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2 nights back I watched the movie “”Dev D””. After a long time I had built up such anticipation for a movie, expectations were high, and the movie kept the promise. Abhay Deol had already won all my admiration in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye, and in this one, admiration turned into respect when I read in the credits of the movie following credit – “Concept – Abhay Deol”! He is certainly here for a long and a truly memorable and pleasing innings.

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“Dev D”, like the other versions of classic novel of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, is a celebration of destruction. But it is substantially different from the actual novel plot. The very fact that the story has been pulled out of the artistic, royal and smooth round world of Bengal to dusty, rough and “I-care-a-damn” Delhi itself is such a revolution. Unlike the original one, there is no loud melodrama, no rona-dhona, and the biggest shift is that Devdas is destroyed not by the failed love, but by fallen ego and insane lust. What is common is that in both – Devdas is the loser!

Many of my friends didn’t like “Dev D” and left theatres in between the movie. I had expected this reaction to the movie because “Dev D” is a hard slap in the face to the conventional goody-goody cinema. Here the hero is not a larger-than-life character, he is not a “Maryada Purushottam”; he is just a loser celebrating his own destruction. As it is in the original Devdas, you don’t know whether the love is pure, and neither do all the forces of destiny go against it. No character generates any sympathy or pity, and all 3 protagonists (Devdas, Paro and Chandramukhi) are there living lives of their own making. Devdas is not eaten hollow by the parasite of guilt and remorse; in fact there is no regret whatsoever. What causes his destruction is the love failed by egos, and resulting revenges.

What makes “Dev D” contemporary is the confusion of “Dev D”. Never does he know what he wants from life; he never understands love. Lust and ego – and not love – blinds the sight and mind of the hero. Neither do you see Paro doing a Sati-Savitri act; and is driven by revenge. Chanda actually remains closest to the original plot and is possibly all about sacrifice and true love. Chunni babu has his own selfish reasons and motivations in celebrating the destruction. All these characters are very practical and humane, and take the plot from Devdas to “Dev D”.

“Dev D” is a piece of art. From its music (not only the Emosanal Atyachar, but aankh michouli, pardesi and many more songs) to its cinematography and its performances, everything seems to be so rightly in sync. Abhay has again gotten into the character and made it come alive, and both girls also do equal justice to the character. With this movie, Anurag Kashyap has taken Bollywood filmmaking to a new height. “Dev D” is an amazingly creative and satirical spoof on the original plot. It is a beautiful way to look at what loser Devdas was. It is certainly a must watch. If nothing else, go and watch it for the “Emosanal Atyachar” – and I guarantee you would be entertained.

So where do we go from here then? Should I expect a behind-the-curtains version of Devdas titled “Bevdi”? 🙂

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