Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Seeing Stars…

Rich boy meets girl, grows up with girl. Goes abroad, returns and then plans to marry his child hood sweetheart (girl in question). But somehow boy loses girl and his mind as a result. Becoming a total loser in the bargain and pathetically pining after her while drowning himself in drink. Then boy finds rebound mujre-wali and loses her too. Then (while you wish that you had a stiff drink in hand to handle all this rona-dhona) as the music swells dramatically, boy dies. Everyone’s sad. Tragedy hi tragedy. And there you have it, Devdas in a nutshell.

Devdas is normally filled with the Hindi equivalent of Shakespearian language and dialogues that people reiterate when they’ve become too senti, after having one too many pegs. You know, one of those artsy-fartsy kinda films where people comment on how beautiful the set was, how exquisite the costumes were, how many millions went into the movie, or how they liked the Dilip Kumar ka Devdas better. In short something you watch, because your parents dragged you to the cinema hall.

This is how the recent remake of this story ought to be, right? Wrong! Looks like this time’s a charm, (what ever time it is) cause I think we have a winner. Completely rewritten to suit today’s times and adaa. This Devdas breaks away from the beaten, drunken path. And this refreshing change is one that will stand and the shake the foundations of Hindi cinema. First off, this is DEV.D we’re talking about not DEVDAS. He’s like a cocktail, a fine blend of charming and brash, outspoken and sullen, flawed and self-righteous, depressed and funny. One that goes down smoothly, character-wise and very interesting to watch.

This story isn’t embellished with the prim and proper Hindi that would make your grandfather smugly sit back and state one of those ‘humare zamane ke filmon mein aisi hi shudh, sundar Hindi boli jati thi…’ type of comments. But rather, is of a type that I can only term as ‘bindass’. Hindi that’s actually spoken between friends, when their parents aren't around, of course. Do cover your parent’s sensitive ears from time to time in the due course of the movie, if you decide to take them along.

The Dev in this movie dosen't hail from Bengal but is a Delhi boy, and the two heroines of the story have a dilli-connection as well. Peppered with Punjabi tones from time to time, this flick has been shot in the grungy fashion that’s unique to Kashyap. The two heroines of the story are admittedly, fine finds and are fascinating characters to watch. They - much like the women of today - are independent, outspoken, and refreshingly open about their sexuality.

The movie is magnificently bold, a thrill to watch and makes you laugh, cry, fall in love and hate, as well. A rollercoaster ride that I’d like to get back in line for. The story has a good flow and seems to slip by rather quickly. And the music (as I have said before) positively rocks! Hat’s off to this maverick film-maker, may his species multiply and give us films that are a cut above the regular song and dance. Be warned thought, that this movie isn’t for the uber-sensitive types and must be watched with an open mind.

After all that talk of having an opinion in my last post, just thought that I'd regale / torment you with one of my own. I have one last thing to say, namely - watch it.

Posted by Shane

1 comment:

monica said...

Indian cinema has really come of age, thank you censor board for allowing the society to move forward and the watch this movie the way its meant to be.