After his wealthy family prohibits him from marrying the woman he is in love with, Devdas Mukherjee's life spirals further and further out of control as he takes up alcohol and a life of vice to numb the pain.
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The son of Zamindar Narayan Mukherjee, Devdas (Shahrukh Khan) was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He grew up in the lush village of Taj Sonapur, where he spent his childhood, indulged by his lovely playmate Paro (Aishwarya). They grew up sharing a special relationship, in which they existed only to each other. Oblivious of all the differences of status and background, a bond that would never break grew between them. Slowly, it changed to love but it was still unsaid. But the reverie was broken when his family sent Devdas to London for education. Paro's world crashed knowing that her Devdas would be gone and she lit a diya, for it signified the fast coming back of her loved one. Years passed and Devdas returned. Devdas was besotted by her stunning beauty and longed to have her back. But Zamindar Narayan Mukherjee (Vijay Crishna), Devdas' father, met Paro's mother Sumitra's (Kiran Kher) marriage proposal with condescending arrogance. It caused a rift between the families and even... Written by
I owned this film for 8 months but did not see it because of all the negative hype on the board. Then I took the plunge. First off let me say that I was not a great Saratchandra admirer. His stories (except SWAMI) mostly portrayed women as weak minded, subservient (maybe true to the time, but not to be admired), and men as weak and mostly well bred but not well educated. I had no real recollection of the story as written. And, not being a great Dilip Kumar fan, I never watched the old version. So, I have no comparisons to draw, no plot line differences to talk about.
I came away moved by the tragic love story that unfolded. It was not flawless, most Bollywood movies are not.
Negatives - the sets were beautiful but over the top, ditto for the costumes. The duo dance was a great way to compare Aish vs Madhuri dancing skills (both were pretty even matched for me) but in the story line it was quite silly and should not have been there. There was no real need for the the two to meet, but this was Mr, Bhansali's directorial license. Chandramukhi's kotha and environs were lifted straight from Pakeezah, which was a very stylized movie and not authentic.
Positives: Shahrukh Khan gave a very restrained performance, the silent tears accompanied with an anguish that only his eyes portrayed was a real departure from the screwed-up face crying. He was very very good in the drunk bits, very good in the anguished bits. It is remarkable how much this actor is accused of being typecast when every other year he pulls out an amazing performance - Dil Se (1998), Asoka (2001) and Devdas (2002) are all departures from his usual typecast romantic hero image. Recent roles in Swades and KANK are even more varied. The detractors will keep saying he overacted, or he portrayed no emotions, for me this was a truly great role as an anguished lover. Mr. Khan - your best actor award for this role in Devdas was well deserved.
Madhuri - what can one say about this truly great icon? She was amazing, you felt her pain, her caring, her selfless love, the moments between her and Shahrukh sizzled. And her dancing was brilliant.
Aish - was a bit wooden at times, but not always. She had a chemistry with Shahrukh that was understated until she was beyond his reach, but come on - the woman looks amazing, is there any doubt that a hundred Devdas types are dying for her?? She was better as the movie progressed to the more serious part.
The movie went into an emotional downward spiral a third of the way in and I sat there moved and almost crying for these tortured souls the rest of the two hours.
The movie was eye candy in the sets and costumes department. The two leading ladies were stunning, Shahrukh was easy on the eye, yet there was something that did detract from this being a great film. Upon much thinking I have come to the conclusion that it was the over the top beauty of everything that really made everything a little unreal for me. How could such perfect people have such imperfect lives? In essence the little black mark on the lip was missing and that left me a little dissatisfied.
If Mr. Bhansali had stated that this was an adaptation from the original novel, people would forgive him the fact that Devdas in his version is a mature man and knows his mind (although fails to act decisively on it), and the fact that an aristocratic lady visits a courtesan's establishment and the two dance together.
If you do not compare with what did or did not come before, this was an intense emotional experience, anchored by great performances from Shahrukh, Madhuri and yes, even Aish.
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