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Dev D
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Anurag Kashyap
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala
Written by Anurag Kashyap
Vikramaditya Motwane
Based on Devdas 
by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay
Starring Abhay Deol
Mahie Gill
Kalki Koechlin
Music by Amit Trivedi
Cinematography Rajeev Ravi
Edited by Aarti Bajaj
Release dates
  • 6 February 2009 (2009-02-06)
Running time
144 min
Budget INR11.3 crore (US$1.8 million)
Box office INR49.87 crore (US$7.8 million)

Dev.D is an Indian romantic drama film released on 6 February 2009. Written and directed by Anurag Kashyap, it is a modern-day take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's classic Bengali novel Devdas,[1][2] previously adapted for the screen by P.C. Barua and Bimal Roy and more recently by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.[3] Dev.D was embraced by the media, critics and public.[4][5] The film is set in contemporary Punjab and Delhi, where familial ties are negotiated by the traditions of patriarchy and marriages are reduced to a game of power and "honour".


The film is divided into three parts by the view of characters-


Dev (Abhay Deol) is the son of a rich businessman. He and Paro (Mahi Gill) are childhood sweethearts. But Dev, being an insecure narcissist, instead of acknowledging her affection and care, nudges Paro over frivolous things. Dev is sent to London for higher studies when his father senses how spoilt his son is. While separated by distance, Paro and Dev's youthful love only blossoms more. Dev arrives in Chandigarh to meet Paro. Their endeavor to make love makes for some dark comic moments. The seeds of suspicion are sown here, which the couple will never be able to weed out for a lifetime. When Dev hears rumours about Paro, he immediately believes them and ditches her. What makes them fall apart is mutual suspicion and an essentially male vision of how a woman should conduct herself sexually. Paro turns her back on him when she hears him insult her and agrees to marry whoever her parents choose. On her wedding day, he realizes that the rumors were false. But his ego doesn't let him accept his mistake, and he lets her marry someone else.


Enter Chanda aka Leni (Kalki Koechlin). A Delhi student of half-European descent, a date with her much older boyfriend lands Leni in an MMS scandal. Her father commits suicide as he feels humiliated by his daughter's reputation. She is disowned by her family. Refusing to live a life of shame and ridicule with her family, she comes back to Delhi where she works as a prostitute at night, while continuing with her studies during the day. She adopts the nickname Chanda for her profession. Her 'foreign' looks mean her services are reserved for the highest-paying customers and she finds some dignity and independence in the new way of living. One night a customer is brought to her room in half-conscious state — it turns out to be Dev.


Dev, tormented by Paro’s wedding, has been seeking refuge in alcohol and drugs. He finds some solace with Chanda but is unable to forget Paro. Once after he calls Paro's husband in the middle of the night, she visits him at the cheap lodge where he is staying. She shows her love by taking care of him but spurns his attempts at physical intimacy. The meeting ends on a bitter note, after which Paro goes back to her married life and Dev resolves to go back to Chanda; confronted by the reality of her profession, he abandons her, too. It is only months later, after hitting an all-time low in an aimless life, that he gets a wake-up call and decides to put his act together. He seeks Chanda once again and, with her help, sets out to start life afresh.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Kalki's character is a modern adaptation of Chandramukhi, who was most recently played by Madhuri Dixit in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas. In the film, the young Leni is shown to be a fan of Madhuri's, listening to the songs of Chandramukhi. When she takes up prostitution as profession, she adopts the name Chandramukhi or Chanda, in honor of the character.
  • Chanda's back story in which she gets embroiled in an MMS scandal while in school is a reference to a similar scandal that took place at a leading Delhi school i.e. Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram in 2004.[citation needed]
  • Later in the film, when Dev is depressed after losing both Paro and Chanda, he is driving his new BMW while heavily drunk. This is a reference to the Sanjeev Nanda BMW hit-and-run case in 1999.[citation needed]


