Devdas (I) (2002)

  |  Drama, Musical, Romance


Devdas (2002) Poster

After his wealthy family prohibits him from marrying the woman he is in love with, Devdas Mukherjee's life spirals further and further out of control as he takes up alcohol and a life of vice to numb the pain.


7.6/10
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  • Devdas (2002)
  • Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Devdas (2002)
  • Shah Rukh Khan in Devdas (2002)
  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Devdas (2002)
  • Shah Rukh Khan in Devdas (2002)
  • Madhuri Dixit in Devdas (2002)

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9 August 2004 | ginger_sonny
A Bittersweet Classic
Gloriously excessive Bollywood epic starring former Miss World Aishwarya Rai. Set in the 30s and sumptuously shot, it follows a lovelorn suitor's slide into alcoholism and despair

Bhansali's film boasts the biggest budget for an Indian film ever and boy, does it show. An extravagant tale of love, loss and serious drinking, it operates on a scale previously unseen in Bollywood.

Essentially a tragic love triangle, the story follows tortured Devdas (Khan) as he mucks things up with childhood sweetheart Paro (Rai), meets courtesan Chandramukhi (Dixit) and then drinks himself to death. A spirited anti-hero, in India his name his synonymous with a sort of heroic failure.

Everything about the film - costumes, sets, songs and sentiments - is larger than life and the sheer spectacle demands respect. The musical numbers cast Devdas and Paro as the mythical lovers Krishna and Radha. Cheeky, sexy and dizzyingly complex, the dancers display astonishing energy and precision, whole sequences shot from above to resemble the shifting patterns of a kaleidoscope.

Certainly there are moments of daftness. A half-cut Devdas resolves a financial dispute by setting fire to a sofa, for example, and nobody tries to stop him. But there's also humour, style and a conclusion that's plenty teary. As Western directors continue to look to Bollywood for inspiration this is a shining example how it should be done. Intoxicating.

Verdict Starts big, gets a whole lot bigger then gets twice as big after that, this is Bollywood at its most flamboyant. The song and dance numbers alone are worth the price of entry and whether you're familiar with the genre or not this is irresistible from start to finish.

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