The bottle-friendly anti-hero Devdas from Saratchandra Chatterjee's immortal saga is no longer an incorrigible incurable alcoholic.
Aur Devdas, Sudhir Mishra's revisionist version of the story features a Devdas played by the talented Rahul Bhat (Anurag Kashyap's discovery said to be outstanding in Ugly) who is trying to kick the alcoholic habit and goes into a rehabilitation centre for rigorous detoxification.
This makes Mishra's Devdas the most unique interpretation of Saratchandra's tragic and doomed lover hero, so far played by Dilip Kumar in Bimal Roy's Devdas, Shah Rukh Khan in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas and Abhay Deol in Anurag Kashyap's crisp and kinky Dev D.
Says the promising new actor, "Devdas is an alcoholic. But in Sudhir Sir's version he is trying his utmost to fight his addiction."
Bhat's Devdas tries to get himself rehabilitated repeatedly.
Says Rahul, "He tries to get himself de-toxicated twice. But unfortunately goes back to alcohol and drug abuse."
The young actor who has been struggling with career frustrations for many years (he made his unsuccessful debut as a leading man in 2002 in Umesh Mehra's Yeh Hai Mohabbat) says he transposed all his pain into Devdas' part. "I'm finally making positive use of all the frustration that I went through when I was without any acting assignment for 8-9 years. I realize now that some good comes out of the worst situation. If I hadn't gone through the prolonged period of struggle and turmoil I wouldn't have been able to portray Devdas's pain so effectively."
Rahul thinks his interpretation of Devdas stands a good chance of being effective.
"Dilip Saab's Devdas is the diamond. Shah Rukh Khan is the gold. I just want a silver lining for my career," quips Rahul.