Tuesday, 14 June 2011


2011 by Bejoy Nambiar

I had watched Dileep Kumar's Devdas, in Doordarshan. So when I watched Bansali's Devdas I was disappointed. In fact the kind of promotion and reception it got had shocked me. Luckily, the brand who sponsors Cannes festival had just signed Aishwarya Rai then and hence they made Devdas an important movie in Cannes festival that year. Many people mistook it as a synonym of Indian movie, when it was only a poor Bollywood flick with high production values. The celebrity media in India raved all this as a success of Bollywood even without wondering why Devdas, after all, was screened in Cannes. Then came Dev D and I was not interested at all. But a friend who is as passionate about movies as I am, pushed me and I thought that was brilliant. I was stunned by the talent of Anurag Kashyap, the director. I , again a mistake, thought Shaitan was directed by Mr. Kashyap, for some strange reason and went. In few minutes realised, he is only a producer. In Tamil, when Shankar directs a movie, it is an out and out entertainer, but when he produces, all most all of them have turned out to be brilliant movies. In case of Mr. Kashyap it looks just opposite.

A small group of ultra rich spoiled youngsters ends up killing two bikers while having fun. The policeman who gets to them asks for a huge bribe to cover it up. The group's only choice is to kidnap one of them and find money. 

Almost all Indians looks up towards the west, just like most countries who were under colonial rule. The biggest achievement , for Bollywood, seems to be making movies that looks exactly like Hollywood. The result is there are fewer and fewer movies coming out of Bollywood which are genuinely Indian.

A good majority of Indians, even those of middle class from small towns might not understand the dialogues and actions of the young group in the early half of this movie. For the script seems to have taken up ideas from lots and lots of movies from abroad and created a plot line to begin with. To be frank, at this point the movie definitely looks different by Bollywood standards. My point that a good majority of Indians would wonder what is happening, still standing though.

But from the moment the kidnapping happens, it turns just ordinary and routine, a kind of kidnapping saga that has been explored by movie makers across the world, even from India. The only respite being the production values and the pace of the script.

The makers have created a traumatic past for one of the characters, who, by killing one of her mates gets out of her trauma. This trauma is picturised in a way to fool viewers into thinking that this is a classy production. Thats all. Also for a majority of Indians, the kind of life style and the actions by this spoiled youth group is something that most can't even dream about. So it might still look different, for some if they wish so. The way they have picturised some songs actually matches the pace of the movie that we may not even notice that a song has come and gone. But it is a real pity that this modern brand of movie makers, cant even make their own new songs and have to remix the old songs. I think there were two old songs remixed in this one.

Shaitan, might be promoted as a different movie by regular Bollywood goers, but it is only a slightly different average movie, which can only give a feeling of a wine made of grapes from prominent wine yards across the world. Those who know about wine will know, wine from mixed grapes are of poor quality.