Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the novel Devdas (or, Debdas) when he was only 24 years old. What Romeo means for the British, Debdas means for Bengali. Devdas was a son of village landlord. Since childhood his best friend was Parbati, whom he used to call Paro. Children friendship transforms into love as they grew older. But Debdas was not lucky enough, as his parents denied to accept Parbati as their daughter in law. Parvati being rejected and insulted got married with Bhuban Mihan Chowdhury. Hurt and repented Devdas started drinking very hard. His friend Chunilal introduced him with a court dancer Chandramukhi. Although Devdas hated Chandramukhi when they met but she started loving Devdas. But her love could not change Devdas and his habit of drinking. Devdas started falling ill again and again and ultimately outside Parvatis in laws house.
Though Sarat Chandra himself didnt like this tragic ending of Devdass life but still he didnt change the ending. As a result this tragedy made Devdas a tragic hero in the eyes of the readers.
still from Debdas(1935)
This popular novel was picturized four times in the history of Bengali cinema. For the first time, in the silent era, in 1928, Devdas was picturized as a movie, under the direction of Naresh Mitra. Actor like Phani Burma, Naresh Mitra, Mani Ghosh, Tinkari Chakraborty, Tarakbala, Niharbala, Rama Devi and others acted in this film. In 1935, for the second time another Debdas was made on the same story, this time the director was Pramathesh Barua. In this film the main Character Devdas was played by Pramathesh Barua himself. After that again in 1979 another Debdas was made under the direction of Dilip Roy. Famous actor Soumitra Chatterjee played the main character of Devdas. The Characters of Parvati and Chandramukhi were played by Sumitra Mukhopadhyay and Supriya Debi. Devdass friend Chunilal was played by Uttam Kumar, the legendary superstar of Tollywood.
Arpita Pal - Prasenjit
After a long interval Devdas came in a new form to its viewers, in 2002 under the direction of Shakti Samanta. This time the character of Devdas was played the role of Prasenjit, His real life wife Arpita Pal played the role Parvati, Indrani Halder played Chandramukhi and the Chunilal was played by Tapas Pal. The tragic tale of lost love and pangs of separation & bereavement would continue to dominate the realm of Bengali cinema in new avatars and smart presentations. We are still looking forwards to a new age Devdas movie, with fresh faces in the industry. The brooding theme of passion and pathos, we believe, will retain its charm & exuberance even for years to come.