Life. Love. And DevD.
That could just simply sum up the experience of watching this film.
How the &**# can you make my throat dry when you drink?
Why the &**# are you pulling me into the seedy Delhi streets, where body and soul have distinct lines of control? Do I have the guts to take the ride - You taunt me endlessly through this!
How dare you make me empathise with people I hardly know, with people who act as if they don’t need my empathy at all, with people who exist despite my support? Why do you make me want to retch it all out of me…and still somewhere make me feel satisfied...clean?
Sigh. There, I’ve tried to sum up DevD. Tried.
Usually a good film is one that (as they say) leaves a lump in your throat. Or makes you shed that odd tear. DevD made me do neither.
Yet, this has become my favorite film, the most comprehensive, wholesome film I’ve loved in my adult years.
I was moved - To despair. To lust. To ego. To intoxication. To love. To life.
To hope despite all odds - Self inflicted ones at that.
The bloody pain of love wrought with ego. The glorification of the self – be it in pain or pleasure. The brash women whose words hurt – sting… who are more mature than this boy-man Dev. The love sans the usual frills. The passion that arrives with just a thought…
Such splendid unapologetic sex…! It just comes onto you from unexpected quarters – like a tiger leaping on an unassuming prey…tearing at your insides again and again and again…
DevD is all about the above. Yet it is also a film that makes me feel all of the above. And therein lies Anurag Kashyap’s victory.
This is a film for all of us who have loved a dream. Lost it. And still live on chasing it, as it appears before us, taking on different forms. In Dev’s case, it was Paro & Chanda (Mahi Gill & Kalki – excel) – and briefly so, Rasika.
This is a film where I do not identify with any of the characters but this is a film where the characters do all the things that I might have done. And therein lies Anurag Kashyap’s mastery over story-telling. Over visual narration.
And what a masterful stroke it is to have Chanda watch Maar Daala on TV, before she decides on her pseudonym or to swiftly move from a SRK’s Devdas poster to Abhay Deol (a wonder of a performance. Titles credit him with the concept of the film).
Song and dance is used in an ingenius manner, as they weave in and out of the frames and my senses, as much as Dev, Paro and Chanda languish in their emotions, largely fraught with passion and ego. The humor is left to the rest of them who have to deal with the trio. The lead characters just act out their stuff. The supporting characters react to their actions. How simple indeed?! And how novel!
More than appreciating the film’s craft, pointing to the nuances – be it in scene setup or dialogues or just that one pause here n there, I am shaken up by this film, because it has made me look inside it, and watch on...helplessly, as Dev sways between life & death; and makes me smile in relief, clap in joy, when finally Dev chooses Life. There is redemption. There is hope. See how cleverly the makers of this film have made me write something so emotional about something which is after all, a film?!
This film is personal.
Just how the &**// can you come up with something like Emotional Hatyachaar…?
If DevD be the food of love …. Play it on! And on…and on!
Who’s gonna say No to a chance to walk two feet above the ground…!