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Daas Dev movie review: The Sudhir Mishra film has lofty ambition but not enough impact

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Daas Dev movie cast: Rahul Bhat, Richa Chadda, Aditi Rao Hydari, Saurabh Shukla, Dalip Tahil, Vipin Sharma, Anil George, Vineet Kumar Singh, Deepraj Rana, Sohaila Kapur, Anurag Kashyap

Daas Dev movie director: Sudhir Mishra

Daas Dev movie rating: Two and a half stars

 

Hindi cinema can never have enough of Devdas, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s immortal character, who chose dissoluteness over self-determination in his endless pursuit of self-love.

Many cinematic iterations over the years have steadily crafted, and grafted, an image of Devdas as the eternal Indian lover. Sudhir Mishra’s retelling bungs in some Shakespeare and a bit of personal history, and comes up with a mixed bag of a movie.

Fashioned more as a political thriller than a tale of doomed love, Mishra’s film puts us in mind of his memorable Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi, which also had three youthful characters, stinging romance, and astute recreation of an India during the Emergency. That film has legs; it still feels as true and trenchant as it did when it came out.

Daas Dev has lofty ambition but not enough impact: the film lives in moments, but droops as a whole. Set in UP, it opens in 1997, with a dominant political family and its cohorts spreading their wings. Twenty years later, we have Dev Chauhan (Bhat) being positioned to take on his family legacy, his childhood sweetheart Paro (Chadda) doubling up as a political rival, and the crafty Chandni (Rao Hydari) learning when to give in, and when to take over.

We are told about the feelings between this troika, never really seeing anything earth-shatteringly intense overtaking them. The point that in this day and age pure love is a myth, and the only way it can work is transactional is valid, but not executed well enough: it doesn’t help that Bhat is bland, and Chadda is familiar in her feistiness. Rao Hydari stands out: there may be an actor in her after all.

Mishra is patently more at ease while cooking up his hothouse of political intrigue, with Saurabh Shukla (terrific) as the man behind the throne, Dalip Tahil as the devious businessman who only talks in crores, Vipin Sharma (as solid as ever) as an associate with an eye on the main chance, Anil George as a loyal friend, Sohaila Kapur as a widow with power, and Deepraj Rana with one of the most entertaining scenes in the film.

The trouble with all these people (a fine ensemble cast), whose questionable actions underline the common belief that all politics is for personal gain and not for the greater good, is that they get shoehorned into an overwrought plot. And its all much too jerky and staccato, never really letting its good parts breathe.

One such moment I loved has three people, two men and a woman, caught in an embarrassingly intimate moment: she tosses it off with a laugh, and we laugh with her, not at her. It’s nice to see a woman own her hold over men minus coyness; the scene is lifted by the wonderful Vineet Kumar Singh, the lead actor in Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz. The latter shows up here in a walk-on part, in a meta nudge-and-wink, deliberate I’m sure, to his own marvelous Dev D.

It’s the kind of moment which makes a film. Pity the whole doesn’t match up.


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Tech-Film

WhatsApp’s 5 upcoming features that will make the app more interesting

The Kashmir Monitor

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WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app in the world. Over the years, WhatsApp has continued to add new and interesting features without compromising on ease-of-use. The Facebook-owned firm is now working on more new features that are set to make the app more interesting and convenient.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode is one of the most anticipated features on WhatsApp. The feature has been often spotted in the beta versions of the app. The Dark Mode inverts the colours to help reduce strain on eyes, especially after sunset. Google has already added the feature on some of its key applications including Chrome browser and YouTube. Apple introduced system-wide Dark Mode with iOS 13. WhatsApp is also expected to add the feature sooner or later.

 

Quick Edit Media

WhatsApp is working on a “quick edit media” feature. Spotted in the recent beta version of the app, the feature allows users to make changes to media files sent or received. Note the feature is different from the existing edit tools that WhatsApp provides. According to WABetainfo, a website that monitors the latest changes to WhatsApp, users can edit the media in-chat and share directly.

