Nine cinematic versions of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's immortal love story Devdas have been released since the first silent film in 1928. Now Anurag Kashyap is ready with the10th version, titled Dev D releasing Friday - a fresh, contemporary take on the romance that breaks all its typecasts.
"I scripted the film on the basis of news headlines on the Gen-X because I wanted to take the angle of today's youth in the film," Kashyap told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
Produced by UTV Bindaas, the film has Abhay Deol in the title role. Newcomers Mahi Gill and Kalki Koechlin play the female leads.
While the previous adaptations were set in Kolkata and the protagonist was shown as a zamindar's son, Kashyap's film is set in rural Punjab and also explores the dingy, morbid and dark underbelly of Delhi. For a change, the protagonist Dev (Abhay) is a rich industrialist's son.
Dev, who was sent to London, returns to his hometown and his childhood sweetheart Paro (Mahi) after 12 years. But his life is turned upside down when he finds out that Paro is married off to someone else.
While Paro picks up the thread of her life and moves on with grit and dignity, Dev, soaked in self-pity, drowns himself in darkness and hopelessness.
While mourning his lost love, Dev comes across a prostitute called Chanda (Kalki) who lives life on the edge. After a disastrous MMS scandal, she is disowned by her family and is forced into isolation.
Kashyap captures the sensibilities, conflict, aggression and recklessness of youth today through these characters.
The music of the film can already be heard in discotheques and cars in cities. Its 18 tracks include Rajasthani, Punjabi and Awadhi folk numbers.
Abhay is very confident about the film.
"Devdas has been made before, but this one has a very new, fresh and out of the box approach. Nobody had ever thought of making Devdas in this contemporary way," said Abhay.
"Dev D adopts an unusual and contemporary approach and I think that is exactly what will work for the film because it will be like a revelation to the people. It's always good to turn a stereotype image and experiment with it," he added.
While the 1955 version by Bimal Roy and the last remake in 2002 by Sanjay Leela Bhansali won audiences' hearts, what is to be seen is whether Kashyap's modern version of the twisted Bengali romance manages to strike a chord with film buffs.