‘The course of love never did run smooth,” said Shakespeare. Devdas is probably the most apt example of this theme. It is an adaptation of Sarath Chandra Chattopadhyay’s, 1917, novella also named Devdas, by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. As a personal favorite, I decided to go a step ahead and analyze this movie. It is an Indian Romantic Drama film .The director has primarily focused on the human emotions, and has not failed to exhibit the true passions and faiths of men and women. He has displayed the true philosophy of love being unconditional, regardless of distance, ignorance or disease. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has used no pompous descriptions of characters separately, but has given us the freedom to understand his characters, as in real life, from the whole course of the movie, or out of the mouths of friends and enemies.
Devdas is one movie that helps us study the various facets of society, culture and gender relationships during neocolonialist rule in India. The narrative constructs the prototypical male dominance in the society. From the beginning of the movie, we come across the various characters who display male supremacy over the other women – starting with Sir Narayan Mukherjee (Devdas’ father), Devdas, Bhuvan Chowdry (Paro’s husband)and Kali babu. Despite of powerful and suppressive men as these, the writer has not fallen short of portraying strongly opinionated women. The story encounters its essential twists and turns only because of the different outlooks that women display in the movie. The fact that Sumitra believes that Dev and Paro will get married, to Kaushalya believing otherwise; Paro’s opinion of Chandramukhi and vice-versa are all causes for major fallacies that result in the movie’s mighty tragedy.
As the movie is set in the 20th century of Calcutta, there is a lot of emphasis on class, status, power and money throughout the movie.
“Jab kuae ka paani hi kharab ho,toh ghade ka jaat kya dekhna Sumitra.”
“tumhari adaa mein riyaaz nahin,par khoon toh wahi hai -nautanki waala”
Though explicitly demonstrating these views,the poetic movement of this movie overshadows anything that may sound offensive in today’s age and time. The movie sends out brilliant messages that are apt for any age and time. Though it emphasizes on class differences, it also tells us why class differences are not worth it, as is evident in the following lines :
Sir Narayan Mukherjee-“humara kul unse kahi zyaada uncha hai
Devdas-“par khathe toh hum roti hi hai na…”
Sanjay Leela Bhansali beautifully paints the characters of this movie displaying their errors and the consequences they face for the same. Dev’s weakness leads to his isolation, Paro’s vanity leads to her current state and Chandramukhi’s life results in her desolation. The director has wonderfully associated his dramatis persona to various mythological characters. The eternal love of Devdas and Parvathy, are a representation of Lord Krishna and Radha’s eternal love. Chandramukhi’s selfless devotion is representative of Meera’s devotion. On the other hand, there seems to be a narrow link in Sumitra and Kaushalya’s names from the Ramayana depicting their illicit relationship with each other.
The motif of the movie is the color red, which is not only symbolic of vibrancy but also of the tragic end of the movie. It’s recurring nature reminds us of how the movie has chances of ending as a catastrophe Failing to mention the strength of the lyrics from each song, (which is another motif ) of this enchanting movie, would leave this analysis incomplete.
Overall, on a personal note, I would like to end this general analysis of Devdas saying that :
“Yu nazar se nazar ki baat ki, ki dil chura le gaye
hum to samjhe the budh, aap to dhadhkan suna gaye”