‘Maasaab’: Average Route to Enlightenment

By Archika Khurana

The story centers around the state of education in India especially in the primary schools in the rural parts of the country.

Set in Khurand village of Uttar Pradesh— ‘Maassab’ means teacher in local dialect in and around north and central rural India—the narrative revolves around Ashish Kumar (Shiva Suryavanshi) who has left his IAS job to pursue his dream to teach and educate kids in the rural India. After working as a volunteer to help children living in Bal Sudhar Kendra (Juvenile Correction Center), Ashish has now moved to a rustic area as a primary school teacher. There he encounters individuals’ biases, corruption, and ignorance towards schooling. However, he gets support and encouragement from the lone educated individual in the village, Usha Devi (Sheetal Singh), who is also the Pradhan (head) of the village. Together, will Ashish and Usha be able to continue on their path to spreading free education across the village?

Director Aditya Om (popularly known for his performances in Telugu films) has penned this drama with debutant actor-writer Shiva Suryavanshi. Every situation—from students being more concerned about mid-day meals than studies itself and teachers being more focussed on their moonlighting careers—looks real and relatable to the current situation of schools in rural areas. What works in favor of the film is its simple screenplay that keeps the essence of the plot intact. However, it’s slow-paced and the performances by the cast are disappointing, too.

Both the protagonists of the film Ashish Kumar and Usha Devi played by Shiva Suryavanshi and Sheetal Singh respectively need to brush up on their acting skills. Though as the writer of the film, Shiva Suryavanshi has done a decent job.

Overall, ‘Maassab’ deals with the issue of the dilapidated condition of rural education in India that needs special attention from the government. Despite a convincing and impactful story in hand, this social commentary turns out to be an average watch. — Times News Network