PAIN IN D’ ASS WATCH
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
Devdas and Paro dancing, 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.
Fawad Khan’s Poor Cousin. Still Entitled.
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
Paro who was in the car with him is conveniently left behind to
call someone and have Devdas rescued. Like I said, the film
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.
Pissed Off Pathetic Paro, Churlish Chandramukhi
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.
‘Har Haadse Ke Peeche Ya Toh Dar Hota Hai Ya Politics’
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.
Imagine missing Madhuri Dixit singing ‘Maar daala! Allah
Maar Daala’ and not in a complimentary way when you
come out of the theater.
(this review sans subheads appears on www.nowrunning.com)