Monday, November 07, 2005

Devdas

I've always thought of myself as a romantic. You know the saying "scratch the surface of a cynic, and you'll find a romantic"? That's me - or so I had always thought, until I watched this movie. I nearly turned the whole damn thing off after our "hero" whispers something about how the lamp that the heroine had kept burning for 10 (ten!!) years...he too had burned in that lamp. First of all, it doesn't make any damn sense (might be the translation, to be fair), and second...bitch, please!

I finally got the hang of watching a 3 hour Hindi movie - watch it in fast forward! I soon found that if I watched it at 1.5 to 2X, it was all good. Enough time to read the subtitles, and no more being annoyed by the "dramatic pauses."

But I decided that my "romantic side" may truly have died/never existed when my response to the movie was this: SUCK IT UP! [spoiler alert - if you care] When your childhood (and I do mean childhood - since you've been gone for 10 years) sweetheart ends up marrying someone else because you are a gutless wonder, get on with your damn life! Do not turn to drink (with an emphasis on whine) - it's such a freakin' cliche. In short, Devdas - you're a sniveling little shit.

And.....scene.

12 comments:

one of 'em lurkers said...

"I finally got the hang of watching a 3 hour Hindi movie - watch it in fast forward! I soon found that if I watched it at 1.5 to 2X, it was all good."

Dude, That is totally what I do.
You rock, BTW

badmash said...

Hahaha! What a horrible film that was - couldn't believe all of the hype surrounding it. Also, hard to imagine that the same director came out with Black... which btw is my reccomendation for your next Bollywood fillum.

brimful said...

This post perfectly encapsulates why I do and shall forever on lurve you.

maisnon said...

Man...maybe I should "vet" my Bollywood Netflix queue on my blog to avoid more stinkers.

Any comments on any of the following?

Sholay
Dil Chahta Hai
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Swades
Dil Se
Satya
Zakhm
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
Raincoat

badmash - I've added "Black."

I also just added Chemmeen - a Malayalam movie! My dad is forever telling me that my grandfather is from the exact spot where they filmed it - not the greatest frame of reference! Maybe I can watch it with my parents over Thanksgiving.

[Synopsis by Netflix: Hindu and Muslim traditions clash in this story of love and family. When a Hindu woman (Sheela), the eldest daughter of the fisherman Chambakunju (Kottarakkara Sridharan Nair), falls in love with a Muslim trader (Madhu), the law forbids their relationship because the woman is already promised to a fisherman (Sathyan). When her betrothed goes out to sea, the Hindu woman sees her true love. Who will she choose? ]

brimful said...

Sholay rocks, seriously. We have to find some neutral ground to watch that together, it is so rocktastic.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai made me want to scratch my eyes out, but I know others who have loved it. It's not Devdas- suckitup-ish.

Swades is cheesy, but it's all about the positivity for the motherland. There's nothing (much) in it that will make you want to strangle SRK.

Dil Chahta Hai annoys me a lot, but it does veer off the normal Bollywood course for a bit.

That's all I got. ;)

Rani said...

IMHO, most indian movies have that overt air of predictability in every scene, that unless there is "something else there" (SET) for the viewer (every person has there own tastes)...its not worth it...

Devdas --> it had some beautiful clothes...that's about it ...not enough in my SET

Of the movies you've listed...i'd agree that Sholay rocks...i also liked Dil Chahta Hai (though i know why it NOW seems trite to some)...

KKHH & KKKG are pretty much the same movie (almost)....can't say its great ...but can be a guilty pleasure (b/c despite all the faults, it still somehow 'works' for me)

as a mallu, i have to recommend Chemmeen...a truly poetic love story (and damn Madhu was a cutie in his day :-)

do not see Black, if you've seen/read The Miracle Worker (pretty much an exact rip-off)....not really a spoiler here, since if you know the story, seeing Black is the spoiler in itself...

again all is IMHO

badmash said...

Sholay - A classic and a must see. I don't think they've made a film like that in Bwood since!

QSQT - I love anything with Aamir Khan in it. Try "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar" as well.

KKHH - like everything else Karan Johar has every produced, pure unadulterated bubblegum trash!

Satya - surprisingly violent. I'd reccomend Ram Gopal Varma's "Company" as a better mob-film.

Dil Se is a personal favourite. Great soundtrack and stunning camera work by Santosh Sivan. A "different" storyline.

Rani - I agree, Chemmeen it's a classic; and the songs still make grown men cry.

