[[caption-width-right:308:Chandramukhi, the title character and Paro.]]

''Devdas'' is a Bengali Romance novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Essentially, it is a retelling of the Krishna, Radha, and Meera myths, the relationships between its three protagonists - Devdas, Parvati, and Chandramukhi - paralleling the Hindu deities. The film is similar to the book ''Literature/TheSorrowsOfYoungWerther''. Devdas is part of a rich Bengali family who used to play with ChildhoodSweetheart Paro. After Devdas comes back from England finishing his education, both Paro and he fall in love and Paro's mother deigns to inform Devdas's mother of arranging a marriage between them. [[ParentalMarriageVeto Devdas's father disapproves]] because Paro comes from a middle class trader family and Devdas is too weak willed to stand up to him. Paro gets married to a much older wealthy widower and Devdas spends his days drunk and in mourning. He is introduced to a Courtesan Chandramukhi in Calcutta who falls in love with him. And so, Paro keeps thinking of Devdas, Devdas keeps thinking of Paro and drinking himself to death and Chandramukhi falls in love with a drunk Devdas who never responds to her love.

The novella has been made into a film in many Indian languages, including Bengali, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Assamese. The most notable adaptations include a 1955 film by Bimal Roy, a 2002 film by Sanjay Leela Bhansali starring Creator/ShahRukhKhan as Devdas, Creator/MadhuriDixit as Chandramukhi and Creator/AishwaryaRai as Paro (all three pictured above) and ''Dev.D'', a modern day and loosely-derived take of the novel set against contemporary Punjab and Delhi, where familial ties are negotiated by the traditions of patriarchy and marriages are reduced to a game of power and "honour".

!!This work provides examples of:

* AllLoveIsUnRequited: Obviously.
* AlwaysSecondBest: Chandramukhi
* ArrangedMarriage: The cause of all of Devdas's problems.
* {{Betty and Veronica}}: Chandramukhi is Veronica, Paro is Betty.
** Its also been interpreted the other way around, with Chandramukhi as Betty and Paro as Veronica.
* ByronicHero: Devdas
* DespairEventHorizon: Devdas crosses this after Paro's marriage.
* DontMakeMeTakeMyBeltOff: Devdas's dad.
* DownerEnding: Boy, is it a downer ending! [[spoiler: Devdas dies and Paro is not even able to see his face because of the rules of Purdah.]]
** It's worse in the 2002 remake. [[spoiler: The last four minutes of the film consists of Paro fleeing her mansion in a desperate attempt to reach a dying Devdas, tears streaming down her face, all the while being pursued by her in-laws. If you're not familiar with the story, you try to take some small comfort in that Paro will be there for him in his final moments. To make things worse, it's subtly implied that Devdas (who sees Paro running towards him) doesn't know if it's really her or if he's just hallucinating. So he dies, not really knowing for sure if she still loves him as much as he loved her.]]
* DrowningMySorrows: Why Devdas does not appear sober after Paro's marriage
* DrinkingGame: In-universe, A reason for [[spoiler: Devdas's death]]
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Several times.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Chandramukhi.
** HighClassCallGirl: What 'courtesan' can translate to.
* TheItemNumber: In the version with Creator/AishwaryaRai (Paro) and Creator/MadhuriDixit (Chandramukhi), the "Dola Re Dola" number.
* KarmaHoudini: In the 2002 version, Devdas' sister-in-law Kumud. She's the one who reminds Devdas' mother (who was previously all right with the marriage proposal) of Paro's lower-class status, thereby ensuring ParentalMarriageVeto. Later, she's shown plotting with her husband to steal the key to the family vault and run away with it all. Devdas catches them and decides that [[WhatAnIdiot trying to set Kumud on fire would work better than, say, telling his mother about their plan]] (although to be fair, this is right after [[spoiler:his father's death]] so he's even more unhinged). Of course, Kumud successfully convinces everyone that Devdas has gone insane, and as a result he's thrown out of the house. Later in the film, comments are made about the family's financial and social ruin, so it looks like they got away.
* LoveHurts - And how!
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Or in the case of Devdas, [[spoiler: dead]]
* LoveTriangle: Paro, Chandramukhi and Devdas.
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: In the original novel, Devdas is initially disgusted with Chandramukhi for her profession, yet fascinated (and comforted) by her. He even marries her, but only ''after'' she gives up her profession to be with him, and he is always dogged by his feelings for [[ProperLady Paro]]. It's very much a case of the MadonnaWhoreComplex.
* SadBollywoodWedding
* SlapSlapKiss: Paro and Devdas as children. It blossoms into Love.
* StarCrossedLovers: Who do you think?
* ThePromise: [[spoiler: On her wedding day, Devdas promises Paro that he will come to her doorstep one more time before he dies. [[IronicEcho Guess what happens at the end?]]]]
* ThisBedOfRoses: Chandramukhi offers Devdas a place to stay at the brothel where she works.
* TypeCaste: The reason Paro and Devdas are fated to be StarcrossedLovers.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Paro, who is his FirstLove.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Reason Devdas spends half his screentime drunk.
* YouCanBarelyStand: Devdas when he crawls drunk to Paro's residence near the end.