Mast Mein Rehne Ka Hindi Movie
Writer-director Vijay Maurya's "Mast Mein Rehne Ka" is a cheerful title, but this is a mostly pensive film about loneliness and isolation in a big city. Set in Mumbai, this slice-of-life film revolves around characters from two generations who feel lost and seek companionship in the metropolis. One involves Jackie Shroff's Kamath, a septuagenarian who lives alone in a Mumbai apartment. Kamath has been taking care of himself since the passing of his wife twelve years ago. He buys vegetables and stationery, and he cooks food for himself. But Kamath is so lonely that he begs a thief who invades his home to put him out of his misery and take whatever he wants.
The other generation in the film involves that thief, Abhishek Chauhan's Nanhe. His employer throws Nanhe out of his tailoring shop as a woman alleges that he misbehaved with her. But Nanhe strikes a windfall when Rakhi Sawant's Bimli approaches him over a Bollywood apparel deal involving lakhs of rupees. In the process of earning a living in Mumbai, Nanhe and Kamath meet two people who make a strong impact on their lives.
The film takes a while to get going and moves at a rather lethargic pace, but the characters are so endearing and the performances are so strong that they alone make up for the minor flaws. Kamath meets a woman at a public park, Neena Gupta's Prakash Kaur, who also struggles with old-age issues similar to his problems. The introduction of Prakash Kaur into Kamath's life makes Mast Mein Rehne Ka more of an old-age version of Imtiaz Ali's "Jab We Met." Neena Gupta's character is more resilient and ebullient than Jackie Shroff's Kamath, a guy who sulks and contemplates suicide. A bit like Kareena Kapoor's Geet, she also hides her tragic past under the facade of a woman who treasures the simple pleasures of life and lives in the moment. But this does not mean that she has no demons in her mind. It is a revealing moment when she tells Kamath that it has been years since she has laughed this openly.
A parallel track to the story of Kamath and Prakash Kaur is that of Nanhe and Monika Panwar's street worker, Rani. Chauhan is so good as a man who decides to rob the elderly to make ends meet, and Panwar is every bit convincing as a street worker with a great sense of dignity. There is a lovely moment where Rani cleans up her fake, poor woman's make-up and reveals her true identity to Nanhe.
The thread that connects these two tracks is a potent plot point about the vulnerability of the elderly in Mumbai. Nanhe breaks into the houses of old people in Mumbai, including that of Kamath. In the process, Nanhe ironically ends up doing something for Kamath that fills his life with a new sense of optimism for life.
Now, Mast Mein Rehne Ka is not without flaws. I am not sure that the Rakhi Sawant character fits into this universe the same way everyone else does, although the casting and the performance of the actor are unmistakable. Despite the strength of its ideas, the movie goes for the "low hanging fruit" and never reaches the same highs as films with similar themes, like "Life in a Metro." The film also stutters towards a seemingly cliched airport ending sequence before it gets somewhat back on track. That said, Mast Mein Rehne Ka packs enough punch for the most part.