Cast: Rajit Kapoor, Rajeev Khandelwal, Kalki Koechlin, Pawan Malhotra, Shiv Pandit, Gulshan Devaiya, Neil Bhoopalam, Kirti Kulhari and Rajkumar Yadav

Director: Bejoy Nambiar

Rating:  

Storyline:  Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Getaway Films’ Shaitan (A) is a story about five youngsters set in the urban landscape of Mumbai who live life on the edge. Amy [Kalki], Dash [Gulshan], KC [Shiv], Zubin [Neil] and Tanya [Kirti] are young, intelligent, good looking and 'uber cool'. With no hang ups and no boundaries, excitement is what they seek till a moment changes everything. An accident and their actions to cover up lead them through a series of incidents across the roads, streets and bylanes of Mumbai and into the dark side that lurks within all of us.

Review: X-men retains ‘First Class’ spot

The five friends are, obviously, terrified. To cover up this one crime, they commit further crimes. A police officer (Rajkumar Yadav) gets wind of their involvement in the road accident and demands Rs 25 lakh to close the file. The question now is: from where will they get the money to bribe the police inspector?

Even as they go in hiding and go on committing crimes to get the money so that they can pay off the police officer to shut the police case, Inspector Arvind Mathur (Rajeev Khandelwal) is entrusted with the task of tracking the youngsters down.

Mathur is himself in the process of divorcing his wife. In his investigation, he realises that in exposing the criminals, he would also have to lay bare the underbelly of the police system.
SHAITAN, again, is something the Indian audiences will experience for the first time. It emulates an actuality and the makers have tried to keep it as bona fide as possible, and it is this realism, edginess and awkwardness that stay with the spectator after the curtains fall.

Thumbs Up: What really makes SHAITAN stand out from other films of its ilk is that it captures the pragmatism or matter-of-factness characteristic most compellingly. The circumstances in life when the inner demons come to the fore and people are forced to react in farthest method [violent, in most cases] have been depicted intelligibly and most eloquently. Also, what makes it all the more interesting is the fact that the film is very well shot -- the novel angles and high speed shots make it an exhilarating cinematic experience.

Thumbs Down: The first hour isn't as persuasive. Perhaps, the motive was to reserve the best for the second hour. Also, the Rajeev Khandelwal track -- his marriage is on the rocks -- looks like a forced and unnatural add-on in the scheme of things. Without beating around the bush, the narrative could've done without the scenes of marital discord. Also, with such hard-hitting, uncompromising and dynamic content, SHAITAN could've easily been a songless film, though the soundtrack is wonderful.

Also, a couple of things do get confusing in the second half but the grip of the film on the viewers doesn’t reduce. No doubt, the making of the film and the takings are of the kind that would appeal only to the youngsters in the cities but that could be a sizeable audience for a film of this kind made on a modest budget. The climax may not be as exhilarating but it is, nevertheless, interesting.

On the whole, SHAITAN is a well made film and bound to raise eyebrows, thanks to its contemporary, thrilling, hard-hitting and forceful content. It has rich background score, stylised cinematography and efficient performances as its high points. It is one of the most inventive and engaging thrillers seen in a long time. It can also be considered as one of the most stimulating and intense films to come out of the Hindi film industry. You can’t afford to miss this!

(JPN)