Is it still possible to renew oneself by talking about Devdas? This masterpiece of Indian literature has inspired no less than sixteen Indian feature films since 1928. It is a work that has gone through silent cinema, black and white and of course the modern era. In recent years it is the adaptation of 2002 directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali that seems to be unanimous to claim the title of best adaptation of the novel (with that of 1955 signed Bimal Roy).
We can only hail the audacity of Kashyap who gave us a punk and provocative rehearsal entitled Dev.D released in 2009. The question arises again. Can anyone really bring something new by adapting Devdas? This is the ambition of an independent filmmaker Sudhir Mishra whose work has already been largely inspired by the novel as evidenced by the excellent Chameli and Khoya Khoya Chand.
Daas Dev is, therefore, a political re-reading of the novel, starring Rahul Bhat, Aditi Rao Hydari, and Richa Chadha. In secondary roles, we find Saurabh Shukla, Vineet Kumar Singh and a cameo from Anurag Kashyap. Here is the trailer:
Daas Dev's intentions are laudable. Sudhir Mishra's talent is no longer debated, even though the director has not been at the peak of his art on his last outings. So with a project as ambitious as risky and a cast worthy of an Anurag Kashyap, does Daas Dev manages to convince? It seems like! Forget Shahrukh Khan's depressive elegance or Abhay Deol's passive egocentrism, Rahul Bhat seems to embody an enigmatic, tense and paradoxical character.
After Ugly, the actor could find a new role illustrating his great talent. He releases a true charisma in this trailer, without being invasive. Because his character seems to essentially leave room for female characters. And the big winner is Aditi Rao Hydari! Although facing a Richa Chadha usually is a more imposing game, Aditi seems to come out as a winner with a subtle but sensitive role and a character both crucial and strong.
Richa does not stay in the background. There is a heartbreaking moment in the sequence that ends the trailer. The modern and political contexts seem very well managed, with a rural aspect that seduces and gives the film a raw tone. The only worry will be not to drown the story in a story that seems to contain a real flow of characters. So will Daas Dev be able to surprise and go beyond our expectations? That's all we want! It is to be released on March 23, 2018.