'Maska' Review: Netflix's new coming-of-age Indian drama explores themes of family relations and friendship
Netflix’s newest release ‘Maska’ is a heartfelt, coming-of-age film revolving around aspiring dreams, family relations, friendship, and expectations of a Parsi family set in India. The film stars Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala as the lead mother and YouTuber Prit Kamani as Rumi Irani, debutante Shirley Setia as Persis, comedy actor Javed Jaffery as Rumi’s father Rustom and Nikita Dutta as Rumi’s girlfriend Malika. The movie was written and directed by Neeraj Udhwani and produced by Shivani Saran. The music of the movie was given by Raheja Akshay, Mikey McCleary, and Ketan Sodha.
'Maska' revolves around the relationship between a mother and a son — who is struggling to balance his relationships with his mother and his girlfriend. His dream was to become an actor but he is instead expected to take over his father’s legacy, Rustom Cafe, becoming a "Maska-wallah" (‘Maska’ is a famous Parsi dish consisting of a bun with butter and 'wallah' is a person concerned or involved with a specified thing or business.).
The movie also shows Rumi (Prit Kamani) exploring his relationship with his father after the latter’s death, showcasing the concept of a person watching out for him even from the beyond. Battling between his dream and his duty to take over the family business, he decides to move out of his mother's house to pursue his dream. But as he struggles in receiving roles and auditions, he finds a director and producer who takes advantage of his situation and said that they need money to make the film, assuring him that the movie would be a hit.
Wanting to prove his capabilities, he decides to deceive his mother by leading her to believe that he has left his acting career to take over the café. However, in reality, his motive was to sell the place to get money for the film. The movie showcases the realization of what life means, what dreams mean in the reality of life and the difference between dreams and delusions.
After realizing his true passion with the help of his friend, he decides to give up his acting career to take over his father's legacy. During the process of finding his true dream and happiness, he falls in love with Persis (Shirley Setia), who helps him discover his true passion.
The road of realizing his true ‘Ikigai’, a concept that means "reason for being" that led him to take over his father’s café instead of selling it to make a film. He realized his dreams and decided to pursue it by continuing his father’s legacy.
Walking in his father’s shoes, he understood the meaning of happiness when he saw his customers smile after eating his food. The conclusion of the movie makes it realistic, everyone faces such struggle before realizing what they are meant to do.
This movie truly explains the struggle of a young man, facing the challenges to choose between their dreams and family expectations. The transition of the main character, from believing what his dreams are to realizing what his delusions are strikes the reality of what life really means. The subtle family drama depicts the everyday life of a common man making it relatable to the characters. The music, the storyline, the characters' build-up made the movie very relatable while still making it extraordinary by exploring the Parsi heritage.
'Maska' is currently streaming on Netflix.