dev d: what should be india's official entry to oscars 2010


From the sequence showing Dev come back for his lady love, and get caught alone with her.. to a sequence showing how he ends up on Chanda’s bed – Anurag Kashyap seamlessly paints the picture of Dev D. For most part of the 170 minute length, you sit enthralled at an amazingly updated contemporary take on Bollywood’s favourite deathwish character. Its is significant that I do not know where to start writing about this movie. Do I talk about some amazing character work by Abhay Deol, and the lady newcomers? Do I talk about how the story manages to mesh real life and fiction (take note Messrs. Mehra and Bhandarkar)? Do I talk about the amazing blend of music, madness and movie (take note Messrs. Mehra and Ghai)? Do I talk about the inventive camerawork, direction and plot (Take note Bollywood)?

It is sad that Dev D will not be as appreciated as it should – it showcases an India that people want to sweep under the carpet. You want to be taken seriously outside the country? This is the kind of movie that will make people stand up and take notice. Not insane excuses in the name of comedy and history like Mangal Pandey and CC2C. Remember that movie that everyone thinks is so awesome (read, such an awesome showcase of Indian poverty)? This is the movie that can change that.

There are a few shortcomings as Kashyap/Deol  (Dev D is Deol’s concept! Respect!) attempt to update the story… but I am willing to forgive these transgressions given the sheer beauty of the 160 minutes before. There are some sequences that appear almost too randomly (what is with those 3 guys who keep standing around?) – but even these fall well within the overall mood of the film. Homage is paid to every single significant movie that could relate to this one (Trainspotting? Check. Requiem for a Dream? Check.), and even to Bhansali’s 3 hr screamfest. Mr. Bhansali? Want to make use of weird color schemes and funky camerawork? Take notes.

Anurag Kashyap has been making/working on movies that have fallen far outside the norm for a long time. There was the writing of ‘Satya’ (which I regard as RGV’s finest work).. followed by the inventiveness of ‘Kaun’. I’m ignoring the bunch of crap that follows in his writing (people need to make money, I guess), and centering on his direction. ‘Paanch’ never released, but from the 3 trailers I saw promised to unveil the dysfunction inherent to youth India. ‘Black Friday’ was one of the best movies to expose the underbelly of terrorism in India.. and ‘No Smoking’ was basically prepping for ‘Dev D’. I look forward to ‘Gulaal’, the trailer promises a nice convoluted concept anyway (‘Jack and Jill went up the hill, to fetch a pail of .. Bhosadika!’)

The sheer brilliance of Dev D is even more contrasting given the other recent movie set in Delhi (Delhi-6). Where one movie languorously introduces every single character and their great-grand-uncle on the maternal’s paternal side.. most characters in Dev D are not rubbed in your face for more than a minute. Most ideas are whipped past you, leaving you just enough time to enjoy them. And no, no song-and-dance about any major event in the movie. Except for the rocking and f*ckin’ amazing ‘Emosanal Atyachar’. The disconnect in Delhi-6’s movie and Delhi-6’s conclusion could not be more evident now, made worse by the fact that ‘Dev D’ uses Delhi. Which Delhi-6 could only ever refer to in name. The world of Dev, the characters, the dialogue, the scenes.. somehow I cannot imagine them happening anywhere else.

In short, must-must-must watch. Now.

‘Tauba tera jalwa, tauba tera pyaa-aar. Tera emosanal atyachaaa-aar.’


7 thoughts on “dev d: what should be india's official entry to oscars 2010

  1. Watched it today afternoon; was bored the first 1/3rd with Dev-Paro, but the moment Chanda came in, i loved the movie till the end. Contrary to lot of reviews, I thought Chanda’s character was really well etched out and given a really good character; the end was really good too.

  2. On it…

    BTW…The Reader deserves a watch. But somehow, I didnt think Kate deserved the oscar. She got it coz maybe there was no one else. But then again, maybe it was just Heath Ledger set the bar too high.

  3. i dont know why am i reading this post sooo late in the year…but i can’t help but agree on each n every word u’ve written here..! AS FAR AS AM CONCERNED, DEV D is one of the BEST BOLLYWOOD MOVIES OF 2009! i can’t even think of other movies which i liked in this year as yet except Paa ‘to a certain extent’ maybe…aur koi movie itni pasand hi nahi aayi! i know u’ve raved about APKGK but no i dint like it much 😦 and am waiting for Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots & Dev Benegal’s ROAD: THE MOVIE desperately!

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