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DEV-D : Anurag goes Madhur Bhandarkar way and delivers a well-crafted, bold but vulgar version. (Review By Bobby Sing)
11 Feb, 2009 | Movie Reviews / 2009 Releases

From the word “Go”, you already know that you are going to watch the legendary story of Sarat Chandra’s Devdas, made in a new style by Anurag Kashyap. But the amazing thing is that while experiencing the movements on the screen, you neither remember K. L. Saigal or Dilip Kumar nor the recent Devdas, Shahrukh Khan. Anurag Kashyap unexpectedly takes you on to a completely different journey filled with alcohol, drugs, reality takes, abuse and sex. The movie is well made, well shot and well acted but crosses its limit of vulgarism, which makes it strictly enjoyable for only the adult audiences.

It starts with the background of Punjab and its beautiful locations, moving into the lives of Dev & Paaro. This part of the movie is well executed but is also filled with surprising sexual dialogues, which are quite offensive at times for family audiences watching the movie in the theater. Abhay Deol as Dev is superb as he acts with such an ease and remains calm and cool throughout the first half. The charcaterisation of Paaro is the best among all the others in the movie and the initial one hour clearly belongs to her. Maahi Gill playing Paaro looks gorgeous and acts well in the difficult scenes without showing any reluctance. She has earlier acted in Punjabi Movies but has chosen a very bold flick as her debut in Hindi Cinema. So, she has to carefully watch her next steps in Bollywood. The confrontation scenes between Dev and Paaro are among the best in the movie directed remarkably.
The next part is about Chanda, a teenage girl who with her own choice becomes a hooker in Delhi‘s famous Pahar Ganj area. Kalki playing Lenny or Chanda is just fine in her act as she has to face her limitations due to her foreigner looks. This part of the movie shows Abhay as a druggist, alcoholic and a person touching the bottom levels of his consciousness.
Abhay plays his part with conviction and continues to impress with his different choice of movies. But in some scenes he seems to be repeating his “Oye Lucky” cool act, which requires his immediate attention, otherwise he is shaping his career real well. It was indeed pleasant to read in the titles that the concept of this movie was also given by Abhay Deol himself. Way to Go, Man!
Amit Trivedi’s music is not usual and therefore manages to stand out of the current lot. The track ‘Emotionall Atyachaar’ is a huge hit among youngsters due to his wackiness and rough appeal. Amit tries some Punjabi stuff but is unable to create the required Punjabi spirit in spite of having some well known singers from Punjab. Cinematography is worth watching in the scenes involving roads of Delhi, drugs & pubs. Punjab and its ambience is also captured well in the first half of the movie.
Now about director Anurag Kashyap and his vision of a modern Devdas.
Anurag starts off brilliantly and after few minutes the viewer is sure that he is going to watch something great. But slowly the movie starts moving into an unexpected zone of distasteful dialogues incorporated deliberately to catch attention. And I myself witnessed a few families moving out of the theater after hearing some bold dialogues in the first half. Here I am not referring to some abusive language used in the scenes (which has now become a norm in our movies), but I mean strong suggestive sex dialogues, which you may have never heard before on the Indian silver screen. If this was done intentionally then the producers should have publicized the movie as a strictly adult version of Devdas and in turn would have saved some viewers from sudden embarrassment in the cinema halls.
The interesting thing is that the movie has not got any bold hot scenes as such, but has far more impactful suggestive lines for a change. And strangely our Censor Board once again clears them all without any cuts. It’s quite amazing that in one movie they insist on putting “BEEP” to all offensive words used in a scene (like in A Wednesday) and in another, they blindly pass such strong language used only to make a debatable impact. The makers have also re-recorded and re-edited an abusive “Parental Advisory” version of the song “Emotional Atyachaar” which is uploaded on the web at Youtube, but no one cares to censor that too. Simply put, these are the double standards we all are living in from ages. No doubt, this genre of movies does exist and made all over the world but they are also publicized in the same manner without misguiding the audiences.
This time, Anurag also adopts the realistic approach in his movie as he uses real life incidents in the narration similar to the works of Madhur Bhandarkar. But the difference is in the approach of using the references. Whereas Madhur has always incorporated the real life incidents in a positive manner in his movies, Anurag uses them all in the most negative manner possible. The Delhi School MMS clip and The BMW Accident are the two incidents used by Anurag in Dev-D.
In the storyline, the MMS Clip incident is the main reason why the young teenage girl (Lenny) turns into a hooker and in my opinion that was the most drastic and bizarre angle given to the real life plot by the director. Here I also felt that the director has used his creative liberty license way beyond its social and moral limitations.
Madhur Bhandarkar, Mahesh Bhatt, Tanuja Chandra and few other directors are known for using the real life plots in their movies, but no one has gone overboard to this limit ever before in the history of Hindi Cinema. So I was quite taken back by the cunning approach of director Anurag Kashyap towards this plot in the movie.
Anurag chooses to give his movie a feel of “Trainspotting” and maybe that is the reason why a Thanks Credit was given to “Danny Boyle” in the opening titles. But in his attempt to give a rustic feel to the project, he missed the emotional depth of the subject. No-where in the movie, we find Abhay as a lover boy with deep love in his heart for Paaro. He looks more like a sexual obsessed drug addict with confusion written all over his character. Though the director has splendidly captured his own vision of the epic but the famous divine love angel in Devdas’s story was completely lost and Anurag went over the limits with his bold execution of scenes and narration.
So, it can be said that from artistic point of view the movie is impressive and worth watching but its content and execution might be offensive to many. And it is certainly not a family movie like all the earlier Devdas versions were.
Rating : 3 / 5

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11 Feb 2009 / Comment ( 2 )
AMIT JOSHI

One of the Honest review about DEV D. I was searching on net.

ONLY THE NAMES ARE SAME, OTHERWISE THE STORY IS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT FROM REAL DEVDAS.

I M STILL SURPRISED WHY DEV D IS GIVEN SO MUCH IMPORTANCE, MAY BE THE COLLEGE GOING YOUTH FIND THE ADULT DIALOGUES TOO MUCH INTERESTING, THE WAY HOW TO SHOW YOURSELF COOL (TAKING DRUGS AND GOING TO HOOKERS)

Bobby Sing

Thanks Amit for appreciating my viewpoint.....

Keep Visiting & Looking forward for more comments from you.

Cheers!

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