Black - Still I think you might like seeing a recent Bollyfillum in which there is some quality acting/direction.

DCH and Swades - definitely worth a watch.

Anu said...

Devdas- Black & white devdas is better than the new version. I still don't like the movie

Sholay - It's classic and really good. You have to watch it.

Dil Chahta Hai – About 3 guy friends having a good time. I think it’s funny and good.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai - I hate that movie. It's annoying and stupid. Don’t watch it. This is 100 times worse than devdas.

Satya - I liked it. It's an underground mafia movie. Don't expect it to be like "The Godfather". If you are going to watch this movie, then I would add "Company" to your movie list.

Zakhm - I love this movie. It's about hindu and muslim 1993 communal riots.

Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak - It's an old classic, it's like any other love story in bollywood.

Raincoat - Very slow movie but I liked it. Warning: You might be depressed for days.

Some movies that i would recommend watching, most of these are independent movie that have won film festival awards.

1947-Earth – Partition movie. It reminded me of the book “Train to Pakistan” by Khushant Singh.

Kannathil Muthammital -I don't know Tamil but I love this movie. Any movie by Mani Ratnam is worth watching. It's mainly about a mother and daughter relationship and Sri Lanka civl war. Cinematography is amazing in this movie.


Mr and Mrs. Iyer - A guy looks after a married women while they are going on a long trip to Calcutta. It’s slow but it’s good. I liked it.


Bombay Boys - 3 friends trying to find their identity in Bombay. It pokes fun of India and bollywood. I thought it was funny.

Split Wide Open - Child Prostitution in Bombay

Bawandar (Sandstorm) – I don't have the stomach to watch this movie again. However, all the images are stuck in my head. It's based on a real life story of Bhanwari Devi. A rural women who stood up against the abuse of all the village men.

Chandni Bar – It’s a real long and depressing movie. It’s about beer girls working in Bombay bars.

Some Indian old classic movie that i can watch over and over again:

Izazzat - It's about relationship, friendship, and marriage. I don't want to tell you too much but it's good.

Zanzeer - Amitabha Bacchan classic movie Angry man revolting against the system.

Abhimaan – Jealousy and pride of a man.

Kora Kagaz - How little things can destory a marriage.

My list can go on. So I better shut up now.

oodles said...

I also recommend Earth. Good movie about the partition.
What about Veer-Zaara?

brimful said...

For unadulterated cheesetastic over-the-top laugh-out-loud SRK antics, I would also go for Main Hoon Na.

ads said...

I totally agree regarding the love triangle in Devdas. It's never clear why the hell one woman, let alone two, would be pining over that drunken assclown. But I also agree with what Rani said about Bollywood movies needing to have SET. Devdas didn't really make the cut for me, but there were some SET elements that I enjoyed:
1. The bitchtastic sister-in-law
2. The Dola Re Dola number
3. The whorehouse (That place was awesome; I could see why Devdas would want to spend every waking hour there.)
4. The part where Devdas starts randomly yelling, "I object! I object!" (I think this scene undermined any pretensions toward seriousness that the movie might have had, but I still liked it, in that cringe-inducing sort of way.)
I think that's about it.

I didn't like KKHH or K3G either, but I thought they had some fun dance numbers and a lot of fodder for mockery. Kal Ho Naa Ho is equally formulaic and mockable, but I did get sucked in by the Saif-Preity relationship, which I thought was incrementally more realistic than most of the "flirtatious" relationships depicted in Bollywood. On the one hand, I'm fully aware that the movie is trite, formulaic, and manipulative, but on the other hand, I find it impossible to resist a song entitled, "It's the Time to Disco."

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with Bollywood movies. The same elements of over-the-top cheesiness and amateurishness that make some of them a lot of fun to watch also tend to undermine the movies that aspire to something greater. So then you end up with weird hybrids like Devdas that are beautifully shot in parts and have the bones of a great story, but are ruined by their reliance on formula, cliche, and cheap spectacle instead of attempting to explore genuine human relationships. In the same way, Karan Johar's movies tend to get so caught up in bubblegum, fancy outfits, and over-the-top set pieces that the moments of real emotion get lost. I've yet to see a recent movie that really nails that balance.

Sorry if I went overboard with the commenting!

Sushant Bhatia said...

Guess what! They are playing "Mother India" an indian film from 1957 starring Nargis and Sunil Dutt. Its on TCM (channel 42) right now...its just started in case you want to check it out since your all into the indian movies of late. :-)