Daas Dev Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film
Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's classic but simple love triangle of Paro, Devdas and Chandramukhi is turned on its head and complicated needlessly by setting the story in a lawless, political background in Uttar Pradesh. There are stories and backstories heaped one on top of another and finished off in a Tarantino-esque hail of bullets. When a dying character asks,'Why? Why did all this happen?' in despair, the audience shaking their heads in a similar fashion asks the same thing.
Apr 27, 2018 By Manisha Lakhe

Devdas and Paro dancing and being touchy feely in a Delhi disco is a great idea, but then he's drunk and he hits some guy talking to Paro. Didn't the original Devdas take to drink because he was separated from Paro? You sigh into your popcorn and watch the film derail into predictable patriarchy.

Devdas is kidnapped and we suddenly want to hit him hard. He's not only a lush but a lush with an attitude and has lost 'crores' in some business. It is 2018, and we're still making movies when families are doing 'business' but no one knows what business, they have large offices and are called 'business tycoons' but there is not a shred of evidence what business the hero is really 'in'.

Paro who was in the car with him is conveniently left behind to call someone and have Devdas rescued. Like I said, the film derails.

Devdas with daddy issues, mommy issues, need to hold a girl in bed and fall asleep issues, and unfortunately, acting issues too. Rahul Bhat who plays Devdas plainly looks sleazy like he never left his earlier film Nayee Padosan.

Richa Chaddha plays Paro and wanders through her role like a zombie. Mostly expressionless. But then the events in the movie are so predictable that you cannot blame her. She's a disco chick one minute and suddenly a salwaar kameez clad saviour of poor farmers the next. Wait, what?

Cheerless Chandni or Chandramukhi shows up, narrating the story and then suddenly realises she is supposed to be a prostitute according to the classic, and is then shown walk away with old politicians, emerge from rooms with old politicians. And you try to understand why Aditi Rao Hydari took this role. Gigantic Earrings! She wears them in every movie she appears. Doesn't help with the image of the pretty pouty girl at all. In fact you think she's churlish because the earrings weigh so much.

There are gunmen, politicians, their chamchas, their goons, their jeeps and SUVs, poor villagers, people being killed in green fields, more politicians, informants on their cell phones, rifles and alcohol, parties, ministers who appear in 'lal batti' cars with a retinue of policemen. Complimenting these predictable things are even more predictable emotions of betrayal, plotting and planning to retain political power, more betrayal, emotionless killing, manipulating sons to do as told by pretending to suffer a heart attack and yes, even 'coma', then betrayal again, more killing as if Sushir Mishra was channelising his inner Tarantino.

The only saving grace of this predictable political 'game' are Vipin Sharma (who plays Paro's elderly husband, the chief of the opposition party) and Saurabh Shukla (who plays Dev's uncle and politician who falls in coma and feints heart attacks, says, 'Satta hamari virasat hai' - power is our inheritance, with so much conviction that you forget to laugh at its ridiculousness).

The film is shot rather interestingly, and the content could have been a political souffle but it takes itself so seriously, you just watch the souffle sink into an unpalatable glutinous mess.

Manisha Lakhe