Director Akhilesh Jaiswal’s portrayal of the notoriously popular and highly anonymous writer, who ‘entertained’ men with his erotic writing in the 80’s, is an earnest cinematic effort
Conjuring up images of your best friend pumping up the passion in your wife and soon the latter giving in to the former’s desperate moves to indulge in an uninhibited pleasure-fest could be the stuff of outrageously kinky psyche. But such imagery could be (and mostly, it is) a must for a porn writer to set the tone of his erotic canvas to sell his stories and make a living. While our civilized society may deny, detest and abhor such indulgence, terming it immoral or even animal-like, it’s the same men, who form our largely hypocritical society, indulge in such crazy fantasies behind closed doors of their private spaces.
Akhilesh Jaiswal’s Mastram shows the life of a semi-porn writer who makes living by selling ‘spicy’ stories- not out of choice, but out of commercial demands. In today’s world where television and the internet rule our collective consciousness, where the most common diktat followed is-Jo dikhta hi wohi bikta hai. In the 80’s when print was the most effective medium to reach out to people, the rule was slightly tweaked-Jo masaledar likhta hai wohi bikta hai!
The writer of Gangs of Wasseypur gives a fictional account of a chap who sold sexual fantasies to men, but remained anonymous to the world he catered to. Here’s a portrayal of Mastram who exploited the most basic instinct, the most mysterious facet of human behavior, arousing sexual heat with his erotic writing. He had mastered the craft of titillation by employing his seductive words. In the end he sold what he was fabulous at. And above all, he simply followed the common math of demand and supply.
In this fictional account of one of the most read –and only secretly celebrated-erotic writers of the country, Jaiswal gives us the journey of a man who chose to sell dangerously dark fantasies. “Mastram was not a bad guy. So what if he wrote porn? I have shown him as a good man, a good family man who wants to be a writer. He tries to follow his dreams, but with financial burden and people rejecting his other writings, he eventually starts writing porn,” said Jaiswal about the movie in an interview. The first time filmmaker sticks to the basics and mounts the movie that’s short and effective.
Rajaram (Rahul Bagga), a luckless writer who’s trying to hawk his literary masterpieces to unwilling publishers who are forever is search of something that’s new, saleable and masaledar. The newly married Rajaram is hard-pressed for money. He decides to exploit the situations and people around him to most erotic effects. He hides behind a pen name to make money to sell the stuff the wet dreams are made of. The otherwise innocuous baniya, nurse, his best buddy and even his wife ( Tara Alisha Berry) start flowing into his stories to form ‘interesting’ characters in highly titillating stories. Will Mastram be able to sustain success and what social as well moral issues will he cast lights on with his journey is what you have to watch the movie for.
Catch this breezy, easy on the eye film on a lazy summer afternoon. Mastram may not ‘stimulate’ you with his craft, but he will certainly makes a delightful watch.
Caution: If you are planning to walk into the theaters to feast you eyes on either the steamy action or Savita bhabhi sexapades, you have no business here. Better stick to the net instead and cherish the stuff that’s just a click away!
Reviewed by Prathamesh Jadhav
**** Very good