Debutant director Akhilesh Jaiswal‘s Mastram explores the journey of a pornographic writer, Rajaram Vaishnav (Rahul Bagga), set in the hilly terrain of Northern India.

Like every other writer, Rajaram’s journey to stardom is not easy. His creativity reaches new heights when he discovers the importance of masala entertainment that the readers demand. Then he approaches the publisher who had earlier sent him off owing to the lack of masala in his dull tales. And then begins the era of Mastram (a series of erotica novels) found hidden under the pillow and wrapped up in sheets, with content oozing of erotica. However, his inability to reveal that the writer whose works have created a rage in the lives of our pados ke chacha and mama, is none but Rajaram himself, forms the crux of the plot.

Akhilesh Jaiswal brings out the best in his actors. Rahul Bagga has delivered a flawless performance as Rajaram. His character is a writer at heart who believes there is a story everywhere around us. His erotica excerpts are hence nothing but what he observes around him, be it the story of his neighborhood baniya or tuition teacher, Shaila. Other actors in the supporting roles have also done justice to their roles.

Not only the scenes, but the narration also creates a fair share of arousal among the audiences. However, viewers may be disappointed if they expect the movie to be abundant with lewd scenes and situations. The movie is also a social satire and addresses the fact that the society that pretty much comprises hypocrites, condemns writers such as Rajaram, but under the sheets and behind the curtains they enjoy the same stories, and live them too. The movie moves at a steady pace till the interval but slows down afterwards. The pace falls, as does Mastram’s stardom.

Thus, the movie is a fair one-time watch for the acting and the story, which may be typical but its sexual overtones make it stand out in the crowd.

Why should you watch the movie?

Mastram mirrors the reality hidden inside our closets, under our pillows, and between the sheets. It is a flick that must be enjoyed for the acting skills, novelty of the theme and the face of the society as it brings it out. It is a fictional account of a writer, just this time the account gets quirky. 

By Ragni Nathani

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