Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Bengali filmmaker P.C. Barua directs this technically innovative and influential work about the evils of the caste system. Devdas (played by K.L. Saigal in the Hindi version and by the director Barua in the Bengali version) -- the son of a wealthy landlord -- is in love with the beautiful Parvati (Jamuma), the daughter of a lowly peasant farmer. Their respective class difference prevents them from getting together; he is sent to Calcutta to study while she is married off to a wealthy widower. Wracked with guilt and longing, Devdas seeks comfort in the arms of a dissolute whore named Chandramukhi (the Hindi version is Rajkumari and the Bengali version is Chandrati Devi), who introduces him to the pleasures of alcohol. Following a lengthy railroad journey about India, Devdas finds himself at Parvati's doorstep, and he soon thereafter dies in her arms.