It’s 7:18AM on the East Coast.
Just popped the Hindi movie Dev D from Indian director Anurag Kashyap into the DVD tray of our player.
Had to sit through the preview of Gulaal (also from Anurag Kashyap) before the main feature started.
Dev D features Indian actors Abhay Deol, Mahie Gill, Dibyendu Bhattacharya and Kalki Koechlin.
Dev D had a limited release in the U.S. (just four theatres), one reason why we might have missed the movie when it debuted here on February 6, 2009.
If you go by the boxofficemojo numbers, Dev D did $18,613 in the U.S and a total of $4.05 million worldwide. Not bad for an Indian movie without major stars.
The movie appears to have found favor with a section of the Indian audience (including a few SI readers), which mostly veers toward garish Bollywood productions.
Dev D’s director Anurag Kashyap is no stranger to us.
Two years back, we made the trip to New York City to see his Black Friday, based on the Mumbai blasts of 1993. A fairly decent movie.
After finishing Dev D, we’ll update this post.
Wonder why there’s an acknowledgment to Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire director) at the beginning of Dev D.
“Special thanks to Danny Boyle”
If you have time…
“Wonder why thereâ€™s an acknowledgement to Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire director) at the beginning of Dev D.”
Finally you have made a decent choice for a Bollywood movie (I know you hardly had a choice). Dev D is a nice movie. I loved it.
Yes, it was a good choice not trash like Kambakkht Ishq.
How did u guys find the music?
Classy movie accompanied by decent music. Will update the post later.
One of the many tragedies of life that such fine work goes largely unappreciated while trash is lapped up. That is, of course, symptomatic of the blighted land a.k.a India.
A key reason is the lack of time, resources and ultimately overall attention devoted to marketing/selling the film.
Even if it’s an art/indie film it MUST be marketed effectively with a separate budget. Not enough to rely on word of mouth. There are so many contenders for viewers’ time these days.
Now for our Tamil readers…
Shirt-ley kai podatuma…ninga romba fast
“Shirt-ley kai podatumaâ€¦ninga romba fast”
He he he. The Tamil phone sex part was a hoot!
Kalki is not a prototypical good looker (too pasty, IMO), but her “Chanda” had the impishness and brutal honesty (especially where she blasts the public for their hypocrisy with the MMS scandal) that endeared me to her character.
“One of the many tragedies of life that such fine work goes largely unappreciated while trash is lapped up. That is, of course, symptomatic of the blighted land a.k.a India.”
Contrary to what you think, the movie raked in twice its budget (Rs. 60 million) in India as per reports and hence, a hit.
“Even if itâ€™s an art/indie film it MUST be marketed effectively with a separate budget. Not enough to rely on word of mouth. There are so many contenders for viewersâ€™ time these days.”
Anurag Kashyap wasn’t relying on WoM alone. You ought to see Dev D’s official website. It’s nothing new from an American perspective, but from an Indian perspective, it’s most definitely radical and needless to say, Kashyap wasn’t targeting “mummyjis”, “acchans”, “thathas”, “ajjis”, “mausis”, and the like with the website.
1. The girl’s Tamil was fairly decent. After reading the Wiki bio, we realized Kalki Koechlin hails from Pondicherry.
2. You write: Kalki is not a prototypical good looker
She has a great smile.
“She has a great smile.”
That she does. Here’s a pretty funny short interview with Kalki reg. her Tamil accent 😀
Here’s a surprise: She’s Anurag Kashyap’s girlfriend.
1. Nice. Noticed the bit about ‘Thamil girl’ in the interview.
2. You write: She’s Anurag Kashyap’s girlfriend.
Too bad…Everyone’s someone’s girlfriend. 🙁
Dev d had excellent marketing-one of the reasons it raked in money. What with the website(I think its still up-u might want to check it out), X-rated official versions of songs, kinky posters and great songs it was sure to bring in a fair share curious cats. I think even the ‘lust lines’ were used.
We thought it was obvious.
But since it isn’t, let’s be clear.
