I have NO idea where I got this image! Sorry if it’s yours! =_=;
Just when you least expect it, my I heart Asian Cinema Series reappears like the Spanish Inquisition!!! This post is the fourth in the series and for those of you seeing it for the first time, other movies I have covered are: Hard Boiled, Infernal Affairs and Chung King Express.
This particular edition is about the Indian movie called Devdas.
If you’ve ever felt that typical Bollywood is too trifling and not to be considered in discussions about Cinema then see Devdas and be pleasantly surprised.
The story: In colonial times, Devdas is the cherished only son of a rich and highly placed family. He lets a cruel father and a snobbish mother deter him from going after the only woman he has ever loved, the daughter of the the less socially acceptable family next door Paro, with heart breaking consequences.
This grand romance based on classical Indian Literature is one of the lushest things I’ve ever seen on screen. It is an exquisite film that gives anything Rodgers and Hammerstein ever did a run for their money. Naturally it stars the ridiculously charismatic Shahrukh Khan as the dashing lead who later breaks our hearts and Aishwarya Rai is heart stopping gorgeously (I’m talking, Duh-yam!!!) as his neighbour “Paro”, truly worthy of her Miss Universe crown.
It would not have been easy for any actress to hold her own as a romantic other against shining Rai, not unless she was the extremely talented and beautiful Madhuri Dixit who plays the courtesan “Chandramukhi” who falls in love with the ill fated Devdas.
With those three shining stars in the lead, it’s no wonder that this film is a diamond.
I really can’t gush enough about all the good points of Devdas. Every line is poetic (probably because of the story’s basis on very old literature) and every interaction between the stories main players is just exquisite and unforgettable (I love the scene where Devdas strikes Paro with the pearls. You’ll have to watch to find out why ^^). The music and choreography is some of the best I’ve seen in any film period and I truly believe that this film ought to be considered a great, classic.
I want to share my best musical number in the whole movie. Truth be said every number was amazing but this one was perfect plotwise, musically, choreographicaly, costumewise and cinematographically. This scene features Chandramukhi the courtesan who has just won a bet against the man with the “evil” moustache that Devdas would show up at her place that night. If she had lost the bet she would have had to wear the golden ankle bells (provided by him) that she is shown tapping at the start of the number and give herself to evil moustache man. The song is called Maar Dala.
I’ve seen this film countless times and I never get tired of her twirling in her green dress or the look in her eye when she dismisses moustachio! Watch it with subs for added beauty!
UPDATE: Gaaah!!! couldn’t resist adding this too cos you’ve got to see the chemistry between Khan and Rai in it! The set up: Paro’s Mom sings at what she imagines is her daughter’s engagement feast while Devdas and Paro cavort by a stream at night in a dance that mirrors the story in the song. The song is about an old story of a seduction between two gods (i forget the ones).