Why does the contemporary youth of India love Dev.D?
In Notting Hill (1999) Julia Roberts asks Hugh Grant “What is it about men and nudity, huh?” .Well…there is hardly any relation between ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Dev.D. ‘Why does the contemporary youth of India love Dev.D? It’s an easy and tough question, depends how we perceive it.
The novel which made ‘Dilip Kumar’ a big hero and has shown ‘Akkineni Nageshwara Rao’ an illustrious career, supported ‘Shah Rukh Khan’s’ rejuvenation, is now helping Abhay Deol and Independent Cinema of India. The film starts with a beautiful scene between young Dev and Paro where we are provided with a hint for their characters. Dev (The Dude) leaves for London for his studies but still maintains his love with Paro (Chhamak Challo). Anurag Kashyap doesn’t waste any time in conveying his idea on ‘Devdas’, in the first few minutes of the film itself we are shown Dev asking Paro ‘Do you touch yourself?’ and after that we are again looking at an unusual scene in which Paro faces some trouble getting her photo scanned which she at last sends it to Dev and Dev says “Paro mein a raha hoon”.
The scene in which Paro takes a mattress into a sugarcane field in the early morning so that she can have a good time with Dev, but Dev refuses and we see how her hopes and dreams are shattered and later she shows her frustration on the water pump symbolically, this is one of the best scenes in the film and many might see it with a obvious angle but for me it shows the true love of Paro towards Dev and at what level she has imagined Dev all these years.
The character of ‘Chanda’ is totally different when compared toother films on ‘Devdas’. It’s a character which cannot be easily digested by everyone. A College girl turned into a prostitute with a sad background attached to it. This Chanda is an ultra modern prostitute where she has sex chat on phone with her linguistic skills, rides a bike; the brothel house accepts credit cards and some of the visitors even carry the HIV test results.
We see neon lights, Vodka, smoke, bizarre paintings, etc…; Anurag Kashyap breaks all the stereo types’ rules of Bollywood and makes his own film without compromising on many issues. The characters in the film are well written, one may or may not attach themselves with the characters but the way they have been treated is compelling. Amit Trivedi soundtrack and background music is amazing, the composition of every song is different and makes us sing while it’s being played in the film. We even see three balladers dancing in the club for the song ‘O Pardesi’ which is one of my favorite song it starts with the strings of Veena (or Sitar??).
The first half makes a very good impression because of its characters and its unimaginable imagination of Anurag Kashyap. The second half of the film is slightly deviated and could not make a perfect contact with me. It looks like its flirting with its logic and emotions without seriously thinking of evolving out of itself from the first half. The second half lacks the basic eccentricity of the first half but it does not totally disappoint me. The clairvoyance of the viewer gets a beating when Paro visits the room of Dev, if I am not wrong everyone might be thinking of something to happen but eventually turns out to be the other way. The most charming scene of the film for me is when Dev says to Chanda ‘I Love you too you know’ and Chanda says ‘You are such a slut’.
Anurag Kashyap makes Dev.D a special film with in its own limits. The treatment of characters by Anurag Kashyap is filled with honesty. I did not find any compromise formulae for the treatment of characters. Every character has the right to do anything on the screen. The audacity of Anurag Kashyap can be seen very clearly with his wildest and tricky imagination which pulls us into the state of continuous ponder.The film is narrated with the help of songs which is untypical in Bollywood, actually the songs fast forward the film up to 10 minutes. I would remember Dev.D for Anurag Kashyap’s honesty and audacity.
Dev.D is loved by many people, but Gulzar sir gives his point of view about why Dev.D is liked by many of us.How many of us really like or love Dev.D for that reason is an interesting question.