Business rating: 2/5 stars
Star cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Kalki Koechlin, Gulshan Devaiya, Neil Bhoopalam, Shiv Pandit, Kirti Kulhari, Rajkumar Yadav, Pawan Malhotra.
What’s Good: The racy screenplay; the stylised making of the film; the acting; the background music.
What’s Bad: The story is routine; the film has sectional appeal only.
Verdict: Shaitan will work for the city youth.
Loo break: None really.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the stylish making and the terrific background score.
Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Getaway Films’ Shaitan (A) is the story of a group of friends who live life on the edge. Amrita Jayshankar a.k.a. Amy (Kalki Koechlin), Karan Chaudhary a.k.a. KC (Gulshan Devaiya), Zubin (Neil Bhoopalam), Dushyant Sahu a.k.a. Dash (Shiv Pandit) and Tanya Sharma (Kirti Kulhari) are friends who are young and ultra-cool. They seek fun and excitement all the time. And one day, a moment changes everything. Karan is on the wheel of a car in which the friends are having fun. He is driving recklessly and he accidentally kills two people under the car.
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 Review – Script Analysis
The story (Bijoy Nambiar and Megha Ramaswamy) does not boast of much novelty as thrillers with similar story-lines have been seen in the past. But what is new is the stylised presentation of the story. Bijoy Nambiar and Megha Ramaswamy have penned a screenplay which is fast-paced and which keeps the interest of the audience alive. There are twists and turns galore in the drama, adding to the intrigue value of the subject. 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. Dialogues, written by Abhijit Deshpande, are effective.
Shaitan Review – Star Performances & Direction
Rajeev Khandelwal lives his role. He plays the character of Inspector Arvind Mathur with perfect understanding. Gulshan Devaiya is impressive in the role of Karan Chaudhary. Shiv Pandit is effective as Dushyant. Kalki Koechlin performs with admirable ease. Neil Bhoopalam is fine as Zubin. Kirti Kulhari, as Tanya Sharma, does a good job. Rajit Kapoor is natural to the core. Pawan Malhotra is superb. Rajkumar Yadav makes his presence felt with his supremely natural acting. Rajat Barmecha shines in a cameo appearance as Shomu. Rukshar lends good support. Nikhil Chinnappa leaves a mark. Abhijit Deshpande is good.
Bijoy Nambiar makes a dashing debut as director. Given the thriller genre of the film, he narrates the drama with style and pace to keep the audience engrossed. Music is good but ought to have been better. The Pintya song (composed by Ranjit Barot) is mass-appealing. The Hawa hawai and the Khoya khoya chand song remixes (by Mickey McCleary) are excellent. Ranjit Barot’s background score is extraordinary. Kunal Sharma (sound) deserves the highest praise for a job wonderfully done. R. Madhi’s camerawork is splendid. Editing (Sreekar Prasad) is sharp.
Shaitan Review – Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, Shaitan is a well-made film with a rich background score, stylised cinematography and efficient performances as its high points. It may not have taken a good start but it has the merits to pick up in the good multiplexes of the cities on the strength of the youth audience. Considering its modest budget on the one hand and the dull start on the other, it would prove to be an average fare after collections pick up.