The plot revolves around two stories that run parallel along the banks of the Ganges.
1⃣A sexual escapade in a dingy hotel room goes wrong when the couple is caught in the act by the cops. A tragedy follows, which affects the lives of all the people involved in the mess.
2⃣A young couple, fresh in love, court around irrespective of their caste status, till tragedy strikes.
The film is all about how one copes with these personal tragedies, fights with one's own demons and moves on in life.
A storyline which is simple at heart, without the fancy locales, lacking the routine Bollywood masala, but highly endearing.
Richa Chadda as the damsel in distress is very convincing. Sanjai Mishra, as the father who has to undergo all the duress because of his daughters misdeeds comes up with a superlative performance. He sure is a highly underrated actor. Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi as the love birds strike us with their innocence.
The film however belongs to the debutant director, Neeraj Ghaywan who left his job as an Engineer with MBA to pursue his passion in film direction. The sequences, where the urchins dive in the river to fish out coins and when the male protagonist breaks down in front of his friends, are crisply directed.
The background score that takes you across Sangam lingers on.
It was surprising to see a foreigner couple at the theater for this movie, but the English subtitles and the response this film generated at Cannes probably explained it.
Accolades coming from Mrs Shabana Azmi, the queen of non mainstream cinema says it all.
Recommended audience: Couples.