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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

The Dev D Movie Review

(A little late in the day, but hey...)
An idyllic village scene. Young girl rushing to meet her paramour. Gets him parathas, but forgets to get anything to go with them. Heated words exchanged. Something on the lines of
"Kaat loonga"
"Noch loongi"
And right there at the beginning, we are exposed to the inherent a-hole-ness within the character 'loosely modelled' after Devdas. No Baby Guddu/Master Raju stuff here, for sure.

This irreverent problem child grows up to be exactly that later on. Without letting go of any of his trademark a-hole-ness of course. Which is a landmark in our type of cinema. You would be hard pressed to remember the last time you saw such a complete jerk in a Bollywood lead role.

Dev D is a nicely twisted take on the old Devdas yarn. And that is really an understatement.The old plot has been reworked very well, with the basic storyline being the same, but with enough tweaking to spin it in a couple of completely different directions.

What's so different? Here goes...

The Dev D - Paro section:

There sure ain't no cut to kissing flowers/thunderclaps/burning logs here to show some action. What we get is a very good idea, even if the camera is not really letting you totally into the picture, so to speak. The sheer primal, get-on-with-it nature of the 'romance' shown is totally not afraid to get animalistic. Nor bashful either. The hand pump scene stands out here, and is worth a mention. (And no, it's not what it sounds like :D) The language, and the zero melodrama laden dialogue delivery are yet another plus.

For a change, Punjab is shown in a brilliantly non Yash-Raj kinda wash, and it frankly takes a little getting used to. The mustard fields are there alright, but minus the dancing nancies with VIBGYOR outfits. What you get are authentic looking houses, and grimy old economy factories.

Also, you kinda learn that relationships can be complicated. Yes, and we really see just how. You see how easy it is to throttle something that you thought was there all along, taken for granted. All it takes is one heated moment, and you have something to live with and fight against, for probably the rest of your life. Or the best years of your life at least...

The Dev D - Chandramukhi section:

A search for distraction throughout the grime of Delhi's underbelly is very evocatively shot - complete with trippy sequences galore (these include showing paraphernalia which induce these trips in the first place), blue lit nightclubs and a bunch of three dancing dudes. The not-so-sordid nature of the 'international' side of the world's oldest business was also quite a revelation. Chunni babu as the facilitator and the owner is Dev's guiding light through the whole walk through sludge, so to speak.

Chandramukhi here, serves as a fantastic foil to the leading guy, reminding him about what he really is, at every available chance. The chemistry is nicely done, without devolving into anything maudlin. No overt preaching too.

Till the end, where the director hits home with the fact that the only place left to go really, when you hit rock bottom, is up. It sounds like an awful cliche on paper (straight out of some newspaper's 'Wellness and Health' supplement), but the execution here, is niftily done. The redemption track seems a little bit rushed, but then, one way of looking at it is that what construes a life changing event, is totally up to you. No amount of external hammering can make it here, it's totally your own call.

A must watch if you want something really novel. No pun intended.
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1:28 PM, March 20, 2009
Blogger JustSo said...

totally good review :)    



5:56 PM, March 20, 2009
Blogger Aarbee said...

You summed it aptly.    



10:01 PM, March 27, 2009
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the eff..where were you? and you got married?
i havent seen the movie. yet.

-lipsa    



4:10 PM, April 07, 2009
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one tapan. BTW it's been a pretty long time. You probably have to post more frequently to cater to a pretty big fan base. :)

- Raghu    



10:40 PM, April 13, 2009
Anonymous Phantom said...

Welcome back kiddo!!! It's been a long time. It's not so much the movie being panned as the fact that with this review, you've announced your return.... that warms the heart. Looking forward to more posts from the devilish mind :-0    



9:34 PM, April 19, 2009
Anonymous Sudharshan said...

Ah..what a relief..Tapan the comeback kid..a.k.a. Rocky    



7:19 PM, May 06, 2009
Blogger Vishius said...

Its great to finally chance upon your blog... Been reading your articles since The WALL in college ... As always a please reading on the net...
Should thank you for subconsciously inspiring me to write -- http://bachelorslife.blogspot.com/    



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