Devdas (Servant of God) is a 2002 Indian romantic drama film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and based on the 1917 Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Devdas. This is the third Hindi version and the first film version of the story in Hindi done in colour.The film follows Devdas (Shah Rukh Khan), a wealthy law graduate in the early 1900s, who returns from his studies in London to marry his childhood sweetheart, Paro (Aishwarya Rai). However, the rejection of this marriage by his own family sparks his descent into alcohol, ultimately leading to his emotional deterioration and him seeking refuge with a prostitute, Chandramukhi (Madhuri Dixit Nene). The film was screened at 2002 Cannes Film Festival and was also screened retrospective, during the 2014 International Film Festival of India in the Celebrating Dance in Indian cinema section.Devdas won the Filmfare Award for Best Film. The film also won five National Awards and a further ten Filmfare Awards, tied with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge with the most Filmfare Awards any film had won at the time (later beaten in 2005 by Bhansali’s Black).
It was received well by western audiences alike and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was also India’s submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was ranked #74 in Empire magazines “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema” in 2010.Time Magazine named Devdas as the best movie of 2002 among all the movies released around the world that year.The film was recently included in Time Magazine’s top 10 movies of the millennium worldwide.
The acting was seen by many as the primary factor for the film’s success, with Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, and Aishwarya Rai all winning Filmfare Awards for their performances. The film’s success was also attributed to the dance performances, with Dixit’s “Maar Daala” considered one of the most iconic of her career and the song “Dola Re Dola” becoming a hit due to the unique dance duet between Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit, two of the leading actresses of the epoch. At the time of its release, Devdas was the most expensive Bollywood film ever produced, with a reported budget of ₹50 crore (US$7.8 million). The film was a commercial success in India and abroad, becoming the highest grossing Indian film of the year. Shah Rukh Khan has bought the rights to this film under his banner, Red Chillies Entertainment.
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