A film that illustrates the importance of cherishing your life and experiencing it to the fullest, Mast Mein Rehne Ka is a Hindi Original premiering December 8 on Prime Video. It stars the veteran duo of Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta, along with Abhishek Chauhan, Monika Panwar, Rakhi Sawant, and Faisal Malik in pivotal roles. The movie delves into the parallel universes of two distinct generations with each navigating its unique reservations and confronting the adversities of life with all its curveballs. Directed by Vijay Maurya, it is based on the universal themes of second chances in love and life, forgiveness, and redemption.
We caught up with lead cast Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta along with director Vijay Maurya to learn more about the movie. Here’s what they had to say.
What is your character’s arc in the movie?
Shroff: I’m playing a 75-year-old man Kamath. He works out, goes for walks, exercises and has outlived all his friends, so he is lonely now. He doesn’t know who to talk to or what to do and is about to take a drastic step when fortunately, he meets Mrs. Handa (Neena Gupta). Mrs. Handa is the complete opposite of him and they form a sweet friendship. The idea of the movie is that everyone needs a companion or a partner and hobbies in life. In Mast Mein Rehne Ka, Handa madam aati hai aur kis tarah se meri zindagi badal deti hai (Handa madam comes into my life and changes it).
Gupta: My character is a boisterous Punjabi woman from Mumbai who went to Canada after her husband’s death to live with her son but decides to come back and live life on her terms for the first time. She has a house here and wants to live life by herself. She is happy-go-lucky and always smiling—someone who doesn’t stop when she starts laughing. She enjoys her everyday life—goes to the Gurudwara, cooks, shops, and woh ekdam mast mein rehne wali hai (she’s someone who lives life to the fullest). She meets Kamath and they form a healthy and innocent friendship that changes Kamath’s life.
Vijay, what was the starting point for this movie’s journey and how was your experience working with Prime Video?
Maurya: I wrote the movie long back and then I did Crash Course with Prime Video when Aparna Purohit (Head of India & SEA Originals, Prime Video) suggested, “Why don’t you start this movie with us? I’ve read the script and I love it.” I was thrilled to hear this and to get a chance to collaborate with Prime Video again because I had established a comfort zone with Amazon. This story is the larger-than-life kind because it has simple characters who we cross paths with day-to-day in a city like Mumbai. So it was very exciting when Amazon was interested.
Jackie, your character in the movie follows the same routine every day. Do you relate to that or are you more spontaneous in your approach to life?
So, my character Kamath lives by the clock and has a set routine full of the same activities whether it be going for walks, his pooja or anything else. But I feel spontaneity is important in life, often situations come up where you have to make spontaneous decisions. Kamath’s life is mundane but Mrs. Handa enters his life like a bhukamp (earthquake) and shakes things up.
Neena, in the movie Mrs. Handa decides to finally break free and move to India to live life on her own terms. What is your message for women who are at the precipice of making a similar decision for themselves?
I won’t give generic advice because everyone is living in different circumstances so you can’t say something that’s one-size-fits-all. But the one thing I will say is ‘do not lose hope’. As long as you breathe, don’t lose hope and enjoy life to the fullest.
Since the movie is based on the theme of overcoming loneliness, could you share life hacks that have worked for you on this count?
Shroff: Enjoy every moment of your life. Every day you wake up without any illness or issues is a day you have to be grateful for and enjoy. Also, always have a hobby. If someone like Mrs. Handa doesn’t come in your life, you need a hobby! (laughs)
Gupta: I want to say never have any ego or shame in wanting company. For instance, if your friend hasn’t invited you upfront that shouldn’t stop you from picking up the phone and asking them to meet you. You can meet them, talk to them, have lunch with them and enjoy your day together.
What is a standout memory for you from the set?
Shroff: Every time we were together is a memory etched in my head. Working with Neena ji, every day was different and good. And talking to Neena ji had me singing, quite literally! Things she’d say would remind me of lyrics to some old songs. But to answer your question, I enjoyed every little moment I spent on the set and can’t pinpoint one in particular.
Gupta: Same as Jackie, every day was a memory but one specific day comes to mind. In my vanity van, I have a toaster and so we were eating toast and Jackie suggested we should add sugar on it which stands out to me now.
Shroff (adding): It reminded me of Irani breakfast, I am from Mumbai so I have a habit of eating brun maska pav (hard Mumbai bread with butter and sugar).
Maurya: For me too, every day I spent working on this movie was a standout memory, even this interview will become one. But, this is my first Hindi film and every part of it is a part of my life so I’m thrilled and eagerly awaiting the release.
What’s on your Prime Video watchlist?
Shroff: Mast Mein Rehne Ka, nothing else.
Gupta: Yes, same!
Maurya: A lot of things. Prime Video has a great list of titles and I’m excited for my film to be one of those thumbnails I see when I log in to my account.