Roadside Romeo

Devinder Singh Dhillon aka Dev D might not subscribe to your notions of romance,but he sure can teach you a thing or two about emosional atyachar.

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti | Published: February 7, 2009 12:51:14 am

Anurag Kashyap speaks about Dev D that opened to some exhilarating reviews and how he just doesn’t understand women

Devinder Singh Dhillon aka Dev D might not subscribe to your notions of romance,but he sure can teach you a thing or two about emosional atyachar. And Saratchandra Chattopadhyaya’s Devdas can learn more than a few tricks from Anurag Kashyap’s urban misanthrope.

Critics might be sparring about the brilliance,or the lack of it,of the Abhay Deol-Mahi Gill-Kalki Koechlin starrer Dev D,a grungy adaptation of the Bengali classic,which released on Friday,but director Anurag Kashyap is far from being perturbed by the reactions his film has evoked. “I knew there would not be a unanimous response. There never is for my movies. For every exceptional review that I have got,there has been a really bad one too. Taran Adarsh,for instance,has called it ‘No Smoking II’ and given it a single star saying people will never go and watch a movie like this. I just told him he is biased,” he laughs.

The movie,says Kashyap,has been a collaborative effort of all his lead characters,and that he had no idea that it would turn out to be something that would be called cultish. “I don’t quite understand the concept of being different. I do what comes naturally to me,” shrugs the man whose repertoire has noir films like Paanch,Black Friday and No Smoking.

It was actor Abhay Deol,who put him on the Devdas trail. “Once he told me that he wanted to play Devdas,and since that day I wanted to do my version of it. Finally,we decided to give it a shot. I guess it has generated a lot of interest because we ensured it relates to our times and reaches out to the majority,” says Kashyap.

The director is equally effusive about the contributions of Gill and girlfriend Koechlin,who helped him construct layers of overt sexuality in the movie. “I have had very limited interactions with women and,frankly,I don’t understand women. So,while we were scripting the movie,we would put forward situations to women,particularly to these two,to see their response. That’s how much of the script came about. In fact,once Kalki came on board,we reworked parts of the script as well,” he says.

Gill,who plays Paro in the movie,is excited at the response the movie has elicited. “After signing the film,I was nervous for the first few days because we were talking about a classic and I didn’t know how it would be received. But I had no other work then and I was quite convinced about Anurag’s script,so I went ahead with it. It feels good now,” smiles the 26-year-old,who relocated to Mumbai from Chandigarh about three years back to pursue her Bollywood aspirations. Gill’s platter is full at the moment. Up next is a special appearance in Kashyap’s Gulal,followed by a lead role opposite Shreyas Talpade in Aage Se Right. Then there’s Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Paan Singh Tomar opposite Irrfan Khan. “I have always wanted to play the whole gamut of roles — from running around trees to intense and off-beat characters. It’s my turn to do justice to them,” she says.

Dev,open a bottle to that.

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