I’m going against the tide of what I’ve read this past week. I’m picking Dev, with the doctor who tells him the seriousness of Sunita’s condition and with Karl in her hospital room.
With the doctor, Dev doesn’t want to hear her words. He acts like if he continues to question and refute what she is saying, he will force her to say what he wants to hear. When he unwillingly acknowledges that the doctors cannot do anything to bring her around, he uses threats. He will get a second opinion, he will sue them for everything they’re worth, etc.
This is Dev, the personal and professional of him. He wears his ego, and heart, on his sleeve. He projects the image, at least to himself, of big time operator. A man who can afford the best and takes nothing from nobody – that’s what he wants people to see. That’s the Dev he needs to get him through this horrible news: that there’s nothing to do but wait and hope, and the odds are against her.
Talking to Karl
Later, at Sunita’s bedside, talking about the movie he and the kids went to. The ticket they had for Sunita. He’s talking to her while directing his words to Karl. He talks about what happened in the lobby, but not what he thought. Probably he was angry, watching his kids reluctant to go into the show in case mummy turned up.
At that moment, his resentment was about her letting the kids down. But he has been resentful and angry toward her for a long time, since he found out about her affair with Karl. He got over that and would have taken her back but she rebuffed him. Then she wanted back with him, but couldn’t say she loved him. He unhappily turned his back on her. Just as he is rethinking that decision, she is seriously injured. Now he can’t tell her he loves her and wants her back, no matter what.
So he just keeps telling her and anyone else around, trying to force her to consciousness by denying nay-sayers like the doctors. Even Karl, the man who betrayed him with her, is ok as a sounding-board, as a way to talk to Sunita.
Force of will
Dev lives in extremes and believes his own press. He believes his image of himself as a player. By force of will, he believes, he can have everything turn out right. He does not do this in a subtle way; there has never been anything subtle about the outward Dev. The subtlety in Dev’s character is in how important it is for his self-image that others believe in it too. If others do not see him as The Man, powerful and sexy, he loses it. Suaveness becomes bravado, sensitivity becomes buffoonery.
So we see a bereft Dev, willing Sunita to live by talking about her with the man who stole her from him then cast her aside. Even if he’d looked up at Karl, standing stone-faced behind him, I doubt Dev could have taken himself out of his battle of will for Sunita’s well-being and seen that, really, all Karl wants is for Sunita to die. That is the only way to ensure that the secret of Karl’s arson is kept.