Movie: Daas Dev
Director: Sudhir Mishra
Producer: Pritish Nandy
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Time and again, we have seen different interpretations in various retellings of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Devdas, an epic story of love that has had multiple shapes and forms in as films, television shows and what not. Adding to that list is Sudhir Mishra’s Daas Dev, which is a story that is an amalgamation of the classic novel and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet that is set in the Indian political scene.
The interesting premise of this film, Sudhir Mishra’s prowess of storytelling and its roster of brilliant actors was something that was keeping us excited, until the film unravelled itself in front of us, which turned out to be a presentation laced with glitchy screenplay and undercooked characters, which means that the promising artists who were roped in were grossly under-utilized.
But, we have to give it to Mishra here for keeping with the trend of writing relatively strong female characters, case in point Richa Chadha’s Paro, who, unlike in the original tale, eventually turns from a lover into an ambitious rival to Rahul Bhat’s Dev, a reluctant heir to a political dynasty that is played by the terrific Rahul Bhat. Admittedly, Bhat does not disappoint us thanks to his superlative acting chops, but an actor is perhaps, at the end of the day, only as good as what’s been given to him. Someone who has, very much to our shock, been left on the sidelines is the woman who ruled our hearts as Mehrunisa in Padmaavat, Aditi Rao Hydari. Hydari’s Chandni is an allegory of unrequited love and passion, which is a whole lot similar to how the original third-wheeler in Chattopadhyay’s saga, and perhaps with that as well, one could have explored so much more, which, we suspect, might have been left on the cutting floor.
But, overpowering all of them is Saurabh Shukla’s Avdhesh, whose character, if we didn’t know better, would have seemed to have a Raid hangover, and that is what we LOVE about the man as an actor!
Speaking of story, the film is also an underwhelming affair in terms of the love angle between Dev and Paro, which in our opinion was not written well enough to eventually get invested into them and their love-turned rivalry. Somewhere, you’d just want this superficial affair to end by a bomb exploding somewhere in a middle, but, much to our plight, the film goes on and on. However, an insight into the dynamics of dynasty politics was enlightening, but it may not be enough to consider watching how the story unravels.
To sum it all up, Daas Dev may have its ups and ecstatic moments, but they are very few of those and doesn’t really grip you in a way that the premise of this film is capable of.