Power or love

Sudhir Mishra’s modern retelling of Devdas with today’s women

By Prasad Damodaran
  • Published 13.03.18

Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra is back in action with his political drama Daas Dev, starring Rahul Bhat, Richa Chadha and Aditi Rao Hydari. In a conversation with The Woods, Sudhir spoke about the film, the bold women of today and why Pakistani artistes shouldn’t be banned. The film releases on April 20. 

The Woods: This film has a political backdrop. Have you drawn inspiration from your late grandfather who was a politician?

Sudhir: This film is dedicated to my grandfather. When I was young he had told me that just because I am born from a womb of a political family, it doesn’t mean I will have power in my lap. He didn’t get any of his kids into politics and threw us into the whirlpool to struggle like a common man. My grandfather was close to Indira Gandhi but he never used his connect to help me. I had to struggle and used to do peon-like duties in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s office in Mumbai. I am happy he didn’t use his connect or else I would have been in the dirty world of politics and not making films.

Daas Dev leads Rahul Bhat and Richa Chadha

You announced Daas Dev long back. Why this delay in making the film?

I changed the script from “Devdas” to “Daas Dev”. Hence the delay. I had to change the writing, screenplay and everything. Then to get the right cast, budget, location and other stuff took time. Also my grandfather used to say when you don’t have anything to say, stay silent. So perhaps now was the right time to make this film.

How have you used the literature of Devdas in your film?

I have seen all three films made on Devdas. They are all great films based on the great story written by Sarat Chandra (Chattopadhyay) and they were apt for that era. But now times have changed and Paro won’t be subdued anymore in today’s times. My movie revolves around the lust for power and purity of love. Will Dev and Paro, who are caught in the addiction of power, overcome the lust for it and find love?

Both Paro and Chandini are bold in your film?

They are modern women of today’s times. That is the way I see them. I think women have the right to be wrong just like men. They have the right to enjoy all the choices available to men.

Aditi Rao Hydari

Pakistani singer Atif Aslam has refused to promote the song he has sung in your film. Why? 

I am sure he will do it. Perhaps he is scared that if he says anything he will fall into a controversy. When he is not promoting there is a controversy and if does promote it, there will be yet another controversy.

What is your take on Union minister Babul Supriyo’s call asking a ban to be placed on Pakistani artistes?

I think you should give a fitting reply to anyone who tries to insult your country or attack it. But singers and actors of any country are not doing it. So cooperation and love between artistes should remain and continue.