The country is male star-driven: Sudhir Mishra

Written By: Shomini Sen WION Web Team
Delhi, India Published: Mar 21, 2018, 06:53 AM(IST)

A still from the movie 'Daas Dev'. Photograph:( WION )

Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s Devdas has inspired generations of filmmakers and given us some eternal classics based on the doomed love story of Devdas and Paro. From KL Saigal to Sanjay Leela Bhansali to Anurag Kashyap- filmmakers from different eras have been inspired by the tragic love story and given it their own spin. So what is it about the story that attracts directors and storytellers time and again?  “It is a fascinating story, no doubt. You don’t come across a character this honest anymore,” says Sudhir Mishra whose film Daas Dev is scheduled to release on April 20th.

Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra in action. (WION)

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“In a way, Devdas was a feminist. Not only did he destroy the woman he loved, but also destroyed himself. Since he can’t liberate Paro, he destroys himself and her at the same time," says Mishra in a candid chat with WION. The filmmaker who is credited with films like Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Dharavi, Iss Raat Ki Subaah Nahi says his latest film, Daas Dev only takes inspiration from the original story. “ It is reimagining of the story. One would find similarities with Devdas as well as Hamlet. There’s a lot of influence of Shakespeare as well. Daas Dev is about a love lost but it is also about addiction of power,” says Mishra. 

Daas Dev features Rahul Bhatt as Dev, Richa Chadha as Paro and Aditi Rao Hydari as Chandni. With story firmly rooted in the heartland, the film has a political backdrop where ambition and deceit play an integral part in the love story of Dev and Paro.

Considering how star-driven the film industry is, was Mishra sceptical to cast actor Rahul Bhatt in the lead role?  "I’d say the film industry is male star-driven. I do have a big star in my film- Richa Chadha- who just delivered a box office hit with Fukrey Returns and yet I am asked this question.”

The director said there is a certain vulnerability that Bhatt brings to the character of Dev. "I worked with him in Anurag Kashyap's Ugly. I think he was splendid. He was the perfect choice for the lead character."
 
Mishra is quick to add that the biggest star in his film is actor Saurabh Shukla, the man who is known for his versatility. “ I get depressed if I don’t have Saurabh Shukla in my films. He has to be part of every film that I make. I even made him sing in Inkaar. I think Shukla is one of the greatest actors of our times. So for me, he is the biggest star of the film.”

The filmmaker, who began his career as a screenplay writer, admits he enjoys the process of writing the most. 

Post Daas Dev, Mishra will be busy with some writing for the digital medium. 'I'll be writing a historical and a black comedy. I am also a creative mentor for AIB's web series Gormint. I love the digital medium in fact. And I love the work that AIB is doing." 

But for now, his concentration is Daas Dev which was earlier supposed to release in February and then on March 23. "The producers felt it would be better push it to April 20th to get more screens. As long as the film gets a good release, I don't mind the film releasing 20 days later," says the filmmaker.

Daas Dev also features Anurag Kashyap, Vineet Singh and others. It releases in theatres on April 20th.

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