Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dev D.

Movie is dark, psychedelic, a drunken stupor, melancholy yet far better than Saratchandra’s Devdas which prefers death over life; gloom over bliss. Dev D. celebrates life despite of the dark humor that prevails in the whole movie.

I got a call from my college friend Megha and she was sounding too excited for a day like Monday. I said, “Hey Meghs what’s up girl?” And, she talked in the spookiest way I have expected of her ever. “We are going for Dev D this coming Thursday or Friday” I was like, “Ok no problem! Who else is coming along?” So, it was our trio- Megha, Deepa, and Me going for a movie. I wanted to watch Delhi 6 on Friday but she insisted on Dev D which she couldn’t watch with her family. I agreed. I did hear a lot of hype about Dev D and the steamy- adult scenes it has. Phew!! In whole of the movie, in whole three hours I didn’t get to see anybody getting nude practically. This is how grapevine works- people went on to say that this is a porn. Deepa was literally commenting at every scene” where the damn Porn is? Now, I was bit uncomfortable with such remarks and tried to hush her but do she cares? Never! Guys sitting right behind us were popping up now and then to check her out. Aaah! And, the actual steamy scenes were going right at my right hand side where literal thumping had begun. I was just at loss since how hard I tried keeping my gaze off that couple still it wandered there through corners of my eyes.

Though I'm not a big movie freak yet I watch movies nevertheless. I prefer watching offbeat cinema. And, nowadays we are almost greeted with some kind of hatke movies from bolly platform. Dev D. is one of those kinds which I definitely check out. So, here are some of my reflections on this new flick of bollywood starring Abhay Deol, Mahi Gill, Kalki Koechlin, and Dibyendu Bhattacharya. Now, Anurag Kashyap has done some too-apt and in-consonance with the present day world. I do not say that there are not too-honest lovers in the world. There are guys who love their girl like anything and go to any extent for their love’s sake. But, please cut this crap. No more such love stories look so enticing to Indian audiences anymore. They need love story, of course but with a swiveling twist-“masala marke” types of love stories. This means that they want to see themselves-a lover right from the common herd stalking the face of earth stalking on-scren instead of those fantastic lovers like Dilip Kumar of Classic Devdas and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas.

Guys and girls used to fall in love in past and they do so today even. The difference lies in their understanding and handling of situations. Love doesn’t always meet happy ending so be prepared for whatever comes in your way. Often parents become hurdle in the way of lovers (classic Devdas story) and sometimes misunderstandings may happen to be one of the reasons for splitting up of lovers (Dev D).

Abhay Deol has become my favorite since his debut in Socha Na Tha with Ayesha Takia and Apoorva Jha. He has flair of a common man which looks so real and I feel every one sitting in audience can relate himself with Abhay on-screen. The tone, the gestures, the movements, looks, personality is too familiar. It’s as if someone from your acquaintance is in front of you.

Coming back to Movie- Dev D – a millennium take on Sarat chandra’s Devdas. He would have gone neurotic after seeing this version of his novel on screen. Complete psychedelic mood throughout the movie. Somebody who loves vodka will sure shot love their fav beverage being promoted the way it’s done in the flick. ‘Coke ke sath Vodka’- well, I prefer Limca with Vodka otherwise neat.

Now, our young stud is not in habit of calling his father ‘dad’ and chap has valid reason, “grand mum calls you Sattu mum call you Sattu then why shouldn’t I call you Sattu.” Consequently father sends him off to London for further studies. Now, movie opens with our young Dev waiting for Paro who comes running amidst the fields of Punjab. Typical Punjabi kudi with salwar kurti and loose hair. She brings some paranthas along with no “achar” and gets bullied with brash Dev. She says “Sattu tujhe dhundh raha hai.” Poor Sattu even manager’ daughter calls him by his lovey-dovey name Sattu. The scene is followed by Dev getting punished and as a result sent to London. Meanwhile Paro and Dev remain in touch via electronic mails and phone calls. He asks her coyly on phone, “do you touch yourself?” Not only the dialogue but the tone in which it’s being said is too personal and very much like that of an ordinary man-someone amidst us. This is what actually happens and not the fancy words used by Shahrukh and Akshay Kumar in real life (self-righteous and idyllic lover boy image). Of course people talks of so many romantic stuff but this is how a young man in love with a girl living miles apart talks the way our 21st century Dev did with Paro. Now, Paro sends a nude picture of hers to Dev and I was really expecting him to burst into pleasure  but on the contrary he called her and with heavy throat and a gasp said “Paro, I’m coming.” And, there and then Deepa shot a remark- “Silly girl you should have mailed him earlier and break up this long wait.”

