SHAITAAN is a nail-biting thriller laced with superlative performances

Shaitaan Review {4.0/5} & Review Rating

Star Cast: Ajay Devgn, R Madhavan, Jyotika, Janki Bodiwala, Anngad Raaj

Movie Review: SHAITAAN is a nail-biting thriller laced with superlative performances

Shaitaan Movie Director: Vikas Bahl

Shaitaan Movie Synopsis:
SHAITAAN is the story of a family in crisis. Kabir (Ajay Devgn) resides in Dehradun with his wife Jyoti (Jyotika), daughter Janvi (Janki Bodiwala) and son Dhruv (Anngad Raaj). They head to their farmhouse for the weekend and on the way, they bump into Vanraj (R Madhavan). He befriends the family and wittily feeds a sweet to Janvi. Immediately, Janvi comes under Vanraj’s spell. Sometime after they reach the farmhouse, Kabir and his family find Vanraj at their doorstep. Jyoti gets suspicious but Vanraj assures them that he needs help to charge his mobile phone. Janvi, who’s still under his spell, blurts out her secrets to him. When Vanraj attempts to overstay, Kabir tries to oust him. But shockingly, Janvi violently stops him from kicking Vanraj out of the farmhouse. The family is shocked to see Janvi blindly following all the orders of Vanraj. Vanraj soon makes his intentions clear – he wants Kabir and Jyoti to give away Janvi to him. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Shaitaan Movie Story Review:
SHAITAAN is the official remake of the 2023 Gujarati film, VASH [Written and directed by Krishnadev Yagnik]. The adapted story is excellent and different from the rest of the films based on black magic. Aamil Keeyan Khan’s adapted screenplay is very engaging. And it’s a feat considering the genre is beaten to death across the world and also because it’s majorly set in one mansion. Sadly, the writer doesn’t tie the loose ends properly. Aamil Keeyan Khan’s dialogues are normal and very select one-liners pack a punch.

Vikas Bahl’s direction is first-rate. He keeps the viewers captivated in the proceedings especially once things take a turn for the worse. One feels moved by the situation of the family and one can’t help but root for them. Also, the tension levels are there throughout the film and it also helps in engaging the audience.

On the flipside, there are too many cinematic liberties. To see characters getting brutally injured and yet to see them not just surviving but also fighting back gets a bit too much. The climax battle seems predictable. Also, it’s bewildering to know Vanraj pulling off his plan and no one getting a whiff about it. The last scene is interesting but could have been better written.

SHAITAAN begins with an eerie credit animation that sets the mood. The intro shot is lovely and looks very organic. The madness begins once Vanraj innocently introduces himself to the family. Two scenes that stand out in the first half are Janvi playing violently with her brother on the swing and the police sequence. The intermission comes at a crucial juncture. In the second half, the madness continues as Vanraj ups his game while the family also tries to outsmart him. The finale keeps one at the edge of the seat, despite the shortcomings.

Movie Review: SHAITAAN is a nail-biting thriller laced with superlative performances

Shaitaan Movie Performances:
SHAITAAN belongs to R Madhavan and Janki Bodiwala. R Madhavan steals the show with his venomous act. He has that innocence in him and hence, it looks believable when Kabir and his family don’t get suspicious about him initially. In the second half, he takes his act many notches higher. Janki Bodiwala gets into the skin of the character. A flawless performance, for sure. Ajay Devgn, too, puts his best foot forward and puts up a superb act. He’s sure to be greeted with claps and whistles in the climax. Jyotika lends able support and gives a natural performance. The same applies for Anngad Raaj. He’s quite funny in the initial scenes.

Shaitaan Movie music and other technical aspects:
Amit Trivedi’s music is okay and all the songs of the film – the title track, ‘Aisa Main Shaitaan’ and ‘Khushiyaan Bator Lo’ – are in sync with the theme. Amit Trivedi’s background score is one of the USPs of the film.

Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti’s cinematography is praiseworthy, considering it’s set in just one house. The camerawork in the swing sequence is exceptional. Garima Mathur’s production design is appealing. Radhika Mehra’s costumes are rich. Vikram Mor and R P Yadav’s action is a bit disturbing but it’s appropriate for the story. Sandeep Francis’s editing is smooth but could have been slicker in the second half.

Shaitaan Movie Conclusion:
On the whole, SHAITAAN is a nail-biting thriller laced with superlative performances and clapworthy climax that keeps you engaged. At the box office, the film is set for a good opening thanks to the well-received trailer, hype and partial holiday on account of Mahashivratri. What will also go in the film’s favour is that after a long time, an A-lister like Ajay Devgn will be seen in this genre.

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