More forwarded info

In a bid to fight fake news and misinformation on its platform, WhatsApp last year added a “forwarded” label on messages that have been forwarded by the sender. The company is now going to improve this feature by adding a “frequently forwarded” label. Whatsapp is also working on a new feature that will tell how many times a message has been forwarded. The feature is expected to be part of the info section which tells when the message was delivered and when it was read.

QR code

WhatsApp is making it easier to add a new contact through QR codes. Expected to launch very soon, WhatsApp’s QR code is said to be very similar to nametags on Instagram. Each user will receive a unique QR code which can be shared with others. WhatsApp already uses QR code for WhatsApp Web that mirrors the phone version.

Hide muted status

Similar to Facebook’s unfollow, WhatsApp’s ‘hide muted status’ the feature doesn’t completely block a contact just hide from the Status feed. Right now, even if you mute a status, a faded version appears at the bottom of the feed. The company is reportedly improving the feature by removing the muted Status feed altogether.

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For me, the story is above my character: Ayushmann Khurrana

The Kashmir Monitor

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Ayushmann Khurrana says for him more than his character, the story of a film and the message it leaves behind, is a bigger priority.

The 34-year-old actor said he does not mind playing an immoral character if the plot does justice with the fate of the part.

“I would love to do a variety of scripts and characters. If the story resonates with me, I would definitely do a character which is not moral.

 

“But at the same time, it has to be a message in the end, against a character or maybe whatever that character needs to learn eventually. For me the story matters above my character. I am obsessed with good stories,” Ayushmann told PTI.

The actor, who has made a mark for himself courtesy his unique choice of films, believes every performer has “different aspirations”.

“It also really depends on what your priorities are. Some scripts are to prove your acting abilities, some scripts are there to have a certain social responsibility and as I said everyone has different aspirations in life, so, being progressive and regressive is a very subjective thing,” he added.

Ayushmann has struck a chord with the audience, but the actor said there is no formula to maintain the connect.

“Anybody can go wrong. Whatever is relevant right now may be irrelevant five years from now. Our industry is ever-changing and our society is ever-evolving so I cannot be cocky and pompous enough to say that I have a great script sense. I hope my gut supports me in future as well,” he said.

His latest Article 15 has turned out to be the second-biggest opener of his career after Badhaai Ho! and the actor is elated with the overwhelming response from both the audience and critics.

The Anubhav Sinha-directed film, which released on June 28, has earned over Rs 70 crore worldwide.

“Commercial success is really important but at the same time, it has to be a mix of both critical and commercial acclaim. Credibility is the key for any artiste.”

Ayushmann will be seen next in Dream Girl and Bala – releasing this year while his other film Gulabo Sitabo with Shoojit Sircar will come out next year.

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Oppo K3 with pop-up front camera to launch in India on July 19

The Kashmir Monitor

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Oppo is set to launch its new mid-range smartphone, Oppo K3 in India on July 19. The company has now revealed that it is partnering with Amazon to launch the device. The e-commerce site has already started taking registrations of interest on its website with the Notify Me button on the device page.

Oppo will reveal the pricing and availability details on the launch date with the disclosure of a list of introductory offers. The device will be made available in Purple and Black gradient colour options.

To recall, Oppo K3 has already been launched in China and is priced at Yuan 1,599 (approximately Rs 16,000) for the 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant, Yuan 1,899 (approximately Rs 19,000) for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage variant and Yuan 2,299 (approximately Rs 23,000) for the 8GB RAM/256GB storage variant.

 

Oppo K3 sports a 6.5-inch full HD+ AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. It also comes with the DC dimming feature and an in-display fingerprint sensor. The device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor paired with an Adreno 616 GPU.

The device runs Google’s Android 9.0 Pie operating system with the company’s own ColorOS 6.0 skin on top. All of this is backed by a 3,765mAh battery with support for the company’s own VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge technology.

Oppo K3 sports a dual camera setup on the back consisting of a 16MP primary sensor paired with a 2MP secondary sensor. On the front, it features a 16MP sensor to take selfies.

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