincing but somewhat one-dimensional. Nevertheless, he displays the potential to shine in more director-backed roles.

On the other hand, Monica Panwar — thanks to a writer-backed character — has way more range than most Bollywood actresses would command.

Her character is introduced as Rawasi but turns out to be called Rani. She comes across as a grey individual in charge of her own decisions.

Despite her largest protestations, she ends up being someone who wants to belong. Especially to the one person who makes her feel special: The one who makes her smile and laugh the most in a long time.

Meanwhile, Rakhi Sawant is a surprise. Her character has a middle ground, and she rarely strays beyond the boundaries.

In fact, the makers convince the viewer that there is more to her talent than what is displayed on reality shows.

This is especially evident when she is undergoing some visually apparent emotional trauma. The silent tears — instead of melodrama and histrionics — show how the character is not contrived but is rather quite grounded.

The result is an on-screen individual who depicts an honest character that definitely deserves credit for making an honest effort to break away from contrived ones.

Behind the scenes

Maurya, however, appears to struggle when it comes to the dialogue and some scenes.

For example, while Mrs Handa and Rani seem to have few qualms when it comes to emoting, there are times when their laughs seem forced.

Then there are the plot points — like the faceless incarcerated individual who sings the titular rap or Kamath’s building’s guard and his close friend — that seem to have little or no payoff.

The music is interesting at times, and the situations are interesting but become unconvincing after a point in time.

Then again, the cinematography by Nagaraj Rathinam is eye-popping. Look — especially — for the end of the scene where Nanhe and Rani get intimate.

Verdict

Any film released on OTT platforms has an easy way to be evaluated: Look out for how many times you wanted to skip a scene, and how that would affect your viewing experience.

Honestly, I wanted to skip at least a couple of scenes in this film. I didn’t, and my decision rewarded me both times.

Mast Mein Rehne Ka turned out to be a story that needed to be told. And I was happy to be one of the people who heeded it.

(Views expressed here are personal.)