After years of hearing about the loser and watching Bhansali’s Dev as a start of the series. It scares you, the success of these movies, even Bhansali’s dress parade. It reinforces you that the MCP is far from dead. I have heard many men say they see Devdas in themselves and it scares you if the author has succeeded in mapping the Indian male’s psyche. The snoozing feminist in me wakes up alarmed!
It is not just Devdas, the movies but the Average Joe Bollywood hero in some way or the other, at least the later part of the movie has the Devdas shade. There is no coming-of age with this guy.
And then you watch Dev D. And like masters should, AK manages surprise you. You want to go gung ho, you want to stand atop the theatre chair and whistle.
There is the AK touch of grim, power and underhand politics, in this case the tug-of-war between the sexes (but not gender wise because the women in the film are not the weaker sex, even when the world tries to rub that in their face); and it is great and even battlefield where liberated women do not shy from giving the men a hard time when they deserve it.
In short celebrate the death of Devdas, at least metaphorically, let’s hope that the 5000 year old fossilised Indian male’s psyche might begin to change.
PS: The choreography in most is beautifully done, especially the 2 dimensional, dark, hazy “pardesi” set in the nightclub. Also loved the a lil photoshopped Abhay Deol on the cover with a Dilip Kumar touch. Full marks for the casting.