Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dev D - Film review

Get ready to read the vague-est film write up ever!Dev D is a revelation of sorts, no doubt about that. The packaging of the movie is ‘what you see is what you get’ and that’s a welcome difference.The story is Plain. No sub plots. No over the top scenes. Nothing shallow camouflaged as GRAND.

If you have subjected yourself to Devdas of Bhansali, or seen the earlier versions of Devdas, you pretty much know the story yourself.

The cast

Everyone is superb and a espesal (I repeat espesal) thanks to Mr. Chainpuri and Mr. Nawazuddin! – Who are they? Well do try and find it out when you see the movie.

Sattu – was good as a typical volatile father who will scold his son for smoking cigarette or for calling his parents by their name (sattu and kaushalya respectedly err! respectively)

Paro – The love interest of Dev, played her part to perfection. She portrayed an aggressive Punjabi girl who can beat the hell out of anyone (while blurting out abuses at will) and a seductress who can pose topless (and get her pictures developed at a near photo studio) for her lover with consummate ease.

Chanda – Or chandramukhi. An ill fated teenager who ‘chooses’ to be a prostitute to get away with a world who has seen her in a ‘not so friendly’ MMS. She can be this ‘fantasy caller’ who can help guys get off on the phone in Tamil, French or English and she can also be a typical child whose grouse is that her father did not father her at the time of crisis and opted to kill himself instead, whereas things could have been sorted out with a hug and a little understanding.

Chunni – The smart broker who can spot and analyze rich spoilt kids and help them with some flesh and drugs. Played by the same guy who played a Bangladeshi in dhana dhan goal, he does very well. Watch out for the quick scene in which he conveys the exam results to Chanda and his reaction. Splendid job!Abhay – He had to undergo a course of Vipassana to get rid of his rusty looks in the film for which he did not shave, boozed hard and partied harder.

He might not have pumped up his muscles but is working very hard to BE the character rather than PLAY it. 5 out of 5 to him. The spoilt kid is written all over him. Thank GOD he is there in hindi cinema spaceOthers – The lodge owner, the sardar taxi driver, the girl who introduces chanda to prostitution, etc. everyone is spot on and do their work well.

Anurag Kashyap knows what is just ‘required’ and what is ‘desired’

The music

Helps story telling like never before. Some may find it loud, my condolences to them since there is no ‘dola re dola’ or ‘hara rang daala’ stuff. Its real, and it conveys the tension or elation very well and in right quantity. Be it the anthem ‘emosanal atyachar’ or ‘duniya’. See the timing, see the execution…thank God we had music in Dev D. combined with head spinning camera movements sometimes and sometimes with snowy visuals, the music here is a character in itself.

The direction and screenplay and all the other technicalities which I don’t understand but I feel I am wise enough to comment upon:

Watch out for the background props! Do watch out for a tiny reference to Paulo Coelho’s ’Eleven minutes’ as well. The huge GRAND hotel billboard and the way it is filmed (go find the scene yourself)!!. Watch the Shahrukh khan posters. See the visuals. They aren’t shot in Miami Beach or Switzerland but are plain awesome and not for a moment allow you to slip away from the story – not mean feat eh! Although AK tries to weave a couple of real life incidents to give some push towards the end, they just serve an ‘incident recall’ value and give you a feeling that may be AK was looking to end the movie quickly.

I found the 2nd half a bit long but that could be because of the fact that Dev was not sure of where he was going and sometimes you need the audience to experience it themselves. The base character (Devdas) isn’t strong enough either.

The editing, lighting and COLOR are plain amazing and Anurag Kashyap has done a splendid job to say the least.

Special word of appreciation for UTV to give us varied flavors of cinema in hindi film industry. Ronnie, take a bow!

At last

The movie may or may not please you but that isn’t what DEV D sets out to do from the start. The way in which AK has taken this stupid subject and worked his way around is what needs to be applauded (Sanjay Bhansali are you listening!). I couldn’t believe the people jumping up and down and singing ’emosanal attyachar’ when the song came in the movie! This song is a fitting reply to anyone who thinks songs need to have elaborate sets and costumes and a 1000 group dancers...this was a treat!

I guess it is about interpretation of a subject. Some people are like chickens who would stick to glamour, big sets, sense deafening music and some choose the dark path which is unexplored…AK takes the later and gives us this masterpiece. If you think pink is the new BLACK, trust me you have a surprise coming your way via DEV DI loved the ending…watch out for the end credits…the way they start! Do see the trio who dances in the secret bar (with the ’Loading please wait’ written in the background!).

Do not take your kids along!

Please rate and leave comments on this review

Peace and equanimity to all

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