Monday, September 13, 2010


Honestly, I am not a movie savvy. But I have sat through all the kinds. They have all made me cry. Either they were too good or they were a torture!
One and only movie that I have literally assimilated every bit is DEVDAS; the third directed by SHRI SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI (note the SHRI). The legend has directed a couple of movies but never have I seen the same magic existing in any of his earlier or later works. One of the reasons why I look up to him is he could pull off the impossible act of getting the real actor out of SRK! I watched DEVDAS only and only for Aishwarya Rai (Ash). After I watched the movie, I couldn’t believe that it was a torture! I somehow felt guilty about it. The 2nd time I watched it on TV. It was bearable that time. It was the third time I watched the movie that something caught my attention…apart from Ash and those award winning songs!
Once we had a little discussion about the various versions of the movie in college. The first had K.I.Saigal in it. The second had the dream cast of those time,Vaijanthi mala, Suchitra sen and Dilip kumar (the first two are in black and white). The third version(2000)had the dream cast of today’s times, Aishwarya rai, Madhuri dixit and Sharukh khan. The fourth was DEV D(2009), the most contemporary version of DEVDAS.
My favorite professor SIMON expressed his views about them. He din’t find the Ash starrer catchy at all.
Aishwarya rai in DEVDAS
I beg to differ here.
I haven’t watched the first two versions but the last two were fantastic! DEV D is still a mystery to me yet I don’t have any idea why I loved it!

Ash was the reason I used to watch the movie. As I was an ardent admirer of hers, I used to go all ‘gaga’ about her beauty (all kinds) in the movie. While watching the trailers grabbing I would get excited every time she went ISHHHHH! But later, it struck me that there is something more than just Ash! What are they?
EVERYTHING. The colors used are just so vibrant and vast, you can never find them being used in such a collective form anywhere in this world! The dialogues are very thought provoking. Every act in the movie is constructed with importance to the detailing.
incredible chemistry
he says,"you will end up with a rich
but old man".

doing fake predictions
she says "poor you! You will never
get married!"

The song BAIRI PIYA is shot on the theme where SRK makes her we ar the precious bangle he has got for his love. The song has Ash and SRK playing, provoking anger and teasing each other. This is the ultimate CHEMISTRY two individuals can share! Not kissing and exposing and getting drenched for heaven’s sake! That’s VULGARITY…NOT CHEMISTRY! So as I was saying, this song has a teasing part, where SRK takes Ash’s palm and acts as if he can read her future. He tells her that she will be getting married to an old fellow and laughs off. Obviously Ash isn’t amused and reacts the same way. She tells him looking at his palm that he will never get married! It was very light and hilarious for them at that moment and both never realized that their fake predictions were to come true! These scenes are not something people observe when they watch the movie unless one is doing a thesis on it! (:P)
The sets represent the ‘larger than life’ kind of life back in those days. The lavish use of stain glass has helped achieve the magical and dreamy aura fit for the movie.
he smears the blood at the junction
she realises the MOMENT of her
marriage to him
he wipes off her blood

The other moving scene is between SRK and Ash again, just before she gets married to the old man. He hits her on her forehead with her beaded necklace as an outcome of her ego outburst. He doesn’t feel bad but he takes her in his arms and tries to get rid of the blood. Here is what one must pay attention! According to the traditional Indian wedding, the husband always smears the RED KUMKUM at the junction of his wife’s    hair partition and her forehead. To this day all HINDU Indian women smear the kumkum at the same junction. But as fashion has enslaved every individual in this earth, the wives do smear something red there…more like a red lipstick I would say! (:I). So it’s a conception that anything red smeared on this junction indicates that the woman is taken.
Now! When SRK wipes the blood off her forehead, he unconsciously smears some on the junction. So the scene silently tells us that they have become man and wife sans the heavy rituals! She does get married to the old man later, which shows her righteousness to her promise and her family.

the scar he gives her
the flame gets windy when Dev is
in his last stage of death
terminally ill Dev at Paro's gate
she gets the message of his condition
by getting hurt on the scar

The scar remains on her forehead as a symbol of SRK himself so when he gets terminally ill in the train; she actually gets hurt on the scar again hinting her about her lover’s state! The highlight of this movie is the lamp that represents the soul of Devdas (SRK). She starts lighting the lamp as a kid when Dev goes away to study law in London and returns 10 years later. She never lets the flame die. Even after she gets married to the old man, she still takes care of the FLAME. When DEV reaches the gates of her mansion almost dying, she runs towards him running wildly and crying DEVAAAA… The gates close at the right time preventing her to cross    the threshold and at the exact time Dev breathes his last breath and so does the lamp.
Paro runs to Dev's rescue

the flame dies with devdas

gate prevents her from crossing the
devdas dies the same moment the
flame dies
Symbols have played a huge role in the history almost everywhere in the world as they were in existence prior to the evolution of languages. The use of symbolism in this movie is very interesting, exciting and very engaging!

Moon represents Paro (Ash) indicating the purity and the beauty.
Flame represents Dev’s soul which burns according to his condition (anger, sick etc..)
Scar on Paro’s forehead represents Dev himself.
These are some of the symbolism involved in this movie. Wish to discover more!
I am now forcing myself to stop and hey! Please don’t get me started about the music, the lyrics, the costumes and the choreography! I can literally make you feel sick with my hyper state!

Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
at Cannes film festival 2002
All the sentiments and emotions in the movie are purely Indian which obviously enlightens about the whole CULTURE thing! The director has, through this movie, beautifully and intelligently merged all art forms on a single platform! No exaggerations intended but seriously if anyone sees me watching this movie, they would jump to conclusion that I am in a coma! I seriously cannot miss the slightest of the details because every time I watch the movie, I keep discovering new things. Every time it is an experience and a movie like this can never be recreated …even by the same director! He has not directed a movie but his own dreams and visions which is extremely tough because, in the process of making, so many changes can occur and force you to do so. But as legendary as he is, He has made his movie one too.


  1. Akilu!!! Brilliant Observations.
    Although i did not like the movie devdas your blog made a great reading and illuminating too !. There are many subtleties in a film which we fail to see in the first instant. But gets clarified as we watch it couple of times.Keep watching films and Unravel it for us :)

  2. @hari mamu: hey that was such a sweet compliment. I knew you would lke the subject i chose to write on! :)hope it did not take much of your time! :)

  3. Firstly, Rukku, don't force all of us to comment on it :P..just kidding!! :P

    Good observation though, Wikipedia? :P...How many times do I have to tell you plagiarism won't get you anywhere!! :P...ok ok, jokes apart!...good observation di...I haven't seen the movie as yet, intend to someday!!...then I shall confirm your work ok? :P...Oh and good job!!..keep it up!! :D

  4. @karthiK; its a shame that you havent seen this masterpiece! sha sha! anyways! i only asked you to comment so that i can get to know what you alll feel about the article. its about discussion. not criticism or appriciation. :)

  5. "How the kathakali artist got his blown dress"..the blown skirt...a lady over starched the long munnd (dhoti)..the man hd extra kappa( tapoica)the starch did not agree with his system....there was a melancholy on his face, austere but unkind..and he blew the strong wind of change..the starched dhoti blew and u had the first parachute before the wright brothers pronounced AIRplane.CONCLUSION:.the nautanki is always nautanki....and the age of nautanki's have passed....bhansali's devdas is exactly tht...opulence and symbolism which is obvious or kiddish is not symbolic ..rather sacrilegious ..from the time of devika rani the quenchin lamp stood fr a man, dying,,..wat is so symbolic abt it today tht some1 has to again speak to us from symbols...i can appreciate clothes..but not the story behind i appreciate DEVD...see it again,.

  6. @simon: DEV D does connect with todays generation! Sanjay wanted to recreate the old magic his way! i mean he takes us back to the era which we can never achieve in todays times! the movie is all about the original Indian blood and emotions and sentiments! DEV D is devdas of today's times. terrific movie definitely. that does not mean that one cannot direct a movie in 2020, which has the 1950's theme involved. Sanjay has portrayed the DEVDAS of 1950.

  7. we definitely do not need to be told how todays generation is through the movies because we all are going through it presently! why do we still appreciate shakespeare? we definelty need movies that tells us about the past and the future. both are not in our hands.

  8. Hiiii Akila... me and suji have noticed all the things u have mentioned and have always thought others did too... but seems people have missed the significance,,, so good that u have explained them in detail and for bringing them out in the open and making people aware. Good writing skills btw... :)

  9. Good observations, I didn't know about the scar. You do love the movie, it shows in the amount of research you have done on it.

    Keep writing!:)

  10. hey just came across your blog. looks like you have stopped blogging now. nice article. i like the movie and its execution, but i dont like the character devdas. wish they made him more, understanding or something. :)

  11. @priyanka : You wont believe if i say this but its an honor for me that you acknowledged my blog and my work! :) Please keep visiting and commenting to keep my spirits higher! :)

  12. @ginger: haha Devdas was such a LOSER in real life...Hence he had to be one in the movie too! :)
    I am glad you sumbled upon my blog! ANd hey i hvent stopped blogging! Just that i dint get anything ARTISTIC to fill in here. I promise you i wil attempt to make it as asctive as possible! :)

  13. Lovely passionate writing! Ya Sanjay Leela Bhansali has a visual style of his own which is very rare in Indian cinema and hence a good thing. There is a certain sense of granduer to his films which is very Indian. But i find his films including Devdas to be over the top. Frankly, I had not noticed the symbolism in the film which i usually love to observe in cinema. Maybe i watched the film with a bias and hence could not notice it. But Bhansali's Devdas for me is nothing but MADHURI DIXIT. I just can't go beyond her in the film. Her dialogue delivery, her dancing, just the way she carries herself in the film is nothing but WOW! I personally feel she had both SRK and Ash for breakfast when it comes to performance in the film. Whenever Devdas plays on TV i watch only her portions of the film. But next time around when i see the film i will try my best to keep my love for Madhuri and the bias against Bhansali aside and watch the film and then get back to you.

    1. hahah! MADHURI sure is a born actor rasik! But For the first time I felt Sharukh acted well! He went beyond his comfort 'romantic' zone! And Ash! maasha allah! :)


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