Movie Review:Dev D(Anurag Kashyap)

by Srikanth Mantravadi

Let me mention upfront that Dev D is dark and disturbing and is not for the faint hearted.Also to watch this movie one needs oodles of patience.But one thing is clear-Dev D is Bollywood film noir at its best.

As one nows Dev D is a modern take of the Sarath Chandra Chatterjee’s novella Devdas.And I must say it is a highly imaginative and skillful one at that.Imaginative because it demolishes and establishes some of the well entrenched views and morals.It doesn’t take an utopian(in other words preposterous) stand of a drinking Dev pining away for his Paro.Also the way the director has developed the modern Devdas is highly creative.The execution of the film deserves special mention for its phantasmagorical shot taking and pitch perfect scripting.

Dev D might be shocking for some(atleast for me) since it openly depicts the pent up sexual feelings of the main leads Dev(Abhay Deol) and Paro(Mahi Gill).The promiscuous Dev and a Paro who is happy to get married to an older man is unnerving and striking.The story begins with the arrival of Dev from London who was packed off for his impetuosity by his father.The adult Dev and Paro though keep in touch through what else but e-mail and chatting.A misunderstanding crops up when the village allege a promiscuous past of Paro.This breaks down the relationship between Dev and Paro and the latter gets married to a man of her father’s choice in the raucous laugh out loud Emosanal Attyachaar.Soon Dev descends into the vortex of drugs and booze until he meets Chanda(Kalki Koechlin).Chanda is a call girl who has a past.Chanda or originally Lennie is the daughter of a diplomat who kills himself unable bear the news of his daughter caught in an MMS scandal.Chanda aka Lennie leaves home and finds refuge in the big bad red light district of Delhi.Events happen and Dev finally settles for Chanda exclaiming he no longer loves Paro.

The director deserves praise for turning an singularly uninteresting tale into an absorbing and engaging story that sucks you into it in the first hour and never lets up.Sanjay Leela Bansali did with opulence while Kashyap has done with an imaginative storyline.Kashyap has done an extraordinary job in transforming the story into a psychedelic saga that plays on the mind heavily.

Music by Amit Trivedi is refreshing and the integration of songs into the storyboard is done splendidly to capture the mood of the protaganist and happenings.The lead actors led by the avant-garde Abhay Deol are scintillating.Camera Work as mentioned earlier is hitherto unseen in Indian cinema.

One sore point for me though was the director getting indulgent in the second half and clumsying it up a bit.Nevertheless Dev D deserves a watch for its sheer audacity in taking apart probity and shredding rectitude to pieces.After all it has brought the f*** into Bollywood.

My Rating-Three Cheers!!!