Maska Movie Review: Manisha Koirala and Jaaved Jaaferi are butter on this otherwise dry toast

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From sharing Maggi with your friends to smoking with your peers to undress, an Adda is a haven for most of us. Neeraj Udhwanis Maska is the story of such an Adda, caught between two generations – one that she considers an essential part of her heritage and the other for which it is nothing more than brick and mortar.

Our protagonist in the Netflix film is Rumi Irani (Prit Kamani), who inherited the gift of cooking together with a café called The Rustom Ban Maska from his Iranian ancestors. The café is an adda for many oldies in the area who have got used to it over the years.

However, Rumi is not interested in running the café because he wants to be an actor. His mother Diana Irani (Manisha Koirala) tries to persuade him to do so, but he is stubborn and there is nothing she can do about it.

After that, the film strolls on an obvious path and ends with a very predictable grade. And yes, there is also a ghost from the past, the most refreshing part of the film, if you ask us.

Maska brings together two of Bollywood’s most popular stars – Manisha Koirala and Jaaved Jaaferi. Every time Manisha smiles on the screen or gets angry at her hopeless son, sit up and take note of it. She easily portrayed the role of a powerful Parsi woman in the film.

Jaaved, however, continued to enchant us with his warm presence in Maska. Although his screen time is limited, he never misses an opportunity to make us laugh in those few minutes. Among the young actors – Prit Kamani, Shirley Setia and Nikita Dutta – only Nikita stands out. Quiet is easy to forget.

Maska is a feel-good film that we really needed in these times, but that doesn’t offer anything new. The film also takes Imtiaz Ali’s path and lets his wives – Nikita, Shirley and Manisha – serve only one purpose, namely to enable the man (Prit) to realize his potential and to help him work towards it.

The unnecessary Veronica vs. Meera-Trope (from Cocktail, do you remember? Where Meera is touted as Bahu material because she is Gharelu while Veronica is too independent?) The second half was just prickly. Like countless Bollywood films, Maska shows that strong, independent women are not marriage material and that you need an innocent Gharelu Ladki to take care of the house. Top that with the constant need for mom approval. Why? It’s 2020, and here’s another Bollywood film that is going down that path. Will we ever rise above it?

Maska is an ancient story that is told in the most colorful way. Manisha and Jaaved’s shoulders bear the burden of the entire film. Watch the film for them, they will make you miss your parents a little less and survive this time in quarantine.

Watch the Maska trailer here:

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