  • Abhay Deol as Dev Singh Dhillon
  • Kalki Koechlin as Leni/Chandramukhi (Chanda)
  • Mahi Gill as Parminder (Paro)
  • Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Chunnilal
  • Parakh Madan as Rasika
  • Asim Sharma as Bhuvan (Paro's husband)
  • Gurkirtan as Sattu (Dev's father)
  • Satwant Kaur as Dev's mother
  • Binnu Dhillon as Dev's brother
  • Kuldeep Sharma as Manager Uncle (Paro's father)
  • Sanjay Kumar as Leni's father
  • Helen Jones as Leni's mother
  • Bimal Barua as the Lawyer
  • Aekansh Vats as Junior Dev
  • Sasha Shetty as Junior Paro
  • Anjum Batra as Sunil
  • Ashu Sharma as Canadian Boy
  • as the angry bus passenger
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Band singer in the song "Emotional Attyachar"

Dev :Dev.D is Devendra Singh Dhillon, the protagonist of the film. Son of a rich industrialist from Punjab, the sugar baron. He's brash, arrogant, ill-mannered, demanding, lusty, impulsive and yes, self-destructive. Dev loses his chance of marrying his childhood sweetheart Paro due to a misunderstanding. After she gets married elsewhere, starts Dev’s path of self-pity and his emergence as a drug addict, alcoholic and chain smoker in Delhi now financed by a bed-ridden and guilt-ridden father. Through a pimp Chunni, he meets Chanda, a sex worker. She befriends a vulnerable Dev and gradually falls in love with him. Dev likes her too but his penchant for self-destruction prevents him and Chanda from truly getting together. Dev, in the meanwhile, finds lost love Paro. She visits him and washes and cleans for him but does not make herself available for his sexual use. A sexually rejected Dev indulges in further self-pity and substance abuse, kills seven in a hit-and-run, does not reach home before the death of his father, wastes himself and his family’s money and ends up, literally, on the road, narrowly escaping death by a drunk driver. He realizes life could be short; he already was on the lesson learning experience since some time, with all past memories of both Paro and Chanda. Dev tells Chanda how he never actually loved Paro and they live happily thereafter.

Paro : Paro is Parminder, a rustic Punjabi girl, who handles family and farms, household and its men with the same élan. She can be like a man when it needs to be and delicate like a woman when it needs to be. Paro is a free spirit riding high on life with nothing but an indestructible faith in her love for Dev. She is from a small family that has been close to Dev's family since childhood. She always had love for Dev, which was never visible in Dev. That faith is shattered in a major. A reason, why her happiness is cut short when Dev comes to know from Sunil that she sleeps with him. Dev easily accepts it, and rejects her. Paro seeks revenge in a different way, she accepts to marry an older man with children. Paro picks up the threads of her life and moves on with a lot of grit and dignity and she hopes Dev can do the same. Mahi’s Punjabi diction is very good, plus she makes a very good debut as quite an aggressive girl with emotional highlights.

Chanda/Lenni : Leni likes to live her life on the edge - a rich student with hyperactive hormones and a penchant for adventure. She comes across as a sweet, cute and innocent school going girl. After a devastating MMS scandal she's abandoned by her family and is forced into isolation. A mistake of trusting her boy-friend shatters her life completely. Nobody could understand her, not even her parents who just wanted to avoid any humility her act may cause them, hence going away from Delhi. After not bearing the sin, her father realized he had committed by watching her MMS, he decides to free himself and let Leni and his wife struggle. Leni's mother isn’t strong enough to manage her alone, sending her to his father's village. Eventually, Leni runs off, back to Delhi where it all started for her. As a runaway she finds shelter with Chunni a pimp. With great determination and inner strength she adopts an alter ego - Chanda. As Chanda she gets to be a high profile escort by night while Leni remains a college student by day. Chanda plays a fantasy girl; she is a different character every day. With coke in her head and money at her disposal, Leni/Chanda lives life on her own terms.


The original idea of film was suggested by Abhay Deol to Anurag Kashyap, who then worked on the script along with Vikramaditya Motwane, using "news headlines about Generation X" to give a youth feel. Dev.D was produced by Ronnie Screwvala and shot in places including Paharganj in central Delhi.[6] For the scenes where Dev is high, British director Danny Boyle suggested the use of a still camera as Kashyap did not have the budget for special effects.[7]


Anurag Kashyap did not want another remake of any of the nine films versions titled Devdas.[8][9] His version was created as a modern take on the 1917 original classic novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.[9] Kashyap wanted to make his own version of Devdas to reflect the original novel but through 2008 mores, with the lead character of Devdas as a debauching, hypocritical sensualist, who is self-destructive without knowing it.[9][10] Talking about the story and his role as Dev, Abhay Deol told Radio Sargam, "The story is very much from the book which I've read in English. I have played the character according to my interpretation of the book. His character was contemporary, he was quite urban in many ways, he's misplaced in the surrounding and has a spoilt, obsessive and addictive personality."[11]

