‘Dev’, aka why screenwriting should be consistent

Posted on February 20, 2019


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/dev-karthi-screenwriting-rajath-ravishankar/

It’s not surprising that the new Karthi starrer has been roundly panned. It’s another film with a great idea and not-great writing.

Dev (Karthi) is a man who likes adventure. Like many things in this thoroughly underwhelming film, we know this because — apart from the odd shot that has him diving off a cliff — it is told to us, not because we sense this trait of Dev’s or feel it. There’s a lot of tell-don’t-show in Dev, written and directed by newcomer Rajath Ravishankar. Dev tells a friend, Vicky (RJ Vigneshkanth), to do his own thing and not conform to society’s expectations. I would have more impressed had Dev been practising this carefree philosophy without the support of a multi-megabucks daddy (played by a thoroughly underutilised Prakash Raj) — but let’s just look at this scene. It doesn’t sound like a casual conversation between friends. It sounds like an earnest TED Talk. (His father talks that way, too.)

But at least when it comes to the core conceit, Dev is not just all talk. This is, at heart, a love story, but infused with the spirit of adventure. Dev falls for Meghna (a thoroughly miscast Rakul Preet Singh, glamming it up in a role that required some serious acting). She’s a big-time achiever, the boss of her own multi-megabucks company. She’s the kind of person whom Dev was lecturing his friend about, the kind that has ticked off each box in the Society’s Expectations list. Dev’s idea of a peak is something that rests on Mount Everest. To Meghna, it’s a crest on her company’s finance chart. Will the two worlds meet? Will the two worldviews meet? Will Mr. Adventure and Ms. Achiever find true love?

Continued at the link above.

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