Dev is Colors' latest offering to the crime/detective genre. The show met with a lot of anticipation and lawsuits as well for the use of a popular Bollywood actor's name. Regardless, we approach Dev starring Ashish Chowdhry as the protagonist with a little hope as the promos looked promising. The actor has been on TV before on Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi and it's his return to TV.
We watched the first two episodes to get ourselves a deduction of its worth for the viewers. Here's what we found as we chased Dev through street corners and flashbacks.
The story so far...
The series' structure is episodic. The first and second episode Case File #1: Where is Aanya? is the first case theviewers will see the lead solve. The Saluja family is in trouble, their daughter has been kidnapped and fate puts Dev Burman in their path. Dev is quick to chalk down suspects, you have the maid and her boyfriend, the child's uncle who's a drug user and the father of a child (who is a broke entrepreneur) himself. Dev goes on chases through the backlanes of Mumbai, tracks kidnappers, makes his promises to the mother of the child and resolves to bring the kid back.
We have unique character introduction stills and a precise marking of the time and locations.Along the way, the audience is given several hints about his character and lot of characters' motives are slowly unveiled. Through the course of two episodes, we are given our first glimpse into Dev's methods, his nuances, his past and the very puzzling road he takes as he navigates through the case.
Dev manages to catch you off guard! Just when you think the clues are obvious and the case is too simple, we are told otherwise. We stand corrected as the plot actually thickens and that realisation is enjoyable.
The detective isn't pretending, this isn't going to be a classic chase followed by a confession from the criminal, this won't be that easy to solve. And so, the show succeeds. To say that his judgement is fogged with Sherlockian deductions would be unfair as many textbook detectives go by the same methods of observation. This character is original, he's a loner, a tea drinker who doesn't carry a phone, possibly an ex-detective from what we're shown of his past and we're pretty much intrigued.
The use of upbeat songs associated with the gangster genre in tense situations is a nice touch. Most of the action takes place at live locations and we were shown some good chase sequences by the director. It has all the ingredients necessary to cook up a good crime drama.
The face-offs between the cop and this 'outlawed' detective are lacking something. We just wish they would have more of a battle of wits rather than glaring at each other and walking off when confronted solving the same case. Also, in some places we see Ashish Chowdhry overdoing his bits to stay in character as his acting looks forced. Apart from that, revealing Dev's past already may not be the best move as it isn't hard to figure out that he was in someway responsible for losing a loved one and his lifestyle now is all about brooding over it. We just hope it doesn't dissolve into melodrama.The Verdict-
The Bollywood character comes with an unconventional air about him and it is backed up by the feel of a show that is devoid of a typical daily soap atmosphere. Sumona Chakravarti who is popular for Comedy Nights With Kapil and Bade Acche Lagte Hai is a nice addition to the cast as well. We're watching a show from the detective genre after a very long time. Perhaps, as long as way back when the charming Byomkesh Bakshi aired on Doordarshan. We give the revival of the crime/detective genre a big thumbs up. Finally, we have believable situations and original plots that do not rely on mediocre acting or melodrama.
It doesn't sensationalise its subject, doesn't coat it with layers of pretentious character traits and gives us something real to ponder over.
The show isn't very brilliant or outstanding but, Dev comes as a relief to viewers looking for something beyond daily soaps and it deserves a viewership if it continues to offer mysteries and a consulting detective that doesn't fail to surprise!
Ratings: ****/5 (4/5)