DevdasJuly 11, 2002
After his wealthy family prohibits him from marrying the woman he is in love with, Devdas Mukherjee's life spirals further and further out of control as he takes up alcohol and a life of vice to numb the pain.
Release Year: 2002
Rating: 7.2/10 (7,922 voted)
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
The son of Zamindar Narayan Mukherjee, Devdas (Shahrukh Khan) was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He grew up in the lush village of Taj Sonapur, where he spent his childhood, indulged by his lovely playmate Paro (Aishwarya). They grew up sharing a special relationship, in which they existed only to each other. Oblivious of all the differences of status and background, a bond that would never break grew between them. Slowly, it changed to love but it was still unsaid. But the reverie was broken when his family sent Devdas to London for education. Paro's world crashed knowing that her Devdas would be gone and she lit a diya, for it signified the fast coming back of her loved one. Years passed and Devdas returned. Devdas was besotted by her stunning beauty and longed to have her back. But Zamindar Narayan Mukherjee (Vijay Crishna), Devdas' father, met Paro's mother Sumitra's (Kiran Kher) marriage proposal with condescending arrogance…
Writers: Saratchandra Chatterjee, Prakash Kapadia
Shah Rukh Khan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
(as Aishwarya Rai)
(as Ava Mukherji)
A grand saga of timeless love
Official site |
Release Date: 11 July 2002
Filming Locations: Aarey Colony, India
Box Office Details
Budget: INR 500,000,000
Opening Weekend: £466,370
(14 July 2002)
(31 December 2002)
(Cannes Film Festival)
Did You Know?
Normally, two or three generators would have been used for this film, but this production used 42. This caused the marriages in Mumbai a lot of panic, since all the generators were used for the sets. The film also used 2,500 lights, 700 light men and an infinite number of junior artistes. By the time Zamindar Bhuvan's haveli had to be designed, Bhansali's budget was eaten up.
Chandramukhi, I can't say how the gods of virtue will judge you. But, I do know if I meet you again, in another life, I will not be able to resist you.
I was lucky enough to see this in the theater in the United States when
first came out. I had seen a few Shahrukh Khan films on tape (thanks to a
friend), and when I noticed "Devdas" in the online movie listings, I
to go have a look at what would be my first Hindi film in a theater. I
the only Anglo in a packed house and I aroused as much curiosity as I
I was completely blown away by Devdas, from the first moment of the
credits to the last bitter tear on Paro's cheek. Every shot, every frame
this film is like an artist's canvas. Aishwarya Rai is breathtakingly
gorgeous, Madhuri Dixit's quiet beauty increases with each scene, and
Shahrukh has never looked so good. All the supporting actors are
particularly Jackie Shroff as Chuni-babu and Kiron Kher as Paro's
The sets and the costumes are fabulously opulent…almost too fabulous,
fact, and at times threaten to overwhelm the story. But I was far too
enthralled in the theater to do anything but gasp in open-mouthed wonder,
The story of Devdas, a famous Indian novel written in the 1920's by
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay, has been made into film numerous times by
Bollywood. It is about the spoiled son of a wealthy man, who is loved by
Paro, his lower caste neighbor and childhood playmate. Devdas is a weak,
aimless sort who is blown about by destiny, never taking action until it
too late. He is unable to recognize his love for Paro until she has been
married off to an older man and is lost to him forever. He then turns to
bottle, and to the prostitute Chandramukhi, for comfort and
This story will probably be hard for westerners to relate to…there is
corresponding literature of the west that I can think of…perhaps Romeo
Juliet is closest. Bhansali's version differs in many respects from
versions, and from the book, in that Devdas is a more forceful presence
declares his love for Paro, only to be kept apart by scheming family
members. In the novel, however, it is Devdas' own flawed character that
the lovers apart. He is simply too weak and indecisive to know what he
until it is taken away forever.
Having seen the earlier Dilip Kumar/Bimal Roy version, and read the
can say that Shahrukh Khan truly made the character his own and breathed
new life into Devdas, making him more lovable, and more a victim of fate
than of his own tragic weakness. In the novel, and in the earlier Bimal
film, Devdas has almost no personality at all…he moves through the
like a mere shadow, and we only see his character reflected in the love
the two women who worship him.
Much attention has been given to Aishwarya Rai for her performance, which
agree was outstanding. She is almost inhumanly beautiful in this film.
I saw this in the theater I was in half love with her myself.
But it was Chandramukhi who haunted me after the film was over. Madhuri
Dixit deserves much, much more attention than she has received for her
wonderful performance, which has been relegated to a "supporting" role,
actually her role is every bit equal in importance to that of Paro.
Chandramukhi is the only character in the film who is completely
in her love…her love is the purest of the three, because she loves with
expectation of being loved in return. While Devdas and Paro are busy
destroying each other's chances for happiness, Chandramukhi's love is
uplifting and positive.
Besides the award-winning performances (Devdas swept all the Bollywood
popular awards in 2003) and the fabulous sets and costumes, Dedas has one
the best music scores I've ever heard, and dance numbers to match. I
the opening number, Mere Piyar (performed by Rai), could have gone on
forever, and toward the end Dola Re Dola (performed by Dixit and Rai) is
treat. Some viewers felt that the up-beat drinking song Chalak Chalak
(performed by Khan, Shroff and Dixit) was out of place in such a dramatic
story, but it is my favorite number in the movie.
There are so many things to recommend this film, I could go on, but I
just call it a masterpiece of Indian cinema and leave it at