The D in the title may as well stand for decadent (decadence wouldn’t go with Dev). Coz that is what the protagonist ends up as and that is what that drives the whole movie. Was it Emosanal Atyachar? No! More like Emosanal Hahakaar! Yes its the same old ghisa pita triangle of Love, Lust and Ego (you thought I’d say Devdas, Paro and Chandramukhi didn’t you?) but it is so refreshingly and so brashly presented before you that one can’t help feeling applausive of it.
The first few scenes itself set the tone for title character Dev’s (Abhay Deol) truant and brash nature as first as a kid he calls his parents by their names and then later on in London so uncoquettishly asks for a nude pic of Paro. His sweetheart Paro (Mahie Gill) is all that a typical Bollywood heroine isn’t – brash (I’m gonna use that word a lot, I fear!), in-your-face and craves for Dev and his love as much as we crave for good cinema! Alas, jealousy begets egoistical clashes between them and causes them to drift apart and whilst Paro chooses matrimony, Dev slips into a dungeon of depression, drugs, daru and decadence (the 5D world, I call it!). Enter Chanda (Kalki Koechlin), a sleazy-MMS-scarred Indo-Canadian kudi who’s driven into being an escort by night while pursuing college by day. As in the original, Chunnilal (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) is the guy who brings Dev to Chanda but here, he’s also her pimp! Unable to forget Paro and starting to like Chanda, Dev slips deeper and deeper into the dungeon and loses everything…almost everything. Some steamed momos are culpable of bringing about a sorta happy ending.
I’ve given out nothing that is already not known and yes, the story is also nothing new but Anurag Kashyap’s narrative style bring about a refreshing newness to it. He has used the character of Chunnilal better than in any other version and the non-linear editing also adds to the experience. There’s no coming together of Chanda and Paro and though that mayn’t have made any difference, it makes one feel that Paro is forgotten, maybe something the director wanted to convey. If the direction deserves top marks, the acting does more. Both the newcomer leading ladies do a swell job and Abhay Deol is too good as the brash and decadent Dev. He has a credit for ‘concept’ and kudos to him for not only thinking it up but also portraying it well. And what to say about the music? Its a best-seller already (it is, right?). I think the makers have managed to fit in all the 14 songs in the narrative and that, IMHO, is one of the few drawbacks of the movie.
The first half is pretty engrossing as well as entertaining….there was no feeling of undergoing emosanal atyachar or anything like that but the second half did make me feel a wee bit of audio-visual atyachar. Too much of random psychedelic lightings, close-ups, dizzy camera angles and background songs. Of course, they blend well into the narrative but cramping up 5-6 songs within a timespan of 20 odd minutes is stretching it a bit too far. One of the more popular reviewers said that the movie will either dazzle or drain viewers but I’ll respectfully steer clear of both and would say that I was impressed by it, favourably enough.