Director Sudhir Mishra says fans expecting to see another version of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1917 classic “Devdas” will be disappointed with his film “Daas Dev”, which is a completely different take on the story and deals with the addiction of power. While the director, best known for his 2005 cult classic “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”, “Dharavi”, “Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin” and “Chameli”, acknowledged Chattopadhyay’s book as an inspiration, he said he has reversed the story. The film also carries some Shakespearean elements. “I am not making ‘Devdas’. My film is not based on Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel. I apologise to him for reversing the story. If you want to see his version then don’t come and see it. I am acknowledging the inspiration. “(But) This is a different story. The film is about addiction of power and through that there is Dev, Paro and Chandni. Pressure is always there when you make a film. We all have worked very hard on it,”
Mishra told reporters at the trailer launch of the film. Mishra is a well-respected figure in the directors’ community and that was evident in the presence of over 20 top directors from Hindi cinema including names like Imtiaz Ali, Vishal Bhardwaj, Ketan Mehta, Rahul Rawail, Vijay Krishna Acharya, Abhishek Kapoor, Nikhil Advani and Mudassar Aziz. Actor Richa Chadha, who has worked with Mishra for the first time, said the film has empowering women characters. “All the women in the film are empowered in true sense. It is a very feminist take on Paro and women in general in this film. As part of preparation, I had to look at other Paros of Hindi cinema and do what they have not done and create something fresh and new,” she said. Aditi Rao Hydari, who earlier worked with the director on “Yeh Saali Zindagi”, said Mishra put her in crazy situations in films. “I did not imagine myself in ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’ and similar was the case with ‘Daas Dev’. I follow my director,” said the actor, who plays the role of Chandramukhi in the movie. Bhat said he initially felt a lot of pressure but having worked with Anurag Kashyap in “Ugly”, he had learnt to deal with it. “Devdas” is one of the most adapted book in Indian cinema history. In Hindi films, the ones that stand out include the 1936 version, directed by PC Barua and starring K L Saigal; Bimal Roy’s 1955 adaptation starring top stars such as Dilip Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Vyjayanthimala; Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s lavish 2002 production with Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit and Anurag Kashyap’s 2009 modern, experimental take in “Dev D”, which had Abhay Deol, Mahi Gill and Kalki Koechlin. Mishra said he once considered to remake another classic — “Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam.
The 1962 film, directed by Abrar Alvi, featured Guru Dutt, Meena Kumari and Waheeda Rehman. It was based on another Bengali novel by Bimal Mitra.Â “My friend Pritish Nandy once told me to make a film on ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’Â but I got too scared because I admire Guru Dutt too much. I didn’t want to touch that. I thought about ‘Saheb Bibi Ghulam’ but there’s a lot more in the book. I follow Bengali, I have got people to read it to me. I understand it.Â “There is a lot in the book which isn’t in the film but then I would like to leave that classic alone,” MishraÂ said. “Daas Dev” is set to hit the screens on March 23.