Dev

Dev is the protagonist in Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D. Devdas is a cult movie which has been adapted in many languages, originally a novel by SaratChandra Chattopadhyay.

Dev is a man deep rooted in patriarchy but is unaware of it. Dev and Paro have a long time long distance relationship.  Both of them are in love with each other. Their age warrants raging hormones and none of them is in denial. At Dev’s request,  Paro sends him her “pictures” which she gets developed at a photo studio first. Dev is Ok with it till he believes that Paro is only his. Their rendezvous continues even when Dev comes back to India.

 

But the problem arises when Dev hears loose talk about Paro. It comes from rumors spread by a spurned lover. But much like village folk, totally leaving behind his foreign education and thinking, he believes everything he hears. When Paro confronts him, he breaks up with her. He has no idea what he is doing. Giving up on his childhood love on hearsay rumors. Paro is heartbroken and decides to marry the guy her father chooses for her. It’s only when Dev sees Paro on her wedding day that it finally hits him. And there after, he goes down that long road of alchohol, drugs and self destruction.

Dev is a character I find hard to empathize with. He comes across as a very selfish person who only cares about what he wants. Even Chanda, who he meets later and who takes care of him, is left alone because he finds out about her background and the reason why she forays into prostitution. 
I feel like Dev is caught between his patriarchal thoughts and western sensibilities. He cannot handle a Paro who is independent,  owns her sexuality and is not afraid to ask for respect. Dev’s deep rooted patriarchy doesn’t allow him to accept what his heart wants. He is a narcissistic person who chooses the path of self destruction over anything worthwhile that he could have done with his life. This character is iconic for the way it has been portrayed by both the Abhay Deol (the actor who plays Dev) and Anurag Kashyap (the director of the movie).