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The making of Dev D:
All right, let me gush.
To my off-hand list of good fun films of recent years -- such as Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisii, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Johnny Gaddar and Luck By Chance -- let me now add Anurag Kashyap's Dev D.
In fact, lest I get all rational and "balanced" about it later, let
me just come out and say it: For my money, it is by far the best Mumbai
film of the 21st century.
Let me confess that I went in with grave misgivings after having heard and read that Delhi's notorious "school MMS scandal" and the "BMW episode" were inspirations for the film. Particularly about the former, I had worried that the film would be exploitative. I was pleasantly surprised, if one can say that about something as grim as that. In fact, if anything, Anurag Kashyap's sensitive and empathetic portrayal of what the victim and the family go through establishes and anchors the film's emotional and moral core. Pathos doesn't descend into bathos. There is no melodrama: it is just a very honest look at attitudes and relationships. All the characters are imbued with a fragile vulnerability --the visceral rage of the father and the uncomprehending, innocent, anguished rage of the young child are heartbreakingly real. There is no coyness or sanctimonious moralising.
That, in a nutshell is the film's strength.
And to the filmmaker's credit, despite the very matter-of-fact portrayal of
things sexual, he manages to stay far away from prurience or voyeurism.