Aug 17, 2010

Devdas, the Shakespearean King and their Rights

I'm not a huge fan of SLB but you gotta give it to the dude: when he gets it right, he evokes the tragic grandeur of Guru Dutt. Check the above scene even if you think SRK is worse than H1N1 & the Afghan mujahedeen combined. C'mon, it's less than 2 mins!

When i first read 'King Lear', i was puzzled cause i couldn't appreciate any obvious tragedy in what happens to Lear. He's a cranky, selfish, egotist who doesn't really care about anyone but himself & gets what he deserves. But wait, let's not be hasty. The beauty of this great tragedy is not what befalls him, but what it makes of him. There is something deeply moving and almost spiritual about the way he changes once he has lost it all - daughters, the crown, dignity. Yet, never has Lear stood taller than in those scenes on the heath when he stands challenging the elements. There is something about being stripped of all your dear possessions that must shake the very foundations of who you are.

Devdas refers to something similar in the film above. He has been stripped of his village, his home, his beloved, and wonders when it will be his life. It is shattering if one comprehends that the man is left with no centre to define himself anymore. He has to start from scratch or simply perish. However, like Lear there is a bit of assertion left in him. The world gives and takes away temporal titles and rights. But, there are some unassailable rights which no one can take away from us. It is this right to his mother's affection that he speaks of. These are the rights we arrogate to ourselves to make meaning of our lives & cling to in our darkest moments. Probably what makes them so unique is that there is no expectation that flows from these rights - they are deeply personal & ours alone and you know no one can take them away. 

1 comment:

Sunil Deepak said...

Single scenes, seen without the context of restof the film give a different and perhaps more intense feeling.