Sunday, February 08, 2009

Dev D

Hmm interesting one this. To start with, its definitely worth a watch.

For the way it has reinterpreted the characters and story ( yes there's very little of the old Devdas), for the way its broken stereotypes in a blatant in your face manner, for its great acting, for the jing bang music.

Its not perfect, there are patches towards the end, when it positively drags. Some of the latter bits are almost trite. The ending itself would seem a little pat perhaps. However these are minor quibbles, for I loved it for 3 things, and am willing to forgive it lot of others

1. Its made mincemeat of the whole devdas idea of mooning , loser people , crying over "love"- the much maligned word. Personally, I've always hated the whole concept, and whatever I'd seen both of the old one with Dileep Kumar and the other one with Shah Rukh, just got on my nerves, and it usually made me want to give someone a tight slap. I think what Anurag and Abhay have done here, as a concept, they've lifted the characters, and put them into life, as we know it, in 2009, not in a book of the 30s. I loved the fact that love is replaced by lust, hanging on to torches replaced with moving on, and silly marks on paro, replaced with hmm - now that one really is a beauty!

2. Its brought sexuality and questions around it, out in the open. And no, sexuality, is not simply about item numbers in skimpy clothes. There are interesting questions around the language of it, around the power equations, around the hypocrisy around it. Questions which are seldom probed, at least not in hindi movies.

3. It left so many scenes dangling, you could watch them another 10 times, and then think, hmm, thats not how I thought the last time. Yes some things are abstract, and not given to easy answers or interpretation.

So, those are my 2 cents. However if you're with parents, I'd say give it a miss, leave it for when you're alone!
If you have half a brain, and 10 minutes into the movie you pronounce that "arre keval bengal se utha kar punjab mein daal di hai, wahi story hai" then you should definitely walk out right them. Come back after you get the remaining part of your brain back.
If you're looking for nice love stories, full of indian culture, definitely give this one a miss. I'm surprised some noble upholder of said culture hasn't raised arms against it. Yet.

Me , I'd like to get hold of the DVD when it comes!


raindrops said...

Can't wait to see! :-)

Saravanan said...

I did not like the movie..

I agree to what you have said but it was kind of irritating at times. The feeling was similar to that of kambli poochi (Cater pillar) moving on your body. You don't feel good about it. Do you?

I don't get the whole point of hero coming down to his home town just after seeing his girl friend .... I don't understand the whole thing. Agreed he was desperate.

After coming over, he is attracted to some girl and ends up sleeping with her. GOSH, the best love story ever seen on screen.

I guess, I am not the right kind of audience for it.

Tess said...

@raindrops - looking forward to your take. Its an uneven movie for sure, like I said parts of it pretty boring, but overall I still loved the thing!

@saravanan - hmmm , to each his own!

Can't say about the dambli poochi bit, all i thought was that the later parts stretched things a bit. i thought the first bits were as close to perfect as possible.

And a lot has to do with comparisons with the original concept, without which some of my comments would be irrelevant.

The protagonist comes to his home town driven , not by love, as in the traditional movies, but something more than that, which seems ok to me, I mean isn't that how real life works?

So, sure he comes driven by lust, can't handle thoughts that perhaps Paro hasn't been "faithful" ( interestingly, we're not given a clear answer about what really happened, which I think is very very pertinent. When was the last time a hindi movie actually left that crucial question dangling? i totally loved that idea)
Again so far , thoroughly plausible, othello anyone?

He goes on a downward spiral, consistent with his mental makeup, lands stone drunk on a prostitute's bed, and perhaps sleeps with her, ( again perhaps, if you notice, very few things are confirmed as black or white). Again seems very realistic to me.

As for love story, like i said, don't even look for love and mythical morality in this movie. although i would argue the point that i feel its a good deal more realistic than the old hogwash sanjay leela bhansali fed us.

However to each his own, you'd prefer a good love story, i'd prefer something not so good, but which at least shakes tradition and untrue beliefs!