Dev is a glossy romance flick directed by debutant Rajath Ravishankar. The film features really good looking lead actors, Karthi and Rakul; their screen presence, styling, costumes and chemistry count among the film’s positives. Harris Jayaraj’s peppy songs have been shot in a slick manner akin to music videos, in exotic locations, and work well as standalone sequences. ‘Oru Murai’ and ‘Dey Machan Dev’ are the best of the lot. Cinematographer Velraj gives the film a rich, designer look; Dev scores high on visual aesthetics. The young actors playing Karthi’s friends, Amrutha and Vigneshkanth, also do a fine job and infuse life into the film’s first half. Karthi has sportingly shared a lot of screen time with these youngsters. He looks his very best and has evidently worked hard on his appearance and fitness. The result shows.
On the downside, Dev has plenty of issues. The conflict between the lovers in the second half is superficial and extremely forced. The film slides downhill right there with no redemption from then on. The tired audience loses interest by the time the film huffs and puffs to the finish line. The adventurous climax action sequence atop the Everest sticks out sorely. The run time of close to 2 hours 40 minutes is a major stretch; the film definitely needs a lot of trimming. Guess it’s too late to salvage it!
Rakul had said in pre-release interviews that she would slap her character Meghna for being too hard on her lover Dev. Truer words haven’t been spoken! From being portrayed as a strong, independent professional achiever, she suddenly becomes this self-centered, unrealistic woman who doesn’t understand her lover’s situation and doesn’t even give him space to be himself and do something productive.
The few action sequences seem like mandatory inclusions just for the sake of Karthi’s 'action hero' image. Big support actors like Prakash Raj and Ramya Krishnan are given very one dimensional characters and the film doesn’t utilize the potential that they have. Most of the song sequences have been placed very unimaginatively and test the audience’s patience. Harris Jayaraj’s background score is what you would call ‘trademark Harris’. But he doesn’t give any room for the scenes to breathe; there is hardly any silence in the background.
Director Rajath seems to be a director with a strong visual sense. He makes sure that his Dev is all style but sadly the substance is lacking. It’s a wasted opportunity for this young filmmaker. Despite popular lead actors, a generous producer, solid technicians, the minimum guarantee romance genre, he still fails to engage the audience for large parts of his film!