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SHAITAN - Movie Review : Well shot & performed, but unconvincing based on a seen before plot going over the length. (Review By Bobby Sing)
11 Jun, 2011 | Movie Reviews / 2011 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / S

A film coming from the camp of Anurag Kashyap, brings along its own set of expectations and different norms of film-making. And ‘Shaitan’ proves no exception to that rule, since it does have the expected weird kind of dream sequences and sudden shocks in the script as a typical AK film even when it is not directed by Anurag himself. But don’t take this as an all positive comment because unfortunately the film is not that convincing and thrilling as it seems to be.

Truly speaking it’s an upgraded version of Anurag Kashyap’s own debut film made almost a decade back, which was banned by the censors. The film was titled “PAANCH” and it was also a story of 5 friends who find themselves in a fix due to some unforeseen circumstances. Interestingly it was supposed to be the debut movie of Tejasvini Kolhapure (Padmini Kohlapuri’s sister) too. Written on the same theme SHAITAN also revolves around a group of 3 boys and 2 girls who suddenly get involved in a bloody accident killing two innocent men on the road. And then to save themselves from the Police they unwillingly have to make further plans which bring in more trouble for them. Apart from “Paanch” the main theme of the film also reminds you of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997) and “Very Bad Things” (1998).

It starts off well with a brilliant collage kind of first few minutes which has Anurag Kashyap stamp all over it along with the well composed and arranged background score. The first half an hour has got nothing much other than the introduction of its characters which makes the viewer a little restless to see something more thrilling happening on the screen. And then there comes the shocking accident which brings in the pace and in a few minutes the film gets converted into a bloody thrilling drama. But sadly, post intermission it all gets a little messy, lengthy and repetitive which even becomes tedious to watch till the end.

No doubt, the debutant director Bejoy Nambiar proves his talent with a strong grip over the performances, camera angles and presentation of the movie. He shows a remarkable sense of shooting tense sequences and action packed chases with interesting musical tracks being played in the background. But as far as the content and plot is concerned he has nothing new to offer and also leaves too many loopholes in the script which could have been easily avoided.

For instance, 1. There is no account of the 2 innocent people murdered in the accident in the whole film.

2. The dream scenes of Koechlin and her mother seem to be inserted deliberately to give it an artistic touch and for justifying the mysterious character of the girl which fail to make any kind of impact.

3. Post the kidnapping plan all the five friends keep wandering in the market and even go out for a movie in a theater, wearing white shinning sports shoes under their black burqas and no one ever suspects them.

4. The side track of Rajeev Khandelwal’s broken marriage is neither interesting nor gels well with the theme of the film. Though the silent moments within the couple are well conceived, but the track could have been easily edited out to keep the duration short.

5. The attempted rape sequence of one of the girls again looks out of place, when in a very questionable scene (just before that) the girl is shown standing in the mid of a dark staircase with her revealing dress, a lighter and in a posture like a prostitute .

6. The film is quite long and becomes very tiring towards the climax. And supporting my observation I would like to mention, the voice I heard coming from my back in the hall, just before the climax, which said, “Arey Yeh Kab Khatam Hogi?”

Performance wise, I found everyone putting their best but still not hitting the bull’s eye due to the incomplete characterizations given to them by the writers. The whole cast is fine but somehow you can’t relate to them while watching the film. Rajeev Khandelwal excels everyone else, in the role of a tough cop and is terrific, but still he doesn’t come up as hard as it should be. Raj Kumar Yadav, of LSD and RAGINI fame, is once again very realistic and likable as the corrupt police official. Koechlin is improving with her each film and perfectly suits the role written for her, but it’s high time she should come out of the image of a psycho person. Kirti as the second female lead looks beautiful but gets less scope in comparison. Out of the three boys, the best act comes from Gulshan Devaiya as KC followed by Shiv Pandit and Neil Boopalam. In the supporting case Pawan Malhotra & Rajit Kapur are just fine, Nikhil Chinnappa is hardly seen and Rukhsar successfully manages to catch your attention.

The other worth mentioning merit of the movie apart from its impressive treatment and striking Cinematography, is its interesting Soundtrack including the background score. Although the film should have been a song less thriller, but still the intelligent use of the songs in the backdrop add a different perspective in its narration which really works.

So, if only you are interested in watching a movie for its treatment, cinematography and few great chase sequences then do go for SHAITAN. But if you are an avid viewer of English Cinema then you may not find anything fresh in this over lengthy venture made on a seen before plot. To be straight, I only found one enjoyable scene in the film, when Rajeev simply kicks the auto-rickshaw and forcibly sits in after the driver refuses to go and that’s it.

Ratings : 2 / 5

Tags : Shaitan Movie Review By Bobby Sing, Shaitan Film Review By Bobby Sing, Movie Review Shaitan, Anurag Kashyap Movies, Shaitan remake of Paanch, Bobby Sing's Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema
11 Jun 2011 / Comments ( 3 )
praveen dhawal
i have seen paanch.....and shaitan based on the same theme ..,but paanch untill released .... it is good movie for those who hasn't seen paanch... and specially ..khoya khoya chand ...background score.
and i think mostly people haven't seen paanch ....

Paanch being unreleased, 'seen before plot' theory may not apply here.

But it is surprising how bollywood copying its own hindi movies of the past goes unnoticed.In the 90's there were deewana-aarzoo-jeet and many more similar plots,before bobby's story concept got repeated in betaab-qsqt-maine pyar kiya-love story and other debut vehicles and these films worked! Is copying hollywood a greater sin?why are the words 'plagiarism','rip-offs' not used for desi copies? Don't think these are 'cliches' like dialogues,etc.

Bobby Sing

Hi Chris,

Yes Paanch is unreleased but there are many other movies made on the similar kind of subject like "Hide & Seek" and more which are not exactly the same but close..

Secondly undisclosed or unofficial remake remains a Shameful act whether its of a Western movie or Hindi Movie or a Regional one.

Thanks for your comment and Keep Writing in.



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