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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Devdas


Oustanding movie with one of the most incredible beautiful cinematography I have seen in the screen and the most colorful and beautiful dance numbers, especially the last one where Paro and Chandramukhi dance together.

Beautiful Aish plays Parvati or Paro her nickname and in this movie she is the most beautiful woman in the world (as she is called) with many dramatic scenes that spectacularly show close-ups of her big eyes. Yes, here she’s shown as an object of beauty, but it is such a pleasure to see her in those scenes where she wears the most beautiful and colorful wardrobes. As trivia was fun to learn that one of the sari’s she wears was made out from pieces of 600 saris bought in Calcutta.

This is a very colorful movie with red, orange and yellow predominating, but also you will see green and blue sprinkled allover the movie. I just love how Bollywood movies use color to produce dramatic effects and complement the story they are telling at a specific moment.

The movie tells the story of Devdas Mukherjee played by Shahrukh Khan (my first two Bollywood movies were with him and never imagined I’ll be able to see Aish and Khan together in a movie… that’s how little I still know about Bollywood!). He comes back to India after 10 years in London and the first thing he does is go to see his childhood sweetheart Paro. His mother feels betrayed and his sister-in-law takes advantage of the situation to plot against the whole family, as she wants to be able to keep the large fortune to herself.

The sister-in-law manipulates Devda’s mother into splitting Devdas and Paro love and in the most lyrical dramatic way they shame Paro’s mother, who decides to marry Paro to an even richer and aristocratic family. Paro and Devda love each other but pride, family and revenge separates them forever, but their love for each other never stops. Paro marry an aristocrat, Devdas life is turn into hell and from there on he falls and falls into a dark alcoholic life.

Okay, the story is too much melodrama for me and at moments it seem like a soap opera; but, is a very old (1917) and traditional tale in India (considered as the local Romeo and Juliet), with a black and white version in 1955, that some viewers consider superior to this one, but it also has other versions.

Still, this is an outstanding movie with many technical aspects quite magnificent, like the set for the brothel, which inspire me to call it the “brothel of light” as is so unbelievable stunning that will marvel your eyes. Then the final scene is so dramatic because of the story, but is filmed in such a fantastic way with Aish barefoot slow motion running, her clothes waiving in the air and Devdas lying in a bed of red leaves with mostly red colored trees and surroundings, you have to see it, I believe that is one of the most stunning dramatic endings in a movie due to the use of the camera, the sets, the colors and well, the story.

This movie is the winner of 43 awards (wow!) and had 7 nominations; this means that most of the nominations became a win!! Incredible! One of the nominations was for a 2003 BAFTA as Best Film not in English Language and was an official selection at the 2002 Cannes Festival. Aishwarya Rai won the Popular Award for an Actress in a Leading Role at the 2003 International Indian Film Academy, the Best Actress at 2003 Filmfare Awards, Best Actress at 2003 Screen Weekly Awards, and Best Actress at 2003 Zee Cine Awards. She deserved all these awards and more…

As only happens in Bollywood, this movie besides winning so many awards was a blockbuster in the Bollywood circuit making an incredible amount of money!

I feel that this is a Bollywood movie that could appeal to western audiences because of the universal story, especially women that love to watch lyrical love stories. But as always, I have to mention that this is a true Bollywood movie with songs and dances that will suddenly happen and long scenes with dramatic content –mainly Khan character- that are way to long for western standards.

Still, this magnificent movie is a must watch for Aish fans (like me) and for the most incredible cinematography.

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