21 June, 2021

Addicted To Melancholia, And All Its Glory

In awe of the self-destructive, tragic lover, Hindi cinema continues to reimagine Devdas, as if for each generation

Prism Inversions
Rahul Bhat as Daas Dev
Addicted To Melancholia, And All Its Glory

Unable to bear with the pangs of separation from his childhood sweetheart, an unabashed loser in love—nostalgic and alcoholic—charts his own course for self-destruction. It may sound like anything but a refreshing plot, told and retold ad nauseam on the screen since the outset of the film industry, but filmmakers never seem to tire out—while some prefer a puritanical retelling, others make it their own.

If the number of movies made in Hindi and other languages on this theme is ­anything to go by, Devdas appears to be one timeless classic. It has inspired successive generations of film-makers, right from the silent era to digital times. More than a century has elapsed since Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1917 classic took the literary world by storm and yet, the ultimate saga of love and sacrifice continues to tempt filmmakers. The latest to fall back upon the eternal ­appeal of this old world romance is director Sudhir Mishra, who has made Hazaaron Khwa­ishein Aisi (2005) and a few other contemporary...

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