Let’s talk about one of the most talked about Bollywood’s recent releases. Yes, that’s 100% correct. It is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s new masterpiece Devdas. Basically there are six main reasons for it’s to be on the tip of everybody’s tonuge:-
1 Based on famous Bengali award wining novel.
2 A popular triangular tragic love Story. In the terms of literary importance it is equivalent to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or Waris Shah’s Heer.
3 The biggest film of the year and most expensive Bollywood film ever made in India.
4 The highly priced star cast: Shahrukh Khan, Aishwariya Rai, Madhuri Dixit and Jackie Shroff.
5 Very first Hindi movie to screened on Cannes film festival.
6 Mr Bansali’s previous movie Hum dil de chuke sanam was a mega hit and had not yet faded from people’s memory.
When the film was released Mr Bansali had to face a lot of criticism because it’s full of technical errors. Mr Bansali is very upset by the criticism. However he should not forget that a person whose buying a expensive ticket and wasting his or her three hours has got every right to comment on this film. If Bansali worked hard and gave his very best shot, well, then he should be satisfied by that. Whatever the efforts he’d put into the making of this movie, he did everything for his own name and fame. He didn’t do no aehsaan(favour) to the Indian audience.
Before I make any further comment why don’t we have a glance at the story line first. The central character Devdas alias Deva (Shahrukh) the youngest of the two sons from a rich family. His father happens to be a barrister as well as a landlord. Devdas admires his poor neighbour’s daughter Parvati nick named Paro (Aishwariya). Devdas doesn’t get on with his father very well and was sent to London for higher studies. While his beautiful girlfriend Paro awaits for his return. As Davdas and Paro gets older they falls in love with each other. When Davdas comes back they tries to marry, but the class and cast differences prevent the two lovers from joining together. Paro was not left with any other option but to marry a ageing widower, Thakur (Vijayandra Ghatange).
Heart broken Devdas decided to abandon his home and goes to live with his mate Chunni Babu (Jackie Shroff), Who loves to socialise. In the influence of Chunni Babu Devdas becomes an alcoholic and mourns all the time for his lost love. Through Chunni Babu Devdas meets a caring and loving courtesan, Chanderamukhi (Madhuri). Chanderamukhi loves Devdas deeply, but receive no response from him. Despite of all the efforts Chanderamukhi fails to turn his mind away from Paro. His alcoholic addictions gets worse and worse. Devdas drinks himself to death. Just before Devdas takes his last breath Paro attempts to meet him but fails because her husband and his family gets in the way. So they never unites and die in separation.
The concept of Devdas isn’t new to the Indian audience. There has already been nine movies made on this subject in the past since the age of silent movie to today’s date. Among of them are Kundan Lal Shegal’s (1928) and Mr Dalip Kumar’s (1955) are the popular ones. This Bansali’s modern version is also claimed to be based on Babu Sharat Chander Chatterjee’s classic Bengali novel. However the script of this film is not entirely similar to the actual story in the novel. Lots of incidents and characters created in this film were not existed in the original story. In the real story Parvati and Chanderamukhi never ever met each other, but in this film they are dancing and singing together.
Another major technical mistake is that the script writer showed Paro actually visiting to the brothel. Which is not possible and total unacceptable to believe. How can a high states, well respected, royal class family man allow his wife to go to a Kotha (red light area). Especially a man who ordered his servants to shut the doors when his wife attempts to see her villager in a coma nearly dead lying outside her doorstep. We know that there is a Hindu believe that a statue of Durga can not be completed without adding the mud belonging to a prostitutes house. The excuse of having soil from a prostitute’s house isn’t good enough. Firstly Parvati could’ve sent one of her servants for that, she didn’t need to visit there personally. Secondly, she leaves hundreds of prostitutes on the side and goes straight to Chanderamukhi, when she could have gone to anyone.
In the Bansali’s movie they send Devdas deliberately to London not just to recieve foreign education, but because they wanted him to wear an English suit and have a hat on his head.
Although Shahrukh Khan is a good and experienced actor but when you watch him in Devdas you don’t see Davdas on the screen you just actually see Shahrukh in the doti-kurta and pretending to be drunk. He fails to get into a skin of this character despite the fact that he has drunk whisky on the set to add authenticity to his boozy scenes. Mr Khan forgot that to act as killer in the movie you don’t have to kill somebody on the set. A good actor can act exactly like a drunken without drinking anything or act like a starved person even with his belly full of food. We got examples of Mr Dalip Kumar and Mr Shegal, who done the same role without even drinking a glass of water. I certainly wouldn’t call Shahrukh a professional if he need to drink Whisky to act as a drunken. When Devdas goes abroad in his separation, Paro lights a diva (Lamp) and swears to keep it lit till the return of him. How on earth can a diva be lit continuously for 10 years and doesn’t even blow off in high-pressure wind. We understand it symbolises her devotion, but it is not realistic. There are other ways of showing that.
