Dev DD: ALTBalaji's 'female Devdas' likes sex, booze. But is the character truly progressive?
ALTBalaji's Dev DD, which features the female version of the classic Devdas character as its protagonist, portrays the problems of a modern woman who's unabashed about her sex life, in a style reminiscent of Anurag Kashyap's Dev.D.
The trailer opens with words like 'slut', 'sick', 'psycho' and 'wild' flashing across the screen, with shots of Devika Dharam Dwivedi, the titular Dev DD, having sex with different men. The show's tagline is "Wilder than your imagination," and the trailer portrays this through Devika's reckless and unabashed behaviour. We are told that she is very liberal when it comes to her sex life, and is also possibly bisexual.
Devika comes across as a no-nonsense woman aware of her sexuality and proud of flaunting it. Her problems are all too familiar — her mother chastises her for leaving her bra out in the open in her room, her boyfriend tells her, "Main kya, koi bhi shareef ladke ke layak nahi hai tu." She raises eyebrows when she is at the chemist buying condoms and asking for all the flavours available.
The issue is that these problems and Devika's reactions to them are portrayed in a very cliché manner, almost making you ask, "Why are we still obsessing over this?"
In true Devdas style, we see Devika resorting to sex and alcohol rather than dealing with her problems. The one redeeming characteristic she has is her fierce sense of independence and assertiveness when it comes to creepy men.
The best part of this web series seems to be the father, who is a breath of fresh air amidst other stereotypical characters. You can tell that he probably does not approve of Devika's behaviour, but he calls her his "trouble maker", making it clear that he still accepts her and loves her.
Dev DD is directed by Ken Ghosh and stars Aasheema Vardhan, Sanjay Suri, Akhil Kapoor, Deepika Deshpande and Suneel Sinha. It will begin streaming on 16 April, 2017.
Watch the trailer here: