Director: Anurag Kashyap Starring: Abhay Deol, Mahie Gill, Kalki Koechlin Run time: 144 mins | Recommended Certificate: 18 Language: Hindi | Year: 2009 | Country: India
From Anurag Kashyap, who’s at the vanguard of cutting edge Indian directors, comes this brilliant, luxuriantly visual contemporary re-telling of the classic story of Devdas. Teenage Dev is forced to leave his childhood sweetheart, Paro, behind when he is sent abroad. He struggles through his studies and years later returns home to India where his family hopes he will marry Paro. However, Dev’s promiscuity sees him lose her. He realises too late that he truly loves her and becomes tortured by regret, hurtling into a downward spiral of drugs and alcohol, with his only solace coming from Chanda, a prostitute with traumas of her own. Inevitably, Dev falls foul of the law and redemption proves elusive. The film’s path-breaking narrative struc-ture and rousing musical score capture the zeitgeist and underbelly of modern India, with Deol’s laconic portrayal of Dev instantly establishing him as the poster boy of alternate cinema from the subcontinent.