Wednesday, March 18, 2009


“Dev. Are you on the line?”
“Got those swollen hand blues.
I've got nicotine stains on my fingers.
I've got a silver spoon on a chain.”
Dev. Dev D. Pink. Pink Floyd. They both have got wild staring eyes. And a strong urge to fly. But nowhere to fly to.

The son of a rich businessman. Just returned from London. His childhood love. Paro. He still loves her. Lusts for her. Craves to see her naked. Make love to her. Paro. She is amorous too. She wants a place where they can make love to each other. She makes the cardinal mistake of letting an outsider know what she’s game for. Asks him to find her a place, where she can take Dev.

Dev is told that she is “highly experienced”. The chauvinist in him decides she is a “slut”. She is insulted. Humiliated. Made to feel ashamed over trivial issues. “…Apni aukat toh dikh saale…!!!” And asked to leave…

Paro, her self-esteem bruised, decides she’ll marry the person her parents have chosen for her. In the wedding ceremony, Dev comes to know that whatever he has been told about Paro earlier, was a farce! In front of his eyes, he sees Paro getting married. But not even for once, he comes and asks for her hand… or tries to make amends. Why? Because his ego seemed to matter more to him than his love. And for that, he suffers for the rest of his life…!

Vodka. Cigarettes. Drugs. In his hotel room in Delhi, Dev is all but alone. A portrait. Paro and Dev in their childhood.

Pink is all but alone too in his hotel room. The continued strife between his ordinary self and his extra-ordinary self.
“I've got thirteen channels of shit on the T.V. to choose from.
I've got electric light.
And I've got second sight.
I've got amazing powers of observation.”
All his life, Pink had dreamt, and lived, the life of a superstar. Tremendous wealth. ‘nd fame. While neglecting the only things in life that could have kept him grounded in the real world …family, love, et al…! And so, where he’s found in ‘Nobody Home’ is a hotel room, that allows him to occupy it just for that night…and maybe for the next day too…and the next night. He can stay on as long as he wishes to. He has the capability. But he doesn’t wish to. He craves for a home. But his home just doesn’t exist. His wife had left long ago. There’s nobody to even pick up the phone.
“When I try to get through
on the telephone to you,
There will be nobody home”
“Ooooh, Babe when I pick up the phone
There's still nobody home”
There’s an undeniable similarity in the way the story of Dev and Pink unfurls. In Dev D. ‘nd in Nobody Home.

I have been awestruck with the way Dev D is made.

The camerawork. The lights that lit up Dev’s face. The chrome-yellow. The various shades of blue. The swirling images of Dev as he drinks and just keeps drinking… and empties one glass of liquor after another… and tries to lose consciousness of the world around him. (That scene reminded me of the disco scene from Babel.) That of Dev against the sky-blue of the sky! The cameraman did an excellent job with the other actors and scenes as well. But with Dev, I felt, he went that extra mile to ensure tremendous success for the movie! The screenplay, the way the scenes came after each another, sometimes moving forward in time and then rewinding to put a past frame into its present context, is commendable too! And the acting besides, the soundtrack of the movie is the best asset. The way it compliments the story-line… the beats…the same track modified aptly to suit different portions of the movie… the unconventional lyrics…Truly, it’s anything but ‘Emotional Atyachar’. :-)

Dev is made to believe that the only person he can ever love is, himself. That is why, he can never accept defeat in love. He can never put someone beyond himself. His ego. His self-possessiveness. And that is why, he perhaps could never love somebody truly. Though he said he loved Paro, Paro made him realize that ‘love’ doesn’t embody only ‘lust’ in it…that ‘responsibility’ is also something that matters, and perhaps the ‘willingness to take responsibility of the other person’ is what matters most! And that is exactly what Dev is trying to shirk away from… and that is exactly where he falls short of making his love worthwhile! He was made to realize that it actually hurts him to think of Paro making love to another man and not him, and nothing besides!

Dev realized that to take life “just like that” had become his way of life long ago! To get angry just like that. And to let out that anger in his archetypal manner (It even meant smashing someone’s head with a glass). To get frustrated over frugal affairs. And to let out that frustration by “getting on a high”. Thums Up and vodka. More than a necessity to overcome depression, it had become his fashion to seek refuge in drugs! In prostitutes! In the dirtiness of his room! In his rash-driving! No wonder Dev symbolizes a large fraction of today’s youth. Those who believe that they are not spoilt, just because they have that “very small fraction of honesty” in some corner of their hearts and “true genuine love” in another, but in reality go ahead to maul innocent children, deep in slumber on the city pavements, with one reckless spree of rash-driving on a brand new BMW or a Honda City!

But however much you try to make these persons see reality in ‘what reality actually is’…. the more they try and avoid you!

“…you on the line?? …listening to what I am saying?”

“Stop that psychological crap!”

“Err…you mind going out together? Would you like me to join you? Just for company?!”

“Just for vodka shots. Else you needn’t come! Bye.”


adrija said...

i liked dev d too...
hats off to the cinematography...nd ofcoz anurag kashyap.
but...y did u miss out on chanda..?

Expectations Be..nd said...

Thankoo...! :)
i really didn't do a critique of Dev D here re...
Strongly felt that Dev from Dev D and Pink from Pink Floyd's Nobody Home converges somewhere... they just have to...
and then asked myself a question as to "Do i not see persons like Dev around me everyday..?" If yes, then how do they come across to me..??!

And you are true! Dev D is a movie which truly mesmerized me..! For reasons more than one...maybe even ten..! :p

The Dark Side Of The Moon said...

Queer eye!
God bless!

Expectations Be..nd said...

It feels so nice that you have commented.
Thank You. :-)

Pratyush said...

A comment you have again.
For, the piece truly is deserving!
Yup, uncanny similarities between Dev & Floyd, as you have put it. However, it even goes beyond. Nirvana, and his punk ilk. (They made great music, of course!)

But, the common thread of restlessness and turbulence inside. Its often said: "The loudest one in the room is usually the weakest!"

So would you find people around you. People who want to boss around, be aggressive etcetera: Dig a little bit deeper, and one can see a bruised, scared child!

Best Luck for your future musing and subsequent writings!

Expectations Be..nd said...

@ Pratyush da!
Thank you brother! Thanks for your wishes! :)

Expectations Be..nd said...

Dev shows a lot of that proverbial "attitude" rather than aggression in Dev D.
..and there is a distinction between the two!
Rather, you can say that his attitude is more guided by arrogance than aggression!!

whatever! excellent character! wonderful acting! awesome direction!

when the experience of seeing that movie is so good, a good writing on it is just a matter of a bit of patience, and worthy reflections on what it's all about. :)