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Daas Dev  : Drunk On Politics
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Friday, April 27, 2018
Sudhhir Mishra
Rahul Bhat, Richa Chadda, Aditi Rao Hydari, Saurabh Shukla

Like the title which is Devdas turned topsy-turvy, Sudhir Mishra turns the old Saratchandra classic on its head and gives it the thrill of palace intrigue.


Mishra takes off by dedicating his film to Saratchandra, to Shakespeare and to his own grandfather who was a politician. The story is set amidst hardcore UP politics. 


Dev Pratap is a promising political heir and Paro, his childhood sweetheart. There’s a Chandini instead of Chandramukhi, a businessman’s lobbyist who helps him fix political deals with her easy morals.


Dev is still a young boy when his father Vishambar Pratap, a leading politician, dies in an accident. His uncle Avdesh steps into his father’s shoes and believes ‘Sattahamarivirasathai’, political power is their birthright, their legacy.


Apart from Dev and Paro’s romance which goes through turbulence, there are lots of other human relationships that change according to political expediency. There’s his mother Susheela Devi with her own equation with brother-in-law Avdesh. There’s Paro’s father Naval Singh who’s caught between loyalty to Avdesh and what’s right. There’s Ramasray Shukla, a rival politician who literally holds an umbrella to protect Paro when politics tears her away from Dev. And there’s Prabhunath, a small-time henchman with a big role to play in the scheme of things.     


Well-shot by Sachin Krishn, Sudhir comes up with some really impressive scenes. Like the one where Dev goes into Prabhunath’s house to find him and encounters his three wives and fifteen daughters.


There are also plenty of twists and turns in the screenplay.    


The problem is that the first half is one of complete confusion as there are too many characters coming in and out and by interval point you’re quite lost.


The pace really picks up only post-interval when the relationships become clearer. The intrigue also builds up, there are unexpected turns and plenty of compromise with the conscience which is what politics is all about.


Saurabh Shukla is marvellous as Avdesh, you can almost see him as a politician. Anurag Kashyap who puts in a cameo as Vishambar Pratap, Vipin Sharma as Ramasray and Deep Raj Rana as Prabhunath give a certain believability to their parts. Rahul Bhatt turns in a surprisingly likeable performance as Dev. Richa Chaddha is comfortable as Paro. However, using a listless voiceover by Aditi Rao Hydari who plays Chandni takes away instead of adding any excitement to the narration.


Verdict: There’s the uncomfortable feeling that since the lead trio does not have charismatic face value, not many will be drawn in to watch Sudhir Mishra’s spin on Devdas.


For a political thriller that has its merits but has limited appeal, Daas Dev gets a 2.5* rating.


Direction: 3.5/5

Screenplay: 3/5

Story: 3/5

Dialogues: 3/5

Music: 2/5


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author

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