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Review and analysis of the film Devdas

According to an article published in Talk film society, the writer spoke about how effective dialogues were and how the DOP gave his heart and soul to the movie of the millennial. Devdas is rich with dialogue scenes, during which the characters go through multiple emotions and their relationships with the others shift multiple times. Bhansali keeps his characters moving around, as the dynamic between them shifts. “For example, a scene between Paro and Devdas (Khan) can go from teasing to hurtful, from romantic to tragic, within minutes.” Bhansali utilizes his lavish sets as space for characters to track their own changes in emotions. Bhansali’s camera moves around with them; cinematographer Binod Pradhan capturing every movement of Bhansali’s blocking. The editing by Bhansali favorite Bela Segal can transform from sharp cuts to smooth long takes as needed by the beats of the scene. The article from “News18”, published few lesser or unknown facts about the film Devdas.

The facts are as follows.

    • The role of Devdas was first offered to Salman Khan, but he declined and thus, the role eventually went to Shah Rukh Khan. Undoubtedly, Shah Rukh gave one of his career’s best performance in Devdas and took home Filmfare Best Actor Award in 2002.
    • The role of Chunni Lal was offered to Saif Ali Khan, Govinda, and Manoj Bajpayee before Jackie Shroff was signed. Interestingly, Manoj refused the role on the grounds that he was playing lead roles in all his films and doing a supporting role would hurt his saleability.
    • A producer by the name of K Chopra had the rights of the title Devdas. Initially, he was not willing to let of-of the rights. Sanjay Leela Bhansali at one point was going to name the film Aaj Ka Devdas. Finally, K Chopra gave up the rights for a hefty price.
    • The popular song Dola Re Dola took a week to write because Sanjay Leela Bhansali thought that it had to be perfect as he was uniting two of Bollywood’s biggest stars (Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan).
    • During the ‘Dola re Dola’ dance, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s ears started to bleed due to the heavy earrings she was wearing, but continued with the dance, not telling anyone until after the shoot. Some great professionalism must say.
    • The sequence where Paro’s mother Sumitra is made to dance at a social gathering was inspired by a recurring nightmare of Sanjay Leela Bhansali where his mother was being humiliated.
    • In the song Kahe Chhedd Mohe, the outfit worn by Madhuri Dixit weighed 30 kilograms. She had lots of problems with the dance choreography, but she eventually completed it.
    • Kathak master Birju Maharaj choreographed Kaahe Chhedd Mohe, especially for Madhuri Dixit.
    • Despite refusing the first two films of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Kareena Kapoor screen tested for the role of Paro.
    • Ismail Darbar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali spent two-and-a-half years to compose the music. Each song, being complicated in their structure, had to be mixed eight to nine times, but the recording took only ten days.
    • Paro’s delicate stained-glass house was erected from November to June – safe, non-monsoon months, Bhansali reckoned. During those months, there were four unprecedented rain showers, which caused the colors in the stained glass to fade, and they had to be retouched regularly. Moreover, trolleys were used over the floors of the house, which led to a lot of chips.
    • The set of Chandramukhi’s kotha was constructed around a lake. Consequently, the water in the lake kept drying up and gallons of water had to be regularly filled in. Moreover, the bridge built across the lake had a tendency to sink at all the wrong times.
    • Musical duo Chase and Status sampled the song ‘Silsila Yeh Chahat Ka’ for their song ‘Eastern Jam’, while • Snoop Dogg also sampled the same song for his song ‘Snopp Dogg Millionaire’.
    • In 2002, Aishwarya Rai walked the Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the first time representing Devdas. In 2017, the actress walked at the 70th edition of the film festival, representing the film again as part of L’Oreal Paris Open Air Cinema. In conclusion to all the reviews and analysis of the film Devdas, as a regular Bollywood flick, ‘Devdas’ is far and away the greatest thing that Bollywood has produced in ages. As a work of art, its credentials and execution are unparalleled in the current world of Hindi cinema – you only have to watch ‘Asoka’ or ‘Dil to Pagal Hai’ to understand how ‘Devdas’ has managed to cut through the glossy exteriors that mask every Hindi movie these days.

In the end, I think ‘Devdas’ is more of a cinematic tribute to the classics of the 1960s than anything else. The director has clearly been a student of both ‘Mughal E Azam’ and ‘Pakeezah’ and has managed to transfer their spirits into his new creation, without coming across as a copycat. As a trendsetter and reference-point for future Hindi film-making, we could not ask for a better model than ‘Devdas’. Every upcoming epic will have to answer to this one.

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