Review: Maasa

There's nothing fishy about Amruta Subhash starrer Marathi short Maasa, it’s a heartwarming story of love and longing.

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Phulwa Khamkar’s directorial film Maasa, which means “fish” in the Marathi language, is a short yet deeply moving tale of a woman named Ketaki (Amruta Subhash) who finds herself torn between her love for Sumedh (Sandesh Kulkarni), her longing for a life of her own, and the constraints of society in rural Maharashtra. Ketaki is a young widow who lives with her mother-in-law Rakhmabai (Jyoti Subhash), and her son Aniket (Pawar Vajra). Together, they run a food business where Ketaki’s specialty is fried fish, which she packs into lunchboxes to sell and provide for her family.  


  • Film: Maasa (Streaming on SBS On Demand) 
  • Language: Marathi
  • Director: Phulwa Khamkar 
  • Cast: Amruta Subhash, Jyoti Subhash, Sandesh Kulkarni, Nayan Jadhav, and Pawar Vajra 
  • Writer: Sandesh Kulkarni 
  • Duration: 25 mins 
  • Rating: *** 

Ketaki’s surroundings are far from peaceful. Rakhmabai is constantly grieving and taunting Ketaki for her son’s death. Moreover, an ill-intentioned client named Ramesh flirts with Ketaki and makes her uncomfortable, and Aniket vies for his mother’s attention.

Despite being docile, Ketaki is not immune to the charms of Sumedh, who visits their house to order food. Ketaki is drawn to Sumedh, but they don’t speak to each other. Sumedh’s compliments for Ketaki’s food on origami fish gradually bring them closer. However, their budding romance arouses suspicion and disapproval from Rakhmabai, a symbol of society in the story. The tension between the characters builds up to a heart-wrenching climax, highlighting the emotional and social struggles women face in Ketaki’s shoes.

Amruta Subhash
Actor Amruta Subhash plays Ketaki (Source: Supplied)

Noted Marathi actors and real-life mother-daughter duo Jyoti and Amruta Subhash, who play Rakhmabai and Ketaki, respectively, are a delight to watch on screen. They breathe life into a simple plot and elevate it to a beautiful experience for the viewers. Amruta Subhash’s nuanced performance as Ketaki stands out in particular, as her eyes convey the gamut of emotions that her character feels throughout the film. The scenes between Ketaki and Sumedh are well-acted, and Jyoti Subhash’s expressions reflect her character’s fears and apprehensions about the consequences of Ketaki’s actions.

When Sumedh compliments Ketaki, the scene is reminiscent of Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur starter, the critically acclaimed The Lunchbox.  

(Source: Supplied)

Writer-actor Sandesh Kulkarni, who also happens to be Amruta Subhash’s husband in real life is the writer of Maasa. Kulkarni also plays Ketaki’s love interest Sumedh in the film, a goody-two-shoes character, which is somewhat underwhelming. Aniket’s first interaction with Sumedh is also somewhat odd, as he asks a stranger to make him an origami fish despite not knowing him. 

Produced by Indian-Australian Pradnya Dugal, Maasa is a short yet heart-warming tale of love and longing that captures the struggles of a woman trapped in the throes of tradition. Maasa offers a poignant commentary on the plight of widows in rural India. It highlights the importance of empathy and compassion in a society that often forces people to conform to its norms. The film is relevant for those who enjoy cinema and offers a unique life perspective. 

 Read More: Review: Jubilee

Torsha Sen
Torsha Sen
A seasoned journalist who observes passage of time and uses tenses that contain simple past, continuous present, and a future perfect to weave stories.

What's On