I happened to re-watch this yesterday, only realizing after the magnificence played out, that it’s the 10-year anniversary of its release.
To mark this occasion, I have to say how amazing this movie is. From the acting and dialogue, to the sets, costumes, make-up, music, casting - it was like the universe lined up for all these things to coincide at the right moment and produce this beautifully mesmerizing film.
Sure, it’s heavy on melodrama and hysterics, but all of that completely fits with such a tragic time-period epic, so it only adds to the otherworldly experience. Though it is a dazzling feast for the eyes (how I wish I could dress so opulently!), the soundtrack is my favorite part. The songs are some of the best I’ve ever heard; and what a debut for Shreya Ghoshal! Remember when you thought Udit Narayan was actually Shah Rukh’s voice when he sang? It can’t have been just me (as a kid in the 90’s)…
In the “olden” days, they actually used the songs to perpetuate the story and matched the singers to the actors consistently, so you are completely sold on the actions and emotions. After 10 years, I still get chills during Hamesha Tumko Chaha, where Kavita and Udit brilliantly give voice to the pain of the situation playing out, as Paro becomes lost to Devdas forever.
The novel was written 95 years ago, and there have been numerous adaptions and retellings, but Bhansali’s 2002 version is a shining achievement in Indian film-making. For 3 hours, I was proud of Bollywood (and in love with Shah Rukh again), truly immersed in a lavish cinematic experience.