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Devdas (2002)

madhuri.jpgI still don’t have enough of a Bollywood vocabulary to put this in its proper place, but to me, this is what I think about when I think about Bollywood movies — 185 minutes of romance, elaborate dance numbers, and over-the-top, no-holds-barred melodrama. It also has some really striking eye candy, both in the sets — much of the movie takes place in a palace made out of coloured glass — and the cast. (Speaking of which, while Aishwarya Rai seems to be more internationally famous, in that I’d heard of her before seeing this movie, I found the scene-stealing Madhuri Dixit to be more beautiful, more charming, and a much better actress.)

That said, it’s really not a very deep movie. It’s your typical boy-meets-girl, boy-goes-away-to-school-in-England, boy-reunites-with-girl, girl’s-family-rejects-boy, boy-becomes-alcoholic, boy-meets-courtesan, courtesan-falls-in-love-with-boy, whole-thing-ends-tragically kind of deal. It’s all very broad and contrived, but damn if it doesn’t go down smooth.

One Comment

  1. Rob wrote:

    I’m not sure there’s such thing as a ‘deep’ bollywood flick, although my father-in-law might object- after all, when he’s being serious, Shahrukh Khan does have some kind of ‘tortured soul’ look about him. You’re right, though, that there’s a lot of eye-candy in this larger-than-life flick. If you want anti-bollywood, check out Deepa Mehta or Mira Nair’s work. They can occasionally deliver uneven films, but some of their work is fantastic. Monsoon Wedding and Fire are two of my faves.

    Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 12:07 am | Permalink