Weâ€™ve seen it all before and now we get to watch it again:
1. Amitabh Bachchan as the suppressed law-protector taking on the system - â€śZanjeerâ€ť, â€śKhakeeâ€ť, and more films than I can count.
2. Evil politicians not allowing super-cop to do his job to protect their own interests - again, â€śKhakeeâ€ť and every film with Mr. Bachchan as a cop alongside every film with every lead actor trying to play cop.
4. Misled youth opting for violence as an option to combat social oppression - Hrithik Roshan in â€śFizaâ€ť and every movie with a lead actor playing a truant.
Dev has nothing new to offer other than the very interestingly crafted character of Joint Commissioner Tejinder Khosla played by the exceptional Mr.
That the director can boast of strong performances is a given with Mr. Bachchan and Mr. Puri heading the cast. To give credit where it is due, kudos to Fardeen Khan and Kareena Kapoor for shedding their star personas and playing their characters with a taut sense of honesty. But whatever happened to imaginative storytelling?
â€śDevâ€ť fails to captivate simply because Mr. Nihalani serves old wine in an even older bottle. Rather â€śslowerâ€ť bottle. Dev Pratap Singh (Bachchan) and Tej Khoslaâ€™s (Puri) ideological clash forms the basis of the film. While Dev is focused on eliminating the rotten apples of society, Tej is the kind who would rather trash the entire basket. This clash is so overplayed through the film that the story fails to progress. The two characters remain in the same point on their respective situational curves, while hell breaks loose around them and the audience yawns. Come climax, pessimism takes over Mr. Nihalaniâ€™s directorial vision as the audience can only say, â€śI know the how bad the political system in my country is. Do I really need to pay good money to have that rubbed into me all the more?â€ť
While original content on its own can entertain more often than not, the craft of making a captivating film can often save rehashed themes (e.g. â€śKhakeeâ€ť). Surprisingly, despite a director like Mr. Nihalani calling the shots, that craft in this recycled product too seems to be missing. Mr. Nihalani, it is time to shut the recycle bin and use the trash can. We donâ€™t want to see what other filmmakers did; we want to see what you can do. And we all know there is a lot to where that comes from.