In this weekly column, we revisit gems from the golden many years of Hindi cinema. This week, we revisit Bimal Roy’s 1955 film Devdas.
For generations, we have often heard the phrase ‘love trumps everything’ but when it comes to tragic love stories, it is usually delight that ruins almost everything. And it is this satisfaction that is the central conflict of Bimal Roy’s 1955 film Devdas starring Dilip Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Vyjayanthimala.
A massive part of the current technology associates Devdas with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s mega epic that starred Shah Rukh Khan in the titular purpose but for any person who came just before that, this was the role that catapulted famous actor Dilip Kumar into superstar position. This was the film that earned him the title of ‘Tragedy King’ and observing his interpretation of the character is so coronary heart-wrenching that one particular cannot help but tear up.
Established in the pre-independence period in Bengal, Roy’s movie opens with Devdas and Parvati’s childhood. He is the spoiled brat of the loaded zamindar relatives and she is the innocent girl who follows him like his protector. His keep around her is so overpowering that he does not hesitate in hitting her, just because she would not observe his directions. Parvati, far too, does not let him wander all over her and is familiar with how to amount the taking part in industry, even when it is for trivial matters. They are inseparable and have the variety of love for every single other that does not seriously need words and phrases to categorical alone. So, when Devdas employs severe phrases to discredit Paro’s thoughts, it cuts deep, and this wound destroys their connection for good.
Looking at the film these days, their enjoy feels poisonous. It does not allow for them to mature in existence and even the existence of its mere memory is adequate to decay their souls. Devdas’ alcoholism, which has since been romanticised, arrives into impact as he goes down into the whirlpool of despair. His loneliness, after he leaves his relatives and discards Paro, can make him numb and he retains on to that sensation of numbness by indulging in perpetual drinking. Late actor Dilip Kumar was troubled by the assumed that Devdas could possibly misdirect the youth into using up liquor if they at any time failed in like. In his autobiography, Dilip Kumar: The Compound and the Shadow, he wrote, “I will not go into particulars but it troubled me at first to experiment with the rendering of a character who carried a heavy measure of discomfort and despondency less than the pores and skin and could mislead the much more vulnerable youth to believe that alcoholism made available the ideal escape from the suffering of shedding in appreciate.”
Dilip Kumar normally takes that suffering of misplaced like and pours it out as he opens up about his tragic lifetime to Vyjayanthimala’s Chandramukhi, who falls in like with him as shortly as she meets him but does not hope something in return. In a significant scene in the movie, Devdas tells the courtesan Chandramukhi that a woman’s coronary heart is extremely restless, she can hardly ever make up her mind, which in flip deeply displays on the fickle-mindedness of his possess character. When Chandramukhi says that men like to announce their enjoy from the rooftops, but really do not seriously know how to appreciate a female, Devdas does not get it. Chandramukhi says that even if a person has wrecked his individual really like story, he will stop up cursing the lady for breaking his heart. Though the generalisations of gender-associated stereotypes are very outdated, these discussions perform inside the confines of this tale. They also operate because of the impeccable hold that Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala have on their people as they recite those people dialogues that echo in your head for days. The film’s dialogues by Rajinder Singh Bedi have reached cult status about the years.
Parvati, performed by Suchitra Sen, enjoys Devdas immensely and unlike the ladies of those people situations, she is not scared of society to claim her appreciate. She puts herself out there and expects identical courage from Devdas, who turns out to be a coward in adore. When he pushes her absent, Parvati’s pride takes precedence and she decides to go on but her adore for Devdas runs deep. Sen is exemplary in the scene when she tells off Devdas close to the river financial institution following he has toyed more than enough with her inner thoughts.
Devdas is dependent on Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel but the film was adapted for the screen by Nabendhu Ghosh. In quite a few old interviews, Ghosh experienced shared that the film’s staff preferred Meena Kumari as Paro and Nargis as Chandramukhi but immediately after quite a few casting modifications, they landed on Sen and Vyjayanthimala for the two roles. Sen was a renowned Bengali actor at the time and this marked her Hindi film debut.
Bimal Roy’s Devdas focuses on the three most important figures of the story. Their conflicts, their like and their tragedy is all a final result of their own steps, which offers them the ownership of their tale, not like the Bhansali version where a ton of conflicts had been launched by using secondary figures. Roy allows his people to get centre stage and travel the narrative which receives heavier by the minute. Their long conversations about heartbreak, appreciate and life drive the viewers into a environment the place they can foresee Devdas’ tragic close, but are nevertheless unprepared for it when it takes place.
Around the years, Devdas has been re-imagined on a variety of events by a lot of filmmakers and whilst every single maker has their own spin on the tale, Roy’s edition shines since of its dialogues and overall performance by Dilip Kumar. It is the timeless excellent of Chattopadhyay’s story that has held Devdas suitable even in 2021 and whilst the protagonist below is not a hero in any way, he is even now a cautionary tale for jolted lovers.
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Devdas is streaming on Prime Movie and ShemarooMe.