Dev D Movie Review

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BLACK FRIDAY, RETURN OF HANUMAN, NO SMOKING and now DEV D! Anurag Kashyap has shown a niche for trying out experimental mode of filmmaking in Bollywood with mixed results. DEV D (modern version of immortal 'Devdas') brings out different flavors of romanticism with an out and out peculiar musical feel. Amit Trivedi (AAMIR) gets a second major project where he packs all existing and accepted style of genres in as much as 18 original soundtracks. Can DEV D be triumphant enough to swim against the tide? Will the experimental and uncharacteristic musical substance of DEV D be enough to make Amit Trivedi, a promising commodity in marquee? Do find this out…

Elvis Presley meets 'desi band-baja'! Peculiar dark feel of desolated lover gets embroiled in 'black-comedy' humor where loud marriage band music makes interesting moves in 'Emosnal Atyachar (Brass Band Version'). Experimental to core, it brings Band Master Rangeela and Raseela with typical 'bhojpuri' lingo, emoting out tearful sentiments of modern 'Devdas' (DEV D). Amit Trivedi music is thematically apt while Amitabh Bhattacharya tries to add a tinge of hilarity with raw-finishing lyrical moves. Bonny Chakravarty comes behind the mike in its 'rock version' with similar haunting feel but this time its hard-rock maneuvers that rules the sentiments. It has typical 'death-rock' feel of 'Zahreeley' (ROCK ON) and like its first version; it is experimental as well as innovative than entertaining in its contents.

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Amit Trivedi showed his flair for folksy flair in tracks like 'Chakkar Ghumyo' (AAMIR) with an earthen touch and now he delivers out 'Duniya' with similar rustic feel. It comes like a quivering cum appalling showcase of intriguing world in simplistically penned wording and modest arrangements. 'Duniya' is presumed to be an engrossing situational background score where Amit Trivedi voice works well for simpleton sentiments.

'Nayan Tarse', a romantic smokescreen of varied emotions brings brighter side of Amit Trivedi singing with an upbeat electronic musical exhibit. After an engrossing bizarre prelude, it races with rock-guitar jam with flow of Indian classical singing. Trivedi innovates for 'fusion' feel that has daunting impact and works best with the shady feel of the flick.

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Folksy tunes and rhythms dominate again and this time its Rajasthani folk music that transcends amicably with rigorous flows of westernized arrangements and impressive 'Sitar' works in 'Pardesi'. Tochi's gets the proper vocal modulations at right places that collage well to make it another worthy 'fusion' track.

Lighthearted and venomous sluggish melodic appalling thrive that made things look darker in tracks like 'Jab Bhi Cigarette' (NO SMOKING) makes another resounding impact in 'Saali Khushi'. Amit Trivedi tries to mix and match jazz elements with his vocals that builds an intimidating appeal for it's on-screen presence. Like all previous haunting tracks, it works well as evocative background score and rests heavily on its cinematic presence.

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Soft romantic melodic hues make their mushy presence felt through extremely talented Shruti Pathak multi-tasking endeavors in melodious sounding 'Payaliya'. Shruti Pathak pens as well as sings it with dexterity in low octaves with amicable support of impressive Indian classical musical deliverance. After mind-blowing 'Maar Jaava' (FASHION), this soft sentimental number elates out as another promising vow by this upcoming singer.

After hectic Indian classical, pop, rock and jazz, mood swivels to Punjabi folksy flair where traditionally folksy vocals of Labh Janjua sparkles off senses in 'Mahi Mennu'. Unlike couple of Janjua-Pritam rollicking blasting 'bhangra' tracks, it sticks to contemporary Punjabi tunes and rhythms. Janjua emotes well in varying pitches but composition sounds too regular and repetitive. Its 'sad version' is brief vocal piece that serenades out tear-jerking emotions in an 'unplugged' mode.

Then begins Dev and Chanda's romance. Both are hurting, both need healing. Both turn out to be the other's emotional anchor. And after constantly telling Chanda he loves only Paro, he finally falls in loves with Chanda. ''I never looked at Paro in the right way,'' he tells Chanda. A bitter truth if you put all the earlier scenes between Paro and Dev into perspective.

