16 Years of Devdas (12/07/2002)

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Devdas is a 2002 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 is set in the early 1900s and follows Shah Rukh Khan as Devdas, a wealthy law graduate who returns from London to marry his childhood sweetheart, Paro, played by 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 played by Madhuri Dixit.

Despite receiving mixed reviews in India upon release, Devdas was critically acclaimed among western film critics, and is considered as one of the greatest films ever made. It 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 magazine’s “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’s top 10 movies of the millennium worldwide. The film was screened at 2002 Cannes Film Festival, and the 2002, and 2014 International Film Festival of India in the “Devdas Section” and “Celebrating Dance in Indian cinema” section respectively. 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).

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Celebrating Cinema

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