Initial delays[edit]

After the box office disaster of Kashyap's No Smoking, it was rumoured that United Television (UTV) had backed out of the director's next project, Dev.D, starring Abhay Deol. But, according to sources, UTV had signed Abhay for three projects and the actor had blocked dates from November 2007 to March 2008 for Kashyap's film, as the idea was to wrap up the film in one schedule. When Dev.D hit initial snags and was stalled, it was rumoured that UTV had backed out.[12] At that time, the director denied that UTV had backed out. He explained the delay by saying that he would be able to work on it once work on the earlier film Hanuman Returns had finished. He said that he was still looking out for his Chandramukhi and had locked in Abhay and newcomer Mahi Gill.[13] It was further delayed as he took more time to find an actress suitable for the role of Chandramukhi, which he eventually found with Kalki Koechlin, who was one of the last to be auditioned.[6]

Box office[edit]

Dev.D had an average opening day collection of Rs 15 million. The movie picked up in box office soon and recovered its budget of Rs 60 million in a few weeks.[14] The net collection in its first four weeks were nearly Rs 150 million.[15] Dev D crossed 150 million nett as it adds another 3 million in week 6. Dev D final domestic gross was Rs 215.0 million with distributor share of Rs 65.5 million.[16] The film was a Hit in Delhi/NCR. Overall ABOVE AVERAGE .[17]


Critical response[edit]

Reviews to the film were mostly positive. The widespread acclaim was chiefly due to its fearless visual style, its experimental soundtrack and the innovative narrative structure which included dividing the script into chapters as in the films of Quentin Tarantino. Rony D'Costa of Box Office India gave it 4 stars out of 5, stating "Missing Dev D would be an Emotional Attyachar to oneself."[18] Raja Sen of gave Dev.D 3.5/5, calling it a 'fantastic visual ride', and ranked it at No 2 in his list of the best movies Of 2009. Times of India reviewer Nikhat Kazmi termed the film as a "brilliant breakthrough for Bollywood" and rated it 5/5.[19] Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express praised the performance of Abhay Deol and the movie overall.[20] Hindustan Times praised the film for its "slick style and adventurous interpretation that pushes the boundaries of Hindi cinema" and rating it as 3.5/5.[21] Noyon Jyoti Parasara of AOL India was "completely bowled out by the movie" and stated, "go and watch Dev D and be blown away by a sample of what Anurag Kashyap is capable of as a director. Shahrukh Khan praised Abhay Deol's efforts and said that Abhay is contributing to the new era of Indian film industry."[22]


National Film Awards 2009[edit]

Filmfare Awards 2009[edit]



Soundtrack album by Amit Trivedi
Released 31 December 2008
Genre Film Soundtrack
Length 01:01:31
Label T-Series
Amit Trivedi chronology
Aisha (film)

Dev.D has 18 tracks by artist Amit Trivedi. The songs were written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, Shellee, Anusha Mani, and Shruti Pathak.[26] Released on 31 December under T-Series, he specifically reports that there are two special Punjabi tracks, one which is raw Punjabi and the other with a street band baaja flavor to it. He also reports two romantic Haryanvi folk tracks, apart from a hard rock song, world music, an Awadhi number and a song with 1970s-80s pop touch to it.[27][28] The soundtrack received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Critic Joginder Tuteja said, "Chuck the very thought around whether this album will do well commercially or not; it is an exemplary piece of work and that's what that matters most."[29] Ekansh Aatre, critic of Hindustan Times fame, said "Each part of each song in this album is special & gives a great impact on audience."