The films constantly connects you with Dev's hopelessness, Paro's perplexity and Chanda's circumstances.

Abhay Deol is turning out to be a class act. One can sense him submitting himself completely to the director. Not one wrong step. Deol is completely in sync with the character and his surroundings. Not once does he try and go over the top. He downplays some moments with subtle body language and pain in his eyes.

Mahi Gill is a revelation. As the bubbly Paro who will do anything for her Dev, she is simply irresistible. Smart, sexy and wanting to make the first move on Dev, she is first rate. Kalki, as the young schoolgirl who wants to have her share of fun fits the bill. As someone who is shunned by her family and friends, she finds her feet back in a brothel, where love finally comes knocking on her door in the form of a stoned Dev.

The music and background score are just perfect. DEV D is awesome. It's big bang for your bucks.

The severe spanking Anurag Kashyap received from critics and audience alike for NO SMOKING, propelled the director to delve deep into his creative reserves to come up with a rabbit out of his hat. He gives us Dev D, a movie, whose main protagonist, is loosely inspired by the novel Devdas written by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. Herein ends the 'inspiration'. This DEVDAS hits the bottle, snorts coke, visits brothels and then finds the rainbow. In short, he is virtually the prodigal son, who returns to find his bearings.

Take a bow, Kashyap, for this wonderfully directed movie scripted with finesse. Every character stands out; every scene is a dream. Kashyap takes ordinary moments and peppers it with rappers to skillfully drive home the point with lyrics to match the mood. You know this movie is a winner when the scene opens to a young Dev and Paro and his parents. You see the immediate bonding between Dev and Paro, and between Dev his dad. On the surface, his dad appears to be his greatest enemy. But scratch it, and you see a wonderful bonding between the two, especially in the latter half when he indulges his son with whatever he asks for.

Dev (Abhay Deol) is packed off to UK for studies and he never loses touch with his Paro (Mahi Gill). On chat, they do what normal teenagers do. Once he asks her to email him her photographs. She replies that she already has. ''Not those,'' Dev types on his keyboard. ''One without clothes.'' Paro obliges. Back from the UK after years, Paro, who is now even more in love with Dev than she ever was, cannot take her eyes off him. They try to meet in odd places with her Dad always showing up at the wrong time. Being a good looker, and always chirpy, there's loose talk about Paro; of her being the conquest of someone else. Dev believes what he hears and snubs her. In fact, he insults her telling her she can't even dream of coming into his family.

Paro moves on and marries. Dev is shattered. He does not know what has hit him. He hits the bottle. However much he may try, Paro is always on his mind. Here, Kashyap makes a smart detour in introducing the other character that will take the film to another level. Chanda (Kalki Koechlin) is introduced with a back-story about how she lands in a brothel where Dev is a frequent visitor. There is a poignant moment, which Kashyap catches to show the bonding between Leni (who later becomes Chanda) and her father. She is woken up from bed by her mother and she goes to her father in his room where he is still asleep to snuggle up to him. Cut to the scene when she calls him a 'Sicko' because of her MMS scandal. He cannot take it. He shoots himself.

Then begins Dev and Chanda's romance. Both are hurting, both need healing. Both turn out to be the other's emotional anchor. And after constantly telling Chanda he loves only Paro, he finally falls in loves with Chanda. ''I never looked at Paro in the right way,'' he tells Chanda. A bitter truth if you put all the earlier scenes between Paro and Dev into perspective.

The films constantly connects you with Dev's hopelessness, Paro's perplexity and Chanda's circumstances.

Abhay Deol is turning out to be a class act. One can sense him submitting himself completely to the director. Not one wrong step. Deol is completely in sync with the character and his surroundings. Not once does he try and go over the top. He downplays some moments with subtle body language and pain in his eyes.

Mahi Gill is a revelation. As the bubbly Paro who will do anything for her Dev, she is simply irresistible. Smart, sexy and wanting to make the first move on Dev, she is first rate. Kalki, as the young schoolgirl who wants to have her share of fun fits the bill. As someone who is shunned by her family and friends, she finds her feet back in a brothel, where love finally comes knocking on her door in the form of a stoned Dev.

The music and background score are just perfect. DEV D is awesome. It's big bang for your bucks.

 

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