The Daring D
Sarat Babu’s ultimate tragedy has inspired a number of filmmakers to try their hands out on this epic. A number of variants (keeping the basic idea), including Prakash Mehra’s hugely successful “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar” have also been attempted in the past. Here is another modern-day take on the epic. Unfortunately this one has caused shelving of the in-making “Aur Devdas” by Sudhir Mishra…
Devender Singh Dhillon a.k.a Dev (Abhay) is a spoilt brat, whose father sends him to London for higher education. His childhood friend, daughter of his father’s manager, Parminder a.k.a. Paro (Mahie Gill) stays back and waits for him to return. All the while they are connected over net. He returns after years and their bond flourishes. Paro is as aggressive as Dev, and at occasions taught lessons to the “dil-phenk-aashiqs” in the neighborhood. One such failed candidate blabbers something notorious about Paro and Dev overhears. The “kaan-ka-kachcha” Dev believes in that and starts doubting Paro’s intentions. The relationship starts going defunct, and Paro finally gives in to marry a well to do widower, the choice of her parents. Once Dev finds out the truth on her engagement day, he is devastated, and rather than stopping her marriage, he moves on a self-ruin spree of drugs, wine and women, relocating to shoddy places of Delhi.
Entering his life is a high class multi-lingual escort Chanda (Kalki) managed by Chunni (Dibyendu Bhattacharya). Chanda was Lenny, daughter of a tycoon, doing her education in a convent school. She gets lured by her boyfriend Taran Yadav (name suspiciously similar sounding to a known reviewer), who shoots her raunchy sequence on mobile and gets it broadcasted over net. Her life gets ruined and she is sent far away. Later her father succumbs to the humiliation and ends his life. Lenny gets fed up of the constraints and finally goes with Chunni to remain a distinction holder student in posh college during daytime and turn escort in the later hours. Dev meets Chanda. After sometime they start bonding together. But past memories about Paro, pre-conceived notions about Chanda start disturbing Dev again. How he comes to terms with Paro and his makeover by Chanda is the rest of the story…
Anurag Kashyap is always daring to be different. This time he has put his hands on a tried and tested plotline. He has successfully extrapolated the characters and the reasoning to the modern day youth behavior and moral values. The narration and dialogues are quite bold and the explicit lines are suitably translated in English or in Hindi depending on their relative meanings. He has also explored alternate possibilities in the relationships of the characters – Nobody in Dev and Paro’s family were against their marriage hence Dev was solely to blame for the split, Dev is a rebel and self destructor hence does not evoke sympathy, Dev’s father keeps helping him in all ways he can till he is alive, Chanda being a college going teenager, Paro and Chanda both are strong willed and practical and have equal affection towards Dev, and eventually the positive note on which the story is twisted.
Performances: A very apt casting. Abhay does full justice to his role and has made his position rock solid in bollywood with just seven films done till now. Mahie Gill is a treat to watch, for her natural performance and screen-stealing personality. Kalki fits to the T as the disturbed teenager who is powerful enough to handle variety of clients as well as giving strong support to Dev. Dibyendu Bhattacharya is hilarious.
Music: Amit Trivedi’s soundtrack is experimental and has amazing effects. More than a dozen songs have been used in the film, mostly all in the background, and each one of them behaves like a stepping stone for the story.