The soundtrack has been massively popular with youth. The song "Emosanal Attyachaar" has become popular amongst the masses and the song's name became a catch phrase for many Indian youth.[30] Nikhil Taneja of Hindustan Times noted that the song was "singularly responsible for driving audiences to the theater to watch a movie."[31]

No. Title Length
1. "Emosanal Attyachar (Brass Band Version)" (performed by BandMaster Rangeela and Rasila; lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) 4:00
2. "Duniya" (performed by Amit Trivedi; lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) 3:52
3. "Nayan Tarse" (performed by Amit Trivedi; lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) 3:09
4. "Pardesi" (performed by Tochi Raina; lyrics by Shellee) 4:00
5. "Saali Khushi" (performed by Amit Trivedi; lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) 3:13
6. "Paayaliya" (performed by Shruti Pathak; lyrics by Shruti Pathak) 5:52
7. "Mahi Mennu" (performed by Labh Janjua; lyrics by Shellee) 2:54
8. "Aankh Micholi" (performed by Amit Trivedi; lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) 4:00
9. "Yahin Meri Zindagi" (performed by Aditi Singh Sharma; lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) 3:43
10. "Dhol Yaara Dhol" (performed by Shilpa Rao and Kshitij Tarey; lyrics by Shellee) 4:10
11. "Ek Hulchul Si" (performed by Joi Barua; lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) 4:29
12. "Hikknaal" (performed by Labh Janjua; lyrics by Shellee) 3:47
13. "Dil Mein Jaagi" (performed by Anusha Mani; lyrics by Anusha Mani) 3:01
14. "Emotional Attyachar (Rock Version)" (performed by Bonnie Chakraborty; lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) 4:01
15. "Ranjhana" (performed by Shilpa Rao and Kshitij Tarey; lyrics by Shellee) 1:47
16. "Mahi Mennu (Sad Version)" (performed by Labh Janjua; lyrics by Shellee) 1:21
17. "Dev-Chanda Theme 1" (performed by Neuman Pinto & Bianca Gomez) 2:23
18. "Dev-Chanda Theme 2" (instrumental) 1:47


  1. ^ "Devdas over the years …". 
  2. ^, "Movies from SpotBoy Motion Pictures"
  3. ^ Dev. D - Overview New York Times.
  4. ^ Sharma, Sanjukta (6 Feb 2009). "Dev D | Style, substance (and length)". Article. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Be Warned, This is Not Your Mama's Bollywood". republicofbrown. 26 August 2010. 
  6. ^ a b 'Dev D' is not like Sudhir Mishra's 'Aur Devdas', The Hindu, Wednesday, 10 December 2008.
  7. ^ Being treated like the other woman drives me, Indian Express
  8. ^ IMDB list of previously made versions]
  9. ^ a b c, 9 July 2007, Anurag Kashyap interviw
  10. ^, "Anurag Kashyap is keen on making his adaptation of Devdas as modern as it can get"
  11. ^, "Abhay Deol talks to Radio Sargam about Dev D"
  12. ^, 17 November 2007, "UTV Backs Out Of Dev D?"
  13. ^, 1 February 2008, "It's official: Ambika-Anurag split- Anurag's film will be now produced by Spotboy, a sister concern of UTV"
  14. ^ "Dev D hits Box Office gold". NDTV Movies. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  15. ^ "Bollywood box-office report of the week". Bollywood Trade News Network. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "'New Releases Dull Jai Veeru And Gulaal Poor'". Box Office India. 21 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  18. ^ "Dev.D - Review". 15 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  19. ^ Nandini Ramnath gave Dev-D 3 stars, calling it 'the most arresting audio-visual experience this year'. Movie Review: Dev D The Times of India, 5 Feb 2009.
  20. ^ Movie Review: Dev D
  21. ^ "Review: Dev D". Hindustan Times. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  22. ^ Glamsham, Posted Apr 28th 2011 3:30AM (28 April 2011). "AOL Bollywood". Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  23. ^ "And the National Award goes to...". The Times of India. 17 Sep 2010. 
  24. ^ 3 Idiots shines at Filmfare Awards The Economic Times, 28 Feb 2010.
  25. ^, "Asia Pacific Screen Awards"
  26. ^ Hindustan Times"Amitabh Bhattacharya: The reluctant lyricist"
  27. ^, 5 September 2008, "Amit Trivedi to compose for UTV Spot Boy's next two films"
  28. ^, 21 July 2008, "Making music, from Aamir to Dev D"
  29. ^, 7 January 2009, "BollywoodHungama Music Review for Dev.D"
  30. ^, 24 January 2009, "Radio Sargam Music Review for Dev.D"
  31. ^ Taneja, Nikhil (From Melody to Dev D). "From Melody to Dev D". Article. Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 May 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]