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Upperstall Review


Hindi, Historical Drama, 1956, Colour & Black and white

Following the huge success of Chandralekha (1948), filmmakers makers from the south continued with following SS Vasan's formula of making swashbuckling dramas with kings, queens, duels, stunts etc along with highly melodramic family dramas. Devta, belonging to the former category, is one of the most idiotic films to come out from the South factory.

The film starts off as a swashbuckler as the princess falls in love with a commoner much against the wishes of the evil army commander, then gets into Hatim-Tai type territory as the hero, accompied by a bumbling sidekick, has to get the Naag Jyoti to restore the king's eyes before becoming a cliched suffering woman type story who proves that being pati vrata and worshipping her husband as god even if he is a cripple, is the biggest strength of all as she saves her husband from the Naag Rani's curse. Nothing works in this inane and tedious film which has dated laughably be it the tacky sword duels or the unbearably high melodramatic moments or even the eye-popping performances of Gemini Ganesh (though he does do better in his crippled avtaar), Anjali Devi and Vyjayanthimala. In particular, Vyjayanthimala, otherwise an extremely competent actress, must cringe each time she sees herself as the 'Naag Rani' in this film, especially in the seduction sequences with Gemini Ganesh where she is a hoot! Of course she is more in her element and at home in her dances, which she carries off adequately enough.

Even the music, otherwise the saving grace of many an old film,is strictly average without a single memorable song. As for the song picturizations,at least comparitively some care has been taken in choreographing and picturizing Vyjayanthimala's dances but that's about it.

All in all, a totally ridiculous film.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

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