Jun 12, 2011

This 'Shaitan' Packs a Punch!

Very few films make you happy after disturbing you to the core. Even fewer films engross you to an extent where you do not mind watching blood and gore on screen. To be honest, I have a very weak heart, I can not stand too much of violence, blood and other 'dark' domains. It is here that a film like Shaitan scores brownie points. It makes you a 'Shaitan' for that duration of nearly two hours. You become a part of that extraordinary ordeal and your innermost demons rule roost, without your conscience realizing the same.


Shaitan is the story of five friends (Emmy, Zubeen, KC, Dash, Tanya) who in the process of getting their asses saved get involved in a series of botched crimes. The film beautifully sketches the lives of affluent youngsters who devastate their lives by committing crimes which are more circumstantial than intentional. Shaitan quite correctly depicts youngsters as sexual, compulsive, edgy and aggressive. It reveals the dark undercurrent that lies beneath youth's trendy outfits, cool demeanor and attractive persona. 


Revealing too much about the storyline of the film would not be justified, as there is a wafer thing plot in first place. All I can say is that Shiatan is the sum total of umpteen 'judgmental errors' made by the characters in a matter of few hours. 

The film never gives you a chance to recover. It weaves a certain magic around you, which does not let you come out of the lives of those five friends. Apart from subtle doses of psychotic behavior, erratic waves inside a youth's mind and dark emotions, the film also dishes out some very basic, simple and 'worth-repeating-numerous-times' kind of lessons. I extracted the following lessons from the film:
  • Always be very careful in selection of your friends
  • Drug addiction is worse than death, it kills life every time it plans to resurrect itself
  • And the most important, committing a new crime is never the best way to hide your criminal past

The film boasts of splendid performances. The entire ensemble cast of Shaitan breathes fire from scene one. There are no mediocre or even average actors involved here. Kalki Koechlin (in the role of Emmy) is the show stealer, she is one of those rare new talents in the industry who can enact both a 18-Year Old and a 80-Year Old with utmost ease. Rajeev Khandelwal (as Inspector Mathur) is super effective in the role of a frustrated cop, while Shiv Pandit (Dash) comes of age in the role of a mysterious drug peddler cum friend of other 4 central characters.

Gulshan Devaih (KC) and Neil Bhoopalam aka Zubeen (Who enacted Shayan Munshi's role in No One Killed Jessica) are terrific. Their peculiar behavior in first half of the film is sure to enthrall the audiences. Kirti Kulhari looks gorgeous as Tanya Sharma and emotes really well in the second half. Also, Rajat Barmecha (of Udaan Fame) appears in a very interesting cameo. 


The director, Bejoy Nambiar, deserves rich accolades for not faking the dark theme. There is strong logic behind every crazy move that characters make in the film. Abuses, dirty jokes fly around but they do not look vulgar. They complement the mood and tone of the film. The director maintains a hawk like grip over the proceedings, throughout the film. He gets into the psyche of Shaitan just so beautifully. Also, I laud Anurag Kashyap for producing a film like this. His taste for anything dark is quite legendary now, but this one is dark as well as beautiful.

Special credit must be given to the scintillating background score (Ranjit Barot), captivating cinematography (Madhie) and impactful dialogues (Abhijeet Deshpande). These are the three pillars of Shaitan on which hinges the overall receptivity of the film. 

There are a few glitches too. Rajiv Khandelwal's marriage on the rocks track looks futile. Also, the ending leaves you begging for more. But nevertheless, the movie as an entire package packs a massive punch. Shaitan is cunning, disturbing, dark, witty, gory, edgy, racy and scintillating.

This one is the best 'beat-the-heat-deal' on offer. Grab it!

Recommended!


Rating: **** (Very Good) 

P.S.: Do not watch it if you are below 18. Strictly Not. Few scenes are indeed very disturbing. Be Strong. And your girlfriend might develop symptoms like nausea and headache, if you plan to watch the film with her.



17 comments:

  1. Let me watch this film first...:D

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  2. I am sure you will like the film, Aryan :)

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  3. SOLID Review!!! :D
    Loved the way you portrayed the role of each character. :) Amazing use of words. Thumbs-up!!! :D

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  4. reading from ur review it reminds me of another anurag kashyap film paanch .... see it ...

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Okay. Few points:
    1) The ending was predictable. And editing in second half was not up to the mark.

    2) Rajeev Khandelwal's marriage on the rocks was not at all futile as it was there to contribute to his already frustrated character and thus helping in bringing that 'Shaitan' out!

    3) There was no mention of music in the review when it demands special accolade. No doubt.


    4) I totally agree with all the points you learned from the movie.

    5) Writing is as usual, superb.

    6) Movie is awesome. Everybody should watch it.

    7) Girls will dislike the movie.

    8) They will dislike guys too for taking them to the theater.

    9) Period.

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  7. @Lebnox: Thanks for reviewing the Review ;)

    For the music part. I mentioned Background Score as it was the lifeline of the film. Songs in the film were not relevant. Shaitan would have been shaitan even without it.

    And Rajeev's marriage track was uncooked. Undeveloped. Lacked punch.

    Ending could have been better. I also admit it.

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  8. @lebnox..

    Diff. people, Diff. opinions !! (i understand this fact) but still like to know some of the things you mentioned in your comment :-

    1. "editing in the second half was not up to the mark" - can you place some examples or the events explaining the same ? (i don't want to name its editor as it will take this discussion to some subjective space but editing is just not about only cutting)

    2. "ending was predictable" - How and what could you have done....in case... had you been the writer ? (the ending should satisfy the drama which was unfolding all through its reels)

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  9. well watching it now ... makes me feel that yes shaitan does scores on its music .. camera work ..and somewhere dialogues .. other than that .. i feel the movies was made to endorse kalki as an actress... nowhere in the movie i felt she was 18 years old...the movie had some of its amazing movements like the khoya khoya chand sequence is just too good ....moreover i felt that even if they hadn't shown rajeev's marriage problem ... the movie would have been same ...the shaitan i could only see were in three characters ... K.C. ... Rajeev...and Dash... Amy was already shown disturbed in the starting.. so her character just reached its peak in the end... and yes i wanted more from the movie as the end was not satisfying ....

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  10. @anubha: "movie was made to endorse Kalki as an actress" thats an unfair statement. And she did look like an 18 year old. I can imagine no one else in her shoes.

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  11. Ashish that's ur take .... I feel that and its my opinion ..... U cant judge it.....

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  12. I am not judging it. Just letting you my opinion on your opinion. Issi Baat ke paise hain :P

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  13. By keeping in mind overall reviews, i admit completely that movie is upto the mark keeping in mind ,a movie stealer after couple of boring movies from months ........ and mainly in shaitan as per me,i dont admit ashish comments on lacking punch in rajeev's marriage chemistry as according to me it rocks alot as the purity in it do stays a affect as their emotions in movie do have impact if u seen in holding that relation may be for a less time but rajeev's wife do get us that desi look as compared to any other in remaining part of movie!!!

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  14. Thank You Chaitanya for reading the review. :) Hope to see u more often :)

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