Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From DEVDas to DEV D

I am no movie critic, in fact, I am not even certified enough to be one! I don't understand half the shit that goes into making a movie. Friday after Friday we see so many dreams being painted on celluloid; Friday after Friday we see critics and the audience mercilessly ripping them apart. I won’t say they are being unfair, I would be a hypocrite then; I have done that too! However now, off late, (may be cause I as a part of my job have to deal with these Fridays pretty closely!) have started to understand the anxiety of the people who have put in their soul into creating something.
-- Himalee Shah

This Friday we witnessed one such dream being painted on celluloid, one of the most courageous movies made in recent times, defying the conventional laws of making Hindi movies came Anurag Kashyap’s much talked about (mostly cause of its innovative publicity design and a commendable soundtrack) DEV D. A coming of age movie in its true sense and an outrageously real and contemporary version of the very guy we all have grown up either watching in its various screen adaptations or reading about, Devdas.

Even though the movie was much in news, considering the audience reaction and feedback on Kashyap’s last movie, I still was skeptical, unsure if the movie would be as great as its promos promised it to be. But on watching the movie, I must admit, I was awed with Kashyap’s vision as well as audacity. DEV D is aching real, in every aspect, from the egoistic DEV to the survivor CHANDA or the boisterous PARO, every character is achingly real in his/her own sense. The movie breaks convention, sets the stage for a new school of cinema, belonging to the people who are in tune with their vision and know their audience well. But I am not getting into the detailing of that; technically, of what I understand, the story is well written, Kashyap has mixed the DPS scandal and Sarat Chandra’s classic in a contemporary setting with great flamboyance making a perfect cocktail. The cinematography too is amazing, the music (which is being already spoken about) is exceptional, the editing is acceptable (though a little bit of trimming wouldn’t hurt); the performances (Abhay Deol; especially) are top notch. But what strikes me the most (like I’ve already mentioned) is the characterization. All the characters, extremists in their own rights, still have shades of each of us in them. Whether it is the scene where Dev breaks the glass by throwing it on the wall, or Chanda talking about her past to Dev or Paro cycling into the fields with a mattress tied behind; each of the scenes without the use of melodramatic lines or over the top expressions stay with you even after the movie has ended.

I am glad DEV D happened, I am glad we have a Anurag Kashyap who has the vision to make something that breaks convention, I am glad we have a UTV that believes in these visions, I am glad we have a Abhay Deol who is not worried about if the “audience will accept him” in a particular role or not. After this refreshing change; I am looking forward to more from filmmakers belonging to this school of thought. Till then I don’t mind O/D-ing on this Emotional Atyachar!!
--Himalee Shah

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