February 08, 2009

Not an Emotional Atyachar

On a Friday evening after work, when the world rushes back to home, family, solitude or liquor, we went to watch the “supposed” latest recreation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s only non-masterpiece. And there lies my first suggestion. Do not treat this as another version of Devdas, since this movie is anything but that. This movie is about the India that we live in today and therefore, Devdas shortens his name to Dev D, Chandramukhi is no longer an artist, she is rather an unabashed CSW – Commercial Sex Worker and Paro is no longer submissive, she wants her revenge.

From the zamindars of Bengal, we have the business community of Punjab and in the first half of the movie; you really are prone to comparing the movie to the grandeur of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali offering or Dilip Kumar’s subtlety or maybe even Soumitra Chatterjee’s portrayal of Devdas. You can not be immune to the brashness of the movie. You laugh out loud, but it’s a nervous laugh because you do not know if it is the right thing to laugh at a dark comedy. You remember Anurag Kashyap’s last movie – No Smoking and wonder if this is going the same way. And then everything changes in the second half.

Here is when you realize that this is not Devdas. This movie does not need the Superstar SRK. An emotionally confused and tortured Abhay Deol is much closer to us. We can identify with him when we pour out our hearts in the dinner meets post work. We learn to move on. Thus this is not a story of the pristine and pure love, which anyway is an illusion. This is not a story where Devdas wastes away his life. This is not a story where Paro leads her life in misery, but most importantly for me, this is a story where for the first time someone gave Chandramukhi a chance.

Morality today takes a new name with Dev D.


Sandeep said...

Dude, I went to the theatre expecting nothing. Came back happy - the only good part abt the movie - its different. Much more impact than LBC.

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

I agree. Definitely more dark and perhaps therefore more impactful

War - war said...

That was the most important part for me, too, Banjo. Finally she gets what she more-than-deserves :)