Neeraj Ghaywan, whose debut film Masaan released in India on July 24, said that he deliberately roped in newcomers as they gelled well with the film’s fresh and realistic feel. “I wanted my characters to be like real life. Stars have their own baggage, it is not always easy to make them discard their mannerisms. My shoots passed off uninterrupted without any actor being mobbed at any public place,” Neeraj, who had assisted Anurag Kashyap in Gangs of Wasseypur, told PTI.
“As a result, we could do away with any type of hierarchy on the sets, and I wanted everyone to feel that all of us were equally behind the film’s making. It’s a team work,” he added. Richa Chadha, who featured in Gangs of Wasseypur, is also one of the actors of Masaan. Neeraj recalled how she broke down during the audience adulation after the film’s screening at Cannes this year.
“There was a five-minute long standing ovation by the critics and reviewers. It was overwhelming for all of us because none of the cast and the crew, mostly for those who made their debut in this film expected such a response. Getting the official selection itself was a huge honour,” Neeraj said.
The film has won the acclaimed FIPRESCI, Promising Future awards at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival and the Sundance Global Filmmaker Award. Besides Richa Chadha, the film stars Vicky Kaushal, Sanjay Mishra and Shweta Tripathi.