Now, Dev arrives to find a wedding going on and you can see the desperation in the couple to get done with it. But, of no avail! They don’t get place to rest their heat. Often they get caught by girls’ father. And such I the desperation Paro aska a village fella whom she had given favors previously for the keys of his room to which he refuses blatantly. The same fellow tells how hot she is in bed to Dev who forsakes her. Now, that’s what an ordinary chap does instead of being mahan all the time- manager ki ladki, not apt to be daughter-in-law of our home and so on…

Paro is a modern girl and not a traditional bhartiya nari( who will sit and pine for Dev and become devdasi) she accepts the proposal of marriage by a middle aged man and father of two kids. She too catch Dev having her would-be’s sister in his room. This is the end of Dev’s love life.

He is portrayed as typical stud who keeps blaming world for his miseries, Paro for running his life, betrayals, and drinks, drinks, and drinks. As he is a modern Devdas so resorts to Drugs and Vodka.

On the other side of the world of Dev D there is this school girl who striptease for her boyfriend and he makes MMS and sends to all. She is ruined, expelled out of school, family devastated; father watches the MMS and shoots himself. Mother takes to drinking and tries to get her a preposterous looking (man with hint of lascivious inklings) suitor, she flees to Pind in Punjab where her grand parents keeps torturing her for her father’s death, again she flees from there back to Delhi, a female dalla eyes her and takes her along and proposes her to stay with them –work and study along. She gets enrolled for 12th boards again and scores well. She tells the broker (modern day chunni laal) when she is ready for business and then begins her role play of an American school-girl-slut-game. She earns and learns-gets enrolled in DU for B.Sc. Hons. Now her room is a special suite wherein forlorn lover Dev lends after huge bout of vodka and calls Paro’s name in drunken stupor. Now, this girl Lenny opts herself a name Chanda (the alternative for going whole length Chandramukhi) for herself. And, you have those mushy phone-sex overhearings of Abhay Deol when client seeks to have orgasmic pleasure in Tamil. She gets trained and hones her orgasm-faking-sessions-to-shell-off-goodsum from clients over the period of her stay in the “VIP Suite.” Dev is successfully lured in by modern day Chunni and invited over to Lenny’s chamber where he overhears her phone-sex session in Tamil. The best is yet to come when she calls herself a “randi” and says that people like Dev (Abhay) prefers calling Escort, call girl and blah blah blah…. This is true, tour so-called elite societal men loves having night outs and coffees and do the same fucking stuff yet they prefer using decent names(pun intended). She says, “Let not him come second time lest I’ll fall in love,” and so it happens. She falls in love only to be awakened from trance when modern Chunni fearing that she might lose business sends a client over in her room while she was off for college classes. Abhay leaves-drinks “Vodka with Coke”, rides over sleeping beggars on footpath, called in for lawsuit, sent over to Punjab where father gets expired after listening his son’s acts, on the way back to Delhi to show up in court bribes driver who gets him(Abhay) drunk and throws him in drunken state and runs off with money that was given to Dev for lawyer’s fees.

Dev realizes that it’s Chanda he needs and not Paro, it’s the former who loved him irrespective of his follies so the hunt begins. He goes to her previous place only to found that she had left it. Once on one of their evening parade in town, Chanda took him to a momo eating stall where she loves to come whenever depressed. Dev goes there in state of utter desolation and dejection and the stall boy who had been given tip by Dev during good pocket-filled times keep serving him momos without taking money instead. Then one day he finds Chanda sitting in an Auto. They get back together and she shows him ring which he forgets in her “VIP Suite” considering it for herself. However, the ring he bought for Paro which he doesn’t feel is of much importance so never mentions it to Lenny). Now, Lenny and Dev heads for a new life.

There are people who have been talking about Dev D. being overtly sexual throughout the length- so for this I would like to say , go and read the novel, it is full of sexual connotations appropriate to the times hen it was written. Expressions of sexuality differs and changes from time to time. Come on man it’s twenty first century and what do you expect from an escort chanting some hymns.

