Shivaay Movie Review and Rating

Release Date: 28 October, 2016

Starring : Ajay Devgn, Sayesha Saigal, Erika Kaar, Vir Das, Abigail Eames, Ali Kazmi, Girish Karnad, Jabbz Farooqi, Saurabh Shukla

Directed by: Ajay Devgn

Produced by: Ajay Devgn (Ajay Devgn FFilms)

Pen India Limited

NH Studioz

Story: Ajay Devgn

Music by: Mithoon, Jasleen Royal

Cinematography: Aseem Bajaj

Duration: 2 hours 53 minutes

Censor Rating:U/A

Genre:Action, Thriller, Drama

About Movie Shivaay

When Ajay Devgn announced that he would be getting back to directing his own movie, not many seemed very interested. It was when the trailer of Shivaay was released in early August 2016 that anticipation was piqued. While we have come to expect action in any Devgn flick, Shivaay promises thrill, “an unmatched adrenaline rush” as many were calling it.

It is not difficult to guess that Ajay Devgn is betting greatly on Shivaay’s success to facilitate his transition from an action hero to a full-fledged director. His last directorial venture was about 8 years ago, a film that made the cut with critics and film lovers if not at the box office – Zakhm.

With Shivaay, Devgn has gone all out. The INR 105 crore budget, the international star cast, the exotic locales spanning from Mussoorie to Bulgaria – anything to take on the Diwali box office competition (Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil). It is likely that Shivaay may do better in single screens than at multiplexes. The controversy surrounding ADHM may also play into Devgn’s hands.

Shivaay Plot

Shivaay’s trailer thrilled us all the way. Devgn and the team, however, built up much suspense by being excessively tight-lipped about the plot.

Shivaay opens to a bare chested massively tattooed mountaineer lying in the midst of a snow fields, atop a mountain peak, smoking a pipe. Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) is an avid mountaineer, an adventure enthusiast who sets out to train a group of college students. He falls in love with one of them Olga (Erika Kaar). Despite the love she leaves to go back to Bulgaria after the birth of their daughter. Years later Shivaay goes to Bulgaria accompanied by his eight year old daughter Gaura (Abigail Eames). It is here that an ordinary mountain climber  is forced to take on the role of Shiva the destroyer when his daughter is kidnapped.

The plot does leave us faintly reminiscent of the Pierre Morel film Taken and perhaps even Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

Performances

To start with, Shivaay is an overly lengthy movie. If it had been Devgn’s intention to keep the audience glued to their seats for nearly three whole hours, he fails dismally. The pace that is key to keeping an action thriller going is completely absent.

Now to look at the star cast and the performance of the actors. Here we’re not sure if Devgn should be judged as an actor, as an action man, or as a director. The actor was quite missing while the action was mind boggling. Despite a strong ensemble, Shivaay turns out to be a one man show. And a very long one for us to appreciate it.

Erika’s Hindi accent comes across as terrible rather than attractive. Vir Das should stick to the comedy route and Sayesha’s debut performance is short-lived but spirited.

Shivaay Music

Bollywood action movies are seldom known for their musical offerings. Ajay Devgn makes a break in tradition and the tracks of Shivaay are both captivating and rich. Shivaay’s original soundtrack was released by the T-Series label and is a rather short one, at least by Bollywood standards, featuring only 5 tracks. The ensemble of singers is no surprise given the theme of the move. Mohit Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Arijit Singh, Kailash Kher, Badshah, and Jasleen Royal are all brilliant but unconventional singers. The songs of Shivaay are likely to become part of your favorite playlist for some time to come. And that is a refreshing change given the recent trend of forgettable songs.

Details of songs in the movie

“Bolo Har Har Har”

Lyrics: Sandeep Shrivastava

Music: Mithoon

Singers: Mithoon, Mohit Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Badshah, Megha Sriram Dalton, Anugrah , The Vamps

Duration: 4:56

Bolo Har Har Har is one song you’re likely to go back to for a while. This catchy, vibrant, power packed number is probably the best of the lot. Badshah’s rap and Megha Sriram’s rendition of Shlokas make a powerful combination.

“Darkhaast”

Lyrics: Sayeed Quadri

Music: Mithoon

Singers: Arijit Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan

Duration: 6:14

Another dark but intense, super melodious number.

“Raatein”

Lyrics: Aditya Sharma

Music: Jasleen Royal

Singer: Jasleen Royal

Duration: 3:46

“Tere Naal Ishqa”

Lyrics: Sayeed Quadri

Music: Mithoon

Singer: Kailash Kher

Duration: 5:53

“Raatein (Reprise)”

Lyrics: Aditya Sharma

Music: Jasleen Royal

Singer: Jasleen Royal

Duration: 3:43

What’s good?

The stunning locales, the action packed sequences, the mind-numbing beauty of the Himalayan and Bulgarian locales are all part of Shivaay’s USP, not to mention Ajay Devgn’s physique. A good movie for adrenaline junkies after a long time. The suspense built up by Devgn about the plot of the film and its powerful trailer are sure to attract a large crowd over the opening weekend despite the competition by ADHM.

Bajaj’s cinematography and the VFX effects are superlative.

Shivaay’s music is certainly the best in a Bollywood flick for some time now.

What’s bad?

The length is perhaps what kills the beauty of Shivaay. We’re not sure if Devgn intended to recreate Taken for Bollywood but it would be well worth remembering that Taken had a run time almost half of Shivaay’s. The movie does not let minor characters stand out and shine. Dark and brooding is charming but Shivaay takes it to a monochromatic extreme.

Verdict

Go watch Shivaay. It comes as a refreshing change in the times of mind-numbing romances and comedies that aren’t quite funny. If nothing else look up the natural beauty of Europe and take a much needed Diwali break. Do let us know if you picked it over ADHM.

Shivaay Rating: *** (3 Stars)

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