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DAAS DEV - This time Dev gets lost in an ambitious, political mess resulting in nothing. (Review By Bobby Sing)
28 Apr, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / D

Writer-director Sudhir Mishra returns after a gap of five years with his reverse or rather unusual adaptation of DEVDAS, which is surprisingly much less impactful (even if compared to his least appreciated film INKAAR), hitting you as a major disappointment. So though many might be able to find some hidden metaphors in the film making a conscious, personal effort, DAAS DEV simply remains a below average, messy affair, that can easily be rated as the weakest film from the director conceived with no specific vision or conclusion as such.
 
And I am saying this as a big fan of the creative genius, who has given us some of the most precious, unmissable gems of Hindi Cinema as YEH WOH MANZIL TO NAHIN, MAIN ZINDA HOON, DHARAVI, IS RAAT KI SUBAH NAHIN, HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI and to some extent KHOYA KHOYA CHAND and YEH SAALI ZINDAGI too, specifically informing the young viewers.
 
Mentioning its major flaw, DAAS DEV strangely begins in an utterly clumsy manner with conflicts in its first few scenes itself, that makes you feel as if you have started watching it mid-way or joined in late post some 15 minutes or so into the film. The too fast narrative never allows you to emotionally relate with the characters and therefore neither the love gets established nor the political rivalry between the groups, missing the most essential connect with the viewers. Moreover the confusing flow never gets back on track and the film keeps on going as a derailed speeding train with no stopping at all heading towards an unknown destination.
 
If truth be told, films like MAIN ZINDA HOON or HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI get effortlessly made, when one is very clear what he wishes to present on screen, without caring about any established reputation to cater fulfilling the expectations. But films like DAAS DEV get made when a director is in extreme pressure to deliver as one of the most visionary filmmakers of his times, from whom the people as well as the industry is expecting something extraordinary or unique like never before. And in that kind of over-burdened or over-ambitious state, one forcibly makes a film putting in more than required content, references, characters or elements in order to impress or satisfy one’s own esteemed image forgetting the end-user (the viewers).
 
For instance just consider how overstuffed is this film, interestingly called DAAS DEV – the reverse name/phrase of the famous DEV DAAS as mentioned below.
 
A. Mishra first finds his core base in Sarat Chandra’s famous (and repeatedly adapted) story/novel DEVDAS and its characters having the same names.
 
B. He then add the elements of William Shakespeare’s HAMLET (with some other Shakespearean references too) bringing in the lust for power and crime element in his cross-script.
 
C. Along these two, he mentions in the opening credits, that the story is also inspired from the real life instances of his grandfather, who happened to be the Chief Minister in his times with a big reputation. And with this insertion, he tries to present the Sarat Chandra’s sad tale of love as a fast moving political thriller with forcibly added references of elections, farmer’s agitations, land grabbing, dams and other rural issues.
 
D. Loading it with some heavy ammunition further, the director uses celebrated (philosophical) works of legendary poets in his songs (played in the backdrop) including Bulle Shah and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, that actually remain unable to contribute anything significant into the proceedings. Plus he continues displaying his fascination toward Mirza Ghalib too using one of his popular ghazals in a sequence (not included in the soundtrack).
 
E. Next, he also ropes in the rebel filmmaker Anurag Kashyap to play a key role in some scenes, just to bring in the face, adding a certain ‘social networking value’ into the film (again not making any decisive contribution at all).
 
F. The clear shadow of his masterpiece HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI can easily be seen throughout in the chosen locations, the havelis, the mehfils and particularly the finale shot of the film, like giving a humble tribute.
 
G. And lastly Mishra makes his DASS DEV unexpectedly following the typical Ram Gopal Varma format of a gangwar film, adding too many characters into the script (dying one by one), using unusual camera angles, close-ups and constantly rotating (or weirdly moving) handheld shots that start annoying after a while, especially in the second half.
 
Expressing it honestly, I couldn’t find the Sudhir Mishra - I was looking for in DAAS DEV, the man who came with such inspiring works with deep insights of life and people. The man who could get such timeless melodies in his film IS RAAT KI SUBAH NAHIN and the creator, who looked and sounded so inspiring in the documentary BAAWRA MANN.
 
As a result, could frankly find only two worth mentioning features in the film giving you the actual picture. One - a spirited performance of Vipin Sharma along Saurabh Shukla, Richa Chadha and Aditi Rao. And two - the Bulle Shah track ‘Kutte, Tain Taun Uttey’ well composed and sung in a qawwali style, that actually could have lifted the film if used at the right time, in the right sequences (more than once) creating a magical impact.
 
So whether you watch DAAS DEV or not is a matter of your individual choice, but if possible do essentially watch the documentary titled BAAWRA MANN to know the real creative personality behind the writer-director we know by the name of Sudhir Mishra

Rating : 1.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5. just for the Bulle Shah track ‘Kutte, Tain Taun Uttey’) 

(Note : The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in April 2018)


Tags : DAAS DEV Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing
28 Apr 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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