  • When Dev was in state of utter desolation,, broken with Paro’s marriage, Lenny tells him- when you re in pain you need to talk and consoles his bereaving heart.
  • Similarly, when Lenny tells him of her life-MMS scandal, her father’s suicide she says, “ instead of consoling me and saying ‘jo ho gaya so ho gaya ab aage ki zindagi dekhni hai’ my father shot himself dead and left me exposed and alone in front of vultures( man & woman in world). At this juncture Dev says, “idhar aa” holds her in his arm, “koi baat nahin beta jo ho gaya so ho gaya, main hun tere sath.” Don’t you think so this is the master stroke of the movie? It is indeed!
  • This is what ought to be done in such situations instead of debarring person guilty. If Lenny’s father would have said so and instead of shooting himself in mouth protected her from world out there, things would have been different for her. I agree it takes lot time to cover up such blunders but time is biggest of healers we shouldn’t forget this.
  • Women in the movie are not stereotypical women dying to have Dev in their arms. They are modern woman who act on their will and have better understanding of their acts and their consequences. They are free to choose. Paro when demeaned by Dev no more lingers after him, leaves him straight away and gets onto wedlock. Chanda knew Dev is a man who thinks he is being tortured, he is the one who had received “emotional atyachar” yet she loves him to leaves her brothel life for him(indeed for Good!
  • A good moral I say- “Man is a Slut”- “All humans are slut” we all at some time, place an situations bargains of our dignity, life, pride, chastity owing to the enslavement by our own emotions.
  • Anurag Kashyap has given new life to Devdas( so is the name Dev D.), Paro, Chandramukhi. No more dying! Paro gets insulted by Dev who calls her slut so she in turn insults him by showing him his stature- when she goes to meet him in his stinking room, cleans it up and make it worth living into, washes his cloth and then doesn’t allow him to have her. She says, “tujhe teri aukat dikha rahi hun.”
  • Whole of the movie has hint of sexuality- of course everyone do have sexual desires so is the vent required. Paro takes her own way, Dev has his own means, and Chanda is forced by her circumstances.
  • Dev of Dev D. unlike romantic and fanciful Devdas of novel realizes that he needs to bring his life on track. This reminded me of Plato’s adage- “Never trust (love?) a Man more than the truth.” While searching Chanda he stops by telephone booth to call her and suddenly a car gets crashed their and the man dies on the spot. This incident was a turbulent jolt on the psyche of Dev who realizes that it’s high time when if you do not want to die like a mongrel then wake up , stand up and get of out of the mess right away. This is the ideal way and not the one like that of classic Devdas story where lover dies on the porch of his lady love. Be reasonable, it’s the need of present times. Isn’t it?

In strictest sense movie is honest, fair part is given to all characters. In classic Devdas tale Why Paro and Devdas loves has been shown as a complete which is in fact enshrewed with vanity, pride, false honor, and stubborn mind’s workings. And, why Chandramukhi who loves Devdas with her whole heart and leaves her profession (her only resource of eking out life- since prostitutes were not allowed to get into decent professions) just for his sake not being exalted as Paro? Paro, as per Indian traditions is wrong on her part since once you have entered into marital vows in front of the pious fire you ought to forget your past and love the person you get married to. It becomes your “Dharm and karm.” How can such women be pious who even in a marital relation keeps loving man from her past life? Isn’t she a prostitute in real terms? But, she is a sung lover so how can people protest against her image. Chandramukhi is after all a prostitute whose love should not be considered in bright light and glorified terms. No justice should be done to her character; she should be left to pine for her whole life.

Dev-Chanda theme music and songs are delight to ears. And, “emotional atyachar” is in fact what every character keeps fighting throughout the movie and the said ‘atyachar’ is done none other then by themselves.

Characters are carved on free canvas with free hand brushes. No one is being forced to take any decision. Whatever characters are was done in complete conscious state of mind with no pressure from society, parents, and traditions. They are modern, educated, and intelligent enough to understand the situations.

Anurag Kashyap has portrayed his heroines in brilliant hues of independence, sexuality, desires, choices, emotions, and determined will. These two heroines are foils to each other and are fiery. They know what is best for them and are not going to let any “fucking Men” usurp their “Will To Decide & Be.”

Anurag Kashyap must get pat on shoulder for doing terrific job. I liked movie and loved it for being Honest I may have left so many important points may be later I may come up with some left-overs in the post but as of now I’m done with this review and hope that readers whosoever they be have enjoyed this review.

Movie: Dev D

Banner: UTV Spotboy

Genre: Romantic Drama

Producer: Ronnie Screwvala

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Star Cast: Abhay Deol, Mahi Gill, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Kalki Koechlin

Release Date: 6th February 2009

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