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Dev movie review

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Cast Amitabh Bachchan, Om Puri, Fardeen Khan, Kareena Kapoor    more...
Director Govind Nihalani

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The Dev Movie Review

By ApunKaChoice Bureau
Rating: 2/5

When a crafted filmmaker like Govind Nihalani sets out to make a cop film with actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Om Puri, a serious movie fan expects nothing less than a hard-hitting fare. Such expectations will be dashed after seeing the movie. To say the least, the movie is not without the stereotypes one can expect from a corny Bollywood thriller.

At the center of the story are two cops - each with his own ideals. One cop (Bachchan) has wrongly been labeled as the hater of minority community by the people who want to malign his image for their personal gains, while the other cop (Om Puri) has given in to the dictates of a rigid system in which true ideals hold little meaning.

And there is a young Muslim guy (Fardeen) who harbors hatred towards Bachchan and thirsts for his blood. With these characters at the center of the story, Dev deals with themes like Hindu-Muslim friction, communal violence, preachy jingoism, the police system and the influence of politicians.

The highlight of the movie is the scenes involving Bachchan and Puri. The highly charged and passion-filled conversations between Amitabh and Puri keeps the viewer glued to the screen. But there are times when their talks take the appearance of sermons.

Needless to say that the performance by Bachchan is superb. It is a treat to see the conviction with which the superstar brings out the frustration and searing anger into his character. One particular sequence that leaves an impression is Bachchan's monologue when he breaks down after witnessing the charred dead bodies in a riot. Om Puri stand out in equal stead playing a cop with shades of gray.

Performances by Fardeen Khan and Kareena Kapoor are no less commendable. Fardeen infuses life into his character of a young lawyer and son of a peace-loving Urdu professor, who takes up gun to wipe out the people who have tortured the people of his community.

Kareena Kapoor slips well into the non-glamorized role of a girl who is sucked into a whirlpool of violence and anger with the outbreak of riots. Even Kareena's song in the movie is not intolerable. And yes, the much talked about kiss between Fardeen and Kareena speaks volumes about the chemistry between the two.

Govind Nihalani tells his story like a skilled filmmaker, but the only drawback is that he harps a little more than needed on the Hindu-Muslim tension, particularly now that the friendliness between the two communities is on the rise. Sequences like the planting of a bomb outside a mandir, burning of a Muslim locality, the riots, the charred bodies and the rape of women - all these refreshes the ugly memories that everyone now wants to forget.

Govind has tried to make Dev in a very realistic way - perhaps to stir the conscience of the people out of slumber - but a realistic way is not always the best. The result is that Dev sickens you to the depths of your guts with the unadulterated presentation of the ugly realities of riots and mayhem.

Dev is not an entertaining film. It is dark and grim. But it does leave an impression on the mind of a serious viewer.

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