Spoilers Alert !
"Dev" is directed by a debutant Rajath Ravishakar. Karthi and Rakulpreet are paired again after the successful “Theeran - Adhigaram Ondru” in this supposedly action adventure film. The songs tuned by Harris Jayaraj have already become chart-busters. The makers of the film are so confident that they went ahead and released two video songs and the making of the film even before the release.
The film starts with a scene where Dev Ramalingam (Karthi) is stuck in an avalanche somewhere in the Himalayas. Interesting? Next we see his close friends from school days (played by RJ Vignesh and Amrita) arranging for a stand-up comedy show, through which the film is presented as a flashback. Dev is passionate in living his life to the fullest and keen on travelling to explore the world and nature. He is also shown doing some freelance writing / photography for Discovery channel. He does not believe in a regular 9 to 5 job and the compulsions of the society. Meghna Padmavathy (Rakulpreet) is a young and dynamic CEO of an international firm, whose only ambition is to make money. She lives with her mother (Ramya Krishnan) and does not believe in men because of an incident in her childhood. How these two characters meet-up, fall in love and whether their love will stand beyond their contrasting views on life and personal interests form the rest of the film. You must be wondering what happened to the Avalanche, will come to that later.
Karthi does his best to fit in to the character of Dev, but then we find it very difficult to connect with the character even after the film ends. Blame it on the script. Honestly, I don’t think romantic film is his forte (I felt the same with Kaatru Veliyidai too). Rakulpreet has improved her acting skills but her lip sync (probably dubbed) was tragic. RJ Vignesh and Amrita, as Dev’s friends are good. They have an extended role and add liveliness to the proceedings. Talented actors like Ramya Krishnan and Prakash Raj are wasted. Cinematography by Velraj is a big plus. The scope of the story allows him to explore various locales beautifully through the lens. The scenes shot in Himalayas are also good but the VFX work is average. Two action blocks are forced into the script to satisfy the actors fan base. Harris Jayaraj songs are good and pictured well.
Except for the above few positives, the film has an overdose of negatives and faults. Firstly, the promos of the film stressed on action adventure genre but what you get to see is a romantic film in the backdrop of few adventure stuff added out of compulsion (another recent film which did this mistake in promotions was “Irupathiyonnam Nootaandu”). Why mis-sell your own film to create a hype? When we talk about adventure, travelling to lonely places, staying in a tent, gazing at the stars in the night, having food in a Dhaba or even bungee jumping into deep waters are all fine. But when you are going to show the protagonist climbing Everest, you better get him prepared for the same. You can’t have him recover from a serious accident and start trekking to Mount Everest and also survive an avalanche! If the director was going to base the film on this block, atleast there should have been some hint and expectation created throughout the film, which would keep the audience interested. But this just pops out towards the end from nowhere.
The lead characters keep travelling every alternate scene and you forget where they are at any point of time and where the story unfolds – Mumbai or Hosur or Bangalore or Chennai or US? The film also has several cinematic cliché and irony. Why does every film show a strong women character as someone who hates men, cant women be strong and at the same time accept men in their lives too? We see Dev lecturing his friends about respecting women and the very next scene we see him stalking Meghna. Infact, there are few scenes where he tells her not to consider this as stalking. But then stalking is stalking, it’s not going to change because you justify it. In another scene, Dev saves a girl (Nikki Galrani in a cameo) from some rowdy elements who try to molest her. The very next moment she tells him that she is interested to be with him for which Dev refuses and tells her that he finds her bold and intelligent. Dev, who wishes to go on a long travel to know his girlfriend, understands this stranger in few minutes?
There are also scenes where Dev tells his friends (and to the audience) to live the life they want to, to work in a job which you are passionate about etc etc.. but then Dev is from a well to do family (in one scene we are seen him choosing a bike from dozens of high-end models at his home). Ofcourse, he can afford to live that way. I have to compare this to the character Aaron in the movie “Kayal” (directed by Prabhu Solomon), another love story where the hero has similar views on life. But we root for this character till the film ends as it was more grounded, more believable and we instantly liked him. This is not the case with Dev. I can go on with the negatives, but will stop here.
Dev is an adventurous attempt (read script gone overboard) by the debutant director Rajath for having decided to film this script. It’s good in bits and pieces and is presented in a glossy format. But it neither enthralls you with the adventures, nor mesmerize you with the romance. As an end product, it’s not worth your time.
Rating - 2.25/5