When we talk of the film making making money, we’re talking along the lines of crap Bollywood movies. These guys keep throwing out astonishing figures like Rs 46 crore in the opening weekend for garbage of the decade.
If the that were true, one would expect that given solid marketing a decent movie like Dev D would/should make much more than what it did.
In any case, it’s a good trend if it made a profit. All hope’s not lost.
According to wiki, in the first four weeks the collection was 150 million INR. And as SI stated worldwide $4.05 million=183 million INR. Without doubt a commercial success. Forgot to mention the Dev.D mobile game though thats kind of norm with almost every other movie these days, its is a first for an indie flick
They ought to try & release in more theatres here.
Other Bollywood producers/distributors ought to take a page from Yash Raj and Eros. Both have a well-oiled, assembly line operation here for their movies.
“Too badâ€¦Everyoneâ€™s someoneâ€™s girlfriend.”
…and the rest are lesbians 😀
Our ‘everyone’ included ‘them’ too. 😉
“Our â€˜everyoneâ€™ included â€˜themâ€™ too.”
No concept of “butch” vs “queen”? 😀
A butch has a ‘girlfriend’ and a queen is someone’s ‘girlfriend.’
BTW, Wiki lists many flavors of Queens:
* 1.1 Drag queen
* 1.2 Rice queen
* 1.3 Bean queen
* 1.4 Potato queen
* 1.5 Dairy queen
* 1.6 Chocolate queen
* 1.7 Size queen
* 1.8 Opera queen
* 1.9 Gym queen
* 1.10 Queen Bee
Yup, thats the contradiction of this genre.
On the one side, you have the viewers who even though form a considerable proportion of populace are widely separated spacially so that a viable commercial release targets small concentrations of such people in big cities/multiplexes. If the release is wider, the collection may not show a proportional increase as people who want to see it and know about it would see it either way (One guy ‘Cliff’ on PFC came from Dubai with his friends on a low-fare ticket to Mumbai to see Dev.D and went back after the show as it wasn’t released there. It cost around $500, he says) A solution often suggested is simultaneous DVD release overseas or a paid online service but both are liable for misuse (i can imagine my local internet cafÃ¨ hosting shows three times a day) so its kind of a quagmire.
You write: A solution often suggested is simultaneous DVD release overseas
Biggest diaspora market is the U.S.
And here Indian grocery stores would play havoc because they start renting new DVDs for $1 or $2 within a couple of days of a movie’s release.
SI Said: “Biggest diaspora market is the U.S.”
Yes, but how many of them want to see movies like ‘Dev D’ and ‘Ab tak chhappan’ (you know you owe me a viewing of this film. This is the nth time I’ve recommended it)? That’s the major issue. I had to coerce my fiancee, a desi-American, to watch ATC (now I’m trying to get her to see ‘Dev D’) and I tried unsuccessfully to get her family members (uncles, aunts, and cousins) to watch movies like ‘ATC’, ‘Traffic Signal’, ‘Corporate’, or ‘Page 3.’ Seems like the depiction of dark themes/harsh realities via Bollywood doesn’t cater to the average ABCD’s tastes. The standard crapfest from KJo and Yash Chopra seems like a safe bet (good, clean, family fun) for the crowd that’s been spoon-fed on Zee Antakshari and Sa Re Ga Ma.
SI said: “And here Indian grocery stores would play havoc because they start renting new DVDs for $1 or $2 within a couple of days of a movieâ€™s release.”
I know of a rental store in Dallas (where my fiancee’ lives) called Atlantic Video which got shut down last year for renting/selling pirated copies of Hindi movies.
1. You write: how many of them want to see movies like ‘Dev D’ and ‘Ab tak chhappan’…The standard crapfest from KJo and Yash Chopra seems like a safe bet
We think many NRIs/ABCDs and maybe Indians in India too are hardwired to accept the crapshows/stolen shit from the big Bollywood stars accompanied by silly antics like Aamir Khan shaving heads for the sake of publicity.
Alas, Aamir Khan shaved everybody with that stolen shit Ghajini.