Mr Bansali projected Calcutta’s (Kolkata) brothel very littery and glittery as if it was a Dewali night, however he forgot that in those days there was no electricity. It looks nice but this incident is taking the story miles away from the facts. Even if you go to Sona Gachi (Red light area in Calcutta, which is one of the largest sex markets in India) today you won’t find it lit that way.
Devdas and Paro spent ten years away from each other in a hope to join one day. Obviously they are both anxious to meet the love of their life. When Devdas come back he is so desperate to see Paro that he goes to her house before meeting his family and especially his mother. When he confronts Paro she doesn’t even look at him and neither does she notice his presence. Mr Bansali tried to fool audience by suggesting that she was intoxicated by the news.
I have noticed another thing that women’s bare backs fascinates Mr Bansali. From the opening shot till the climax scenes you see the actresses turning their backs towards the camera after every few seconds purposely to show there naked backs. After showing 95% of her bare back in Hum aap ke hain kauon (remember Didi tera daver diwana song!), MF Hussein made Madhuri to wear a back less blouse in Ghaggamani. I reckon Mad Kuri (Maduri) has decided to expose her back in every movie that she will do in future. After having a good look of her naked back in previous movies. I agree that she has got a wonderful and fantastic hour glass body. But we want to see some more, don’t we? Everything from front and bottom! We want to have glance behind the choli (Choli ke pichee kia hi, chunri ke niche kya hai). Well, we have seen Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Kim Basinger and of course Nicole Kidman. This trend of taking off the cloths in front of the camera has started in India as well. Seema Viswas has exposed in Bandit Queen, Nandita Das in Earth, Madhu Supre in chappel advert, Sarita choudhary in Kama Sutra and even Raveena Tandoon gone very far in Agnivarsha. I hope Maduri would consider my suggestion!
Some Bengali people gets annoyed when they hear Shahrukh, Kiren Kher and Aishwariya speaking Bangali words in a Punjabi accent, Such as Sachien and Shaugan. There is no clue what so ever in the film that why Chunni goes to the Kottha and drinks heavily.
The financier turned producer Bharat Shah has Showed his courage by gambling fifty crore (Ten Million) Indian rupees to make this movie. That’s a hell of a lot of money (Well, its not if the whole amount came from underworld Dons!). So far so good for Mr. Shah. Coins are running back to his tijoree (Safe). News came from reliable sources reveling that he is wining till this point. It is being said that tickets of Devdas have been sold in Mumbai’s Addlab Hall Cinema for 1400 rupees per ticket compare to the normal price of 35 rupees and that’s not it. Punters had to queue as early as 4 am to watch the 9 am show. The film has collected the sum of 70 thousand pounds (52 lakhs rupees) from the UK box office on its first day of release. Mr Shah has also earned 12 crore from Universal music for selling just the music rights. Theoretically he has covered 72% of the amount he spent on the film so far. Mr Shah must be smiling while counting bundles of big notes. I think he deserves this because he went through lots of ups and downs during the making this film. Just after the launch of Devdas, Maduri got married to a USA doctor Shri Ram Nane and went to America. People thought that she isn’t going to come back to complete Devdas. However she showed her enthusiasm and completed the movie. Mr Shah should be thankful to Mrs Nane Madhuri Dixit.
A song called kare krishan ras Radha ke sang demanded a little bit more sexual impression and gesture of lust than showed in the film. Mr Bansali tried to portrait Devdas as lord Krishna, Paro as Radha and Chandermukhi as Meera.
To be able to comment on the music and dance you ought to have a sufficient knowledge of Thumri, Dadra, Kathak and Bhartia Natiam. Few steps of ballets have been used wisely. The dance number where Maduri and Aishwariya are performing together is the best part of the film. It would not be fair to say that one danced better than the other. I must say colour cordination, sets, choreographing are excellent and camera movements are perfect. Bansali showed the richness of India through ancient buildings, culture, fashion and jewellery. The costumes are fabulous. Personally I knew a woman whose seen Devdas five times. Not that she liked it so much, but just to see the costumes worn by the actresses. You get a chance to hear lots of powerful dialogues.
Aishwariya has improved her acting and dancing a lot since Aur pyaar ho gyia. What can I say about Madhuri? By seeing her performance you can tell that she is experienced actress and she does get a round of applause on many scenes. Although she looks aged, (Especially when she playing a parallel character to a ten year younger Miss World) but she still looks as stunning as ever.
Bansali’s Devdas can not be a good role model to coming generations because after failing in love he gives up his life. He had opportunities, which he doesn’t bothers to grab and commits suicide by drinking accsesive amounts of alcohol. He had no guts to struggle with life. If accidents put a stop to human life then the world would have been finished by now.
I think I’ve already said enough, but before I put my pen down I would like to say that It’s not that bad. It’s a nice and enjoyable Timepass movie when you watching it the first time. Then the further you watch it gets boring and boring. It is advisable to have a nice company siting by you if you are gonna watch it for second time.