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Masoom review: Boman Irani makes dazzling OTT debut in this slow-burn thriller about relationships and secrets

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The Disney+ Hotstar show Masoom is set in small-town Punjab. It’s a refreshing break from all the UP we have seen in OTT crime dramas over the last few years. Don’t get me wrong. Uttar Pradesh does have a lot of stories to offer, but it’s nice to see something different once in a while; and Masoom is different. Right from its setting to the tone and the choice of actors. Masoom may not be perfect, but it is a breath of fresh air in a crowded OTT space populated with too many average shows. Also read: Boman Irani on Jayeshbhai Jordaar’s poor box office performance: ‘Was it the marketing, I don’t know’

The show opens with Sana (Samara Tijori) returning to her home in a small Punjab town after the death of her mother Gunwant (Upasana Singh). Sana has a strained relationship with her father Dr Kapoor (Boman Irani). This leads to Sana believing that her mother’s death was not accidental. In a family already on edge because of Sana’s alleged lies, her attempts to prove that her father killed her mother pushes them over to the brink of chaos. Her quest leads Sana to events from her childhood, and the whole family is forced to confront the secrets they have kept from each other over time.

Samara Tijori (left) plays the lead in Masoom.

At its heart, the show is about relationships and the secrets that exist in families. Granted that the family in question appears as ‘dysfunctional’ initially but gradually you learn that all families have a bit of grey. Nothing is black and white. The show uses a slow burn style, which makes it a delightful watch. The mystery surrounding the Kapoors and Sana’s past unravel slowly, keeping the viewers hooked. The twists are unexpected, which means the writers have done their job. But what truly makes the show different is the approach to the mystery is not as intense.

Another thing that separates Masoom from other OTT shows is that the cast is not a roundup of the usual suspects. You see actors making their streaming debut (Boman) or familiar faces that you wish you could see more often (Upasana and Manu Rishi Chadha) or just some fresh faces (Veer Singh). And all of them come together to give us a beautifully made show.

Boman Irani is clearly the star of the show. Actors and viewers both need to thank the OTT genre for this opportunity. This proliferation of streaming platforms and web series has meant actors have more avenues to explore their talent, and viewers have much more on their plate to binge on. Boman is a class apart in Masoon as he depicts menace, anger, helplessness, and love – all without ever saying much. His screen presence is brilliant, but still he never overshadows his co-actors in a frame.

Samara Tijori, daughter of writer-director Deepak Tijori, has talent. As the show’s protagonist, she has a lot to do and she manages to carry the narrative deftly. It was nice to see Manjari Fadnnis in an important role. The actor, whom viewers may remember from Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na, plays Sana’s older sister. She brings a sense of vulnerability and frustrating loyalty for her father that moves the narrative forward quite well.

Upasana Singh and Veer Singh in a still from Masoom.
Upasana Singh and Veer Singh in a still from Masoom.

One of the highlights of the show is to see the talented Upasana Singh in a serious role after ages. The actor has been so typecast in comedy roles courtesy her films and The Kapil Sharma Show that it does take some time to get used to seeing her in this avatar. But she slips back into the dramatic genre so seamlessly that you wonder why she doesn’t do this more often.

My one complaint with the show is that it tends to become dialogue-heavy in parts. Even though it remains measured and subtle for most parts, in the emotional scenes, the show has the characters talk more than required. The actor doesn’t always need to say what they are feeling. Let them just emote, and let the audience immerse itself in the show, the moment, on its own.

Masoom took the Marvel route by including a mid-credits scene, which teases a second season. That, I found quite annoying, to be honest. To me, Masoom was a self-contained story that found its conclusion. The characters reached their destinations by episode 6. But then, the makers gave into the temptation and teased more. Who knows, season 2 might just be good. But for now, it feels unnecessary.

But regardless of that end, Masoom is a simple story that has been made quite well and performed even better. The slow-burn thriller is equal parts emotional and equal parts riveting, and will keep the viewer engaged for sure.

Series: Masoom

Director: Mihir Desai

Cast: Boman Irani, Samara Tijori, Upasana Singh, Manjari Fadnnis, Veer Singh, Manu Rishi Chadha, Jobanpreet Singh, Sarika Singh, Akashdeep Arora


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