Shaitan Hindi Movie Review
We all subconsciously inhibit our inner demons and in a typical Freudian explanation of human psyche involving the Id, Ego and Superego. We all harbor our twisted thoughts and deviant feelings in the desirous Id which in turn gets suppressed by the moralizing Superego. It's only in the case of few that the regression takes over unleashing the devil within. Debutante filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar terrifically encapsulates this state of mind in his snazzy film Shaitan.
Set in Mumbai, Shaitan is the story of 5 youngsters Amy (Kalki Koechlin), Dash (Shiv Pandit), KC (Gulshan Devaiya), Zubin (Neil Bhoopalam) and Tanya (Kirti Kulhari). Young, intelligent, good looking and 'uber cool'. With no hang ups and no boundaries, excitement is what they seek till an accident changes everything. Enters Arvind Mathur (Rajeev Khandelwal) who is righteous and intolerant towards crime and he is out to bust it. The attempts and actions to cover up the assassination of two people on a scooter lead these five friends through a series of incidents bringing out the inner shaitan in all of them.
Shaitan unabashedly brings in a feast potpourri of emotions, sex, cynicism, danger, drugs suppressed for long in the commercially and socially normative Hindi cinema. It sure is disturbing but since when did facing the insidious, neurotic, inner regression become pleasant? Debutante filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar's plot may certainly not be too ahead of its time. The lives of high-society devious young guns have been tackled in the past too but it's the menacing eccentricity and the nonconformity to the potboiler norms that makes Shaitan devilishly thrilling. It is an edgy film with characters coming up at every turning point keeping the audience glued to their seats.
The story does slack in many points so does the narrative appear far-fetched in some places (read, the entire media fracas surrounding the high profile kidnapping is over the top). Even the duration of the film seems lengthy leaving a room for at least a good 15 minute deduction but what still gets the audience going is the maverick cinematography which is nothing short of a visual treat. Kudos! To cinematographer R Madhi for presenting the new-age cinematic genius. The slow motion accident shot is just mindboggling! Another key point that aides the storyline just right is the stupendous background score by Ranjit Barot. It's difficult to ignore the brilliant remix of Dev Anand's Khoya Khoya Chand or the background work during chase sequence of Rajeev Khandelwal and Rajkumar Yadav.
Talk of the acting and all the five actors Kalki, Shiv, Gulshan, Neil and Kirti leave you in awe. Kalki's acting as that of a psychedelic is outstanding. Rajeev Khandelwal as the cop who busts their crime is just perfect. Rajat Barmecha in his cameo is entertaining. The only actor unappealing is Rajkumar Yadav who brings nothing new with him. His acting seems just as that in Love Sex Aur Dhokha and Ragini MMS.
To sum it up, Shaitan is blatant, unabashed and impishly pleasing. A must watch for its devilish excellence and cinematic brilliant. You cannot ignore this Shaitan.