"Whatever has happened once, will not happen again..but what has happened twice is bound to happen for the third time..." - Paulo Coelho from "The Alchemist"

Dev ME

What sort of person must Sarat Chandra be to write something like Devdas in the first place?
J K Rowling may be responsible for spreading Pottermania around the globe and J R R Tolkein's Rings trilogy might have won the most Oscars in the history of academy awards but I guess there is still to come a piece of fiction that had inspired 10 different film versions of it.

I saw Anurag Kashyap's version of Devdas yesterday with my own 'Paro' & the similarities between me and the protagonist were striking. The self destructive streak, the helplessness of love, the pendulum swinging between self pity & despair, the carelessness about his own self, the unnecessary indulgence in cigarettes, hashish and ganja, the inevitable search for happiness and love, my own Paro whom I can not hurt, my Chanda whom I had to see after watching this flick, the two Chunnilal's of my own life giving me a shoulder to rely on from time to time, the dark void sucking in my sanity every night and last but the most important similarity- the worshiping of the brand name 'Smirnoff', I could relate everything with myself.

The novel can be considered as the convergence of the tragic Hamlet and the classic Romeo & Juliet but is in fact bigger then both of them. Every human has an evident dark, uncaring & self destructive side to himself and the way it has been shown in the novel as well as the films, specially in Dev D, will make look both Kafka and Edgar Allen poe as amateurs.

The whole kaleidoscope of emotions running through the reels, the bizarre colours splashed across the canvas, the first shot of our protagonist making a joint, the open sexuality of Paro and the coming of age of Chanda, every second of the next 3 hours is engrossing. Unless until you are the happiest soul in this world you won't relate an iota to it but for the rest of the majority there will be at least one moment in there where you would sit up and take notice.
The leads are naturals and actually brilliant in their portrayals. Never once will you will be reminded of Abhay Deol from his earlier works he is totally convincing as the new age Devdas, Mahi Gill as the bindass punjabi lass who transforms into a mature lady is completely believable, Kalki as Chanda the teen-lady prostitute struggling with her own ghosts has that innocence and vulnerability on her face that makes you want to reach out to her and in the end Dibyendu as the practical Chunnilal who makes you wish for a resourceful tout like him in your own life's script.

The music is brilliantly awesome but am sure will sound just like a raucous cacophony to most purists. It's a healthy blend of Rock, Lounge and a little folk thrown in for the extra flavour. As with the whole film nothing here is formula driven and the songs just take the movie forward and disclose the turmoils of the leads. The rock version of Emotional Atyachaar, The peppy Duniya number, soulful Nayan Tarse and Aankh Michonni are THE tracks to listen in this quarter of the year.
The cinematography, camerawork, lighting and all other technical details are done quite well. My only complaint is the second half that could've been a little more sleek if edited properly.
As all the columnists in the newspapers are rejoicing this is a coming of age film for Indian cinema but as a warning watch out with whom you are going out with. Your family might want to get out of the hall in the first ten minutes (and maybe later individually book the next show for themselves alone).
Saratchandra considered Devdas to be his worst book but it became his most celebrated work. I guess this proves the point that we people are addicted to self pity and love to brood over our sorrows.
Last point. This is the best version of Devdas to come out. Dileep Kumar's version is the second best.


Sakshi said...


Nothingman said...

a good one bro...that movie is madness and i guess that's what made me like it a lot :)

hope the drinking is going good ;)


The Maverick said...

You sound to me like you're straight out of FTII, pune...have you off-late met Taran Adarsh just like "others" have been standing upto "Stars"...if you know what i mean!

Yours Truly.

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