Sudhir Mishra’s DaasDev, the latest take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic novel Devdas, will be released on February 16, according to a press release. Mishra’s movie stars Rahul Bhat as the titular protagonist, Richa Chadha as Paro and Aditi Rao Hydari as Chandni (Chandramukhi in the novel).

The Saptarishi Cinevision production is set in Uttar Pradesh against the backdrop of politics. “DaasDev is a film about power as it gets into the way of love,” the press release said.

Mishra added in his director’s note, “I think it’s my right to use any work, everything is my heritage, so I can play with it as long as I admit it. I admit that I took Devdas, I took the three characters Dev, Paro, and Chandramukhi. As I was working, Shakespeare intruded and I allowed him to, what could I do? Ultimately it became a film about power as it gets into the way of love. It became a reverse journey because if Devdas is a journey from a noble person to a ‘das’, this is a journey from ‘das’, a person who is a slave to his addictions and the dynastic ambitions of his family, to Dev.”

Paro too will be an altogether different beast, Mishra promised. “In my version, she is a modern, spunky, interesting woman who fights with the weapons she has and in the end, confronts Dev.” As for Chandramukhi, the prostitute who shelters Devdas after he has descended into an alcoholic daze, Mishra said, “She’s the one who services the political forces of our time. The so-called modern semi-feudal upper-class families and the patriarchal world don’t accept women like her.”

Devdas, written in 1917, is a tragic romance about the unfulfilled love of an aristocrat for his neighbour, which leads him to despair, alcoholism and eventually death. Among the directors to have made classic and contemporary adaptations of Devdas are PC Barua, Bimal Roy, Vedantam Raghaviah, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Anurag Kashyap.

Pardesi, DevD.