2. You write: Seems like the depiction of dark themes/harsh realities via Bollywood doesn’t cater to the average ABCD’s tastes
This can be handled in a slick fashion a la Danny Boyle in Slumdog Millionaire. We know you don’t agree on SDM. But as early as early December after we watched it, we were sure this was one movie that was going to go places. Indeed it did.
she looks like a teenager in that youtube video.. has some Avril features.
You write: she looks like a teenager in that youtube video
Teenager only in reel-life and looks.
Kalki will be 27 come January 9.
SI Said: “We know you donâ€™t agree on SDM.”
Another movie that made it big via word of mouth. Yes, I still stand on the same ground after 2 more viewings- story isn’t that spectacular and the acting by the 3 principal characters was sub-par.
I agree however with the aspect of slick fashion. The Bollywood-ishtyle love story, with all the archetypal sappy elements, provided enough misdirection to keep the desi crowd here happy and oblivious from the harsh truths portrayed in the film.
You write: oblivious from the harsh truths portrayed in the film
Oblivious from the harsh truths?
If anything the harsh reality of life in India for the urban poor was shown in all its gritty ugliness at the beginning.
“good, clean, family fun”
Boy oh boy do I hate those words. Its the hypocrisy of it all, as if all YRF and Dharma productions are good, clean and for the family. Contemporary hindi and tamil popular flicks are anything but watchable with kids or family. From the item numbers to the twisted hyped up notions of love, friendship, marriage, morality and sexuality… if anyone has their complete social education from today’s movies he is screwed for life.
Hindi films at least have some degree of slickness. With neanderthals like Vijay and Ajith lording over Kollywood Tamil films are still in the paleolithic age.
SI Said: “Oblivious from the harsh truths? If anything the harsh reality of life in India for the urban poor was shown in all its gritty ugliness at the beginning.”
I never said the movie didn’t depict it. I only said that from an American Desi’s perspective, the love story provided a reasonably good shroud over the harsh truths.
BTW, I talked to a lot of non-desi Americans about what they liked about the movie. Most happened to point to the “love story” and “the Bollywood number at the end.” Maybe they were being nice to me, but they didn’t mention anything about the depictions of the forced begging trade, the riots, etc.
When non-desi Americans ask us whether things are really the way they’re portrayed in SDM, our stock answer: the reality is much worse.
saw IceAge3. what a lousy one.
See Sacha ‘Borat’ Cohen in Bruno (releasing tomorrow). Bound to be good.
Bruno sounds unvary with Borat, but I watch.
u saw the preview ?, he swaps a child for an iPod.
No, we don’t believe we’ve seen the previews for Bruno.
We’ve seen Sacha’s last film Borat though and enjoyed his brand of humor.
Watched the first one.
nakul said Bruno sounds unvary with Borat.. what does that mean.. I genuinely didn’t understand.
Probably trying to say unvarying or similar.
Yup, I meant to say unvarying or similar.
SI: when is the review for Bruno ?
Saturday or Sunday.
Are we going to see a review for this movie someday or no? 🙂
Working thru backlog of books, movies et al.
[Our dog chewed this comment but has promised to regurgitate it] 😉
Thanks for the compliment.
We’ve kept your comment in the freezer and will reinsert it in a few days along with what you wanted. 😉
🙄 😳 😈
OK, thanks for the reminder. Will try to complete it in the next two or three days or four days max.
We’re still high on last night’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly High, a movie we watched in the endearing company of our dear uncles John and Walker.
here I am with my biweekly reminder 😯
We will, soon.
Our Mudaliar friend is here from India and we’ve been spending time with our buddy.
well, hello mudhaliar.. it is generally accepted (by all mudhaliars), that the mudhaliars are the second smartest group after the bra-mannans.
Our Mudhaliar is now at the Philly airport en route to West Bengal after a decent Indian meal at Palace at the Ben in Killadelphia oops Philadelphia. 4:58PM ET
I liked DevD…I can tolerate Abhay Deol..have u seen his first movie Socha na tha..that one is ok too
No, haven’t seen Socha na tha. We watched Dev D and Manorama Six Feet Under (Remember the Jack Nicholson-Faye Dunaway movie China Town?)