History in making
SaratChandra Chaterjee's classic novel "Devadas" is about two lovers - Debdas and Parbati - who can never unite as mortals
because of the class system in the society. SaratChandra Chaterjee is believed to be in his teens when he wrote Devdas
in 1901. It was published in 1917.
This classic masterpiece sensitively criticizes the fuedalistic society that prevailed.
Devdas novel was made more than 7 times in different languages. Apparently Devdas was received
with great enthusiasm in every generation and any changing trend.
There are around seven versions of Devdas in differnt languages. First one that came out is a silent movie in 1928
produced by Eastern Film Syndicate in the direction of Naresh Chandra Mitra. Naresh Mitra played the hero role himself.
After the talkie movies started in 1931, Promatesh Chandra Barua(1903-1951) directed two simultaneous versions of Devdas
New Theaters Ltd. produced the two versions in Hindi and Bengali. Saigal starred in the
Hindi version. Barua himself played the lead in Bengali. Barua's Hindi
version is a strict remake of his Bengali versions. Some sources claim that this print was lost until recently it was found
New Theaters Ltd., in the direction of P.V.Rao, made Tamil version of Devadas in 1936. Krishna Iyengar enacted the role of
Devdas. Saigal apparently sang two songs in this Tamil version. This version of Devdas is noticed by only few. It neither
did great at the box office nor in the view of the critics.
Vinoda films, in 1953, produced the bilingual movie
in Telugu & Tamil with Akkineni NageswarRao & Savitri. Vinoda films is established
by G.K.Mangarao, a distributor. This is the second time Devdas is made in SouthIndian language.
Devadasu which was sculpted by Vedantam Ragavayya gave a new life to Devdas as it got world wide recognition. Thanks to
the histronics of ANR. Music by C.R.Subbaraman(1921 - 1952)
needs special mention. Devadas is the most famous work among his compositions and also the last one.
All songs became big hits and are rated, till today, as the
best in both Tamil and Telugu.
In 1956 Bimal Roy remade the classic again with DilipKumar & Suchitrasen. Bimalroy dedicated the movie to Barua.
The movie was filled with great performances and music. Dilipkumar got the best actor award from filmfare for his performance
as a love-lost-heart-broken.
In 1974, VijayaNirmala produced the movie in Telugu with Krishna & herself. Songs became a great hit. Music was composed
by RameshNaidu and Lyrics Arudra.
Krishna, Vijayanirmala, Jayanthi and Jagayya played the lead.
VijayaNirmala directed the movie herself. However, the movie failed at the Boxoffice.
NageswarRao's Devadas was also released around the same time for competetion.
Devdas has formed a passion for many heroes and directors. RajKapoor's Phir Subah Hogi, Guru Dutt's Pyaasa and Kaagaz
ke phool had Devdas story point as the undercurrent.
An extension to this is created by Dasari in the form of 'Devadas malli puttadu' in which Devadas comes back to life
and meets Paro who is old. Around 1978, Devadas was made in Malayalam also.
Recent Devdas was made in 2002 by SanjayLeelaBhansali with ShahrukhKhan, Madhuri Dixit, Aiswarya Roy and Jackie Shroff.
Emotional aspect of Devdas got totally lost in the affluent picturization. Emphasis was made more on richness of settings,
costumes and music among which the director failed to get the sensitive and emotional parts of Devdas.
Contributed by Vamsy
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