Shaitan: has no intimidating cry, no horn, no claw and no tail.   Leave a comment

Introductory lines in the movie Paanch (2003): Anurag Kashyap’s directorial debut.

Evil is perhaps a child. It will play any game. Like the fictitious characters in this film, the treacherous waters of felony and crime would need a solvent compassion. This film serves as a Psychological revelation and a warning to the society in which urban ambitions and estrangement are ever on the rise.

The same is acknowledged in the movie Shaitan. However, it does not even come close to what the tagline declares:  “Shaitan is a film about that one moment when you unleash your inner monster” and honestly there is no monster at all, tipped to be an upgraded version/ tribute to Paanch which was banned because the Censor Board considered it to be too dark and negative. Shaitan fails to live up to its expectations and has no venom in it.

Ok… so… Once upon a time there lived, in the city of Mumbai, (according to The Ring-girl from LA i.e Amrita Jaishankar “Amy”: it is named after the goddess Mumbadevi: ooo…okay…) typical teenage girl, Amy (Kalki Koechlin) who is depressive because of her traumatic childhood, Dushyant Sahu “Dash” (Shiv Pandit) , dude who loves drugs and breathes life on the edge, Zubin (Neil Bhoopalam), a parsi, porn-addict-geek, Tanya Sharma (Kirti Kulhari), disturbed nakhrewali urbane phony, who wants to be an actor, Karan Chaudhary, “KC” (Gulshan Devaiah), a roid rage psycho who wanted to be a gynecologist :P is now chasing MBA degree.

So these guys party on yachts, ramble in hummer and are baptized with booze/joints. Tracks ‘Nasha’, ‘Bali’, reflect these typical affluent, loutish behavior. On a fine night in a drunken rage they ram hummer into two people on scooter killing them instantaneously. A corrupt cop Malwankar (Raj Kumar Yadav) investigates and demands 25 lakhs to cover up the whole incident. Therefore, they come up with a plan to kidnap ‘Amy’ and extract money through her father (Rajat Kapoor). The kidnapping makes really big news on the social media front and the case is handled to Arvind Mathur (Rajeev Khandelwal) who along with his docile: Yes sir/No sir colleague (Nikhil Chinappa), solves the over-hyped kindnap case.

I found some aspects of the movie brilliant , the usage of the tracks to depict sequencings say Bhayanak Maut’s ‘Unleashed’ for the street-race, ‘Hawa-Hawii’ for Amys persona, ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’ for the shootout and getaway, ‘Pintya’ for the chase sequence. Even its sexual undertones, references say ‘Kalakatta’, ‘Dlido Pagal Hai’ are really innovative and are brilliantly executed, apart from Tanya’s dialogue ‘Oye Hollywood, How many men have you slept with ?’, it is so half-baked, flimsy and crippled. If Sharon stone had watched this, she would’ve committed suicide. I really donno why directors try so hard to emulate/incorporate Hollywood style, there are so many brilliant, effective, terrific gaalis in hindi which has ‘Chindi/Chakkde’ feel .The movie is technically very sound and the same is with background score/editing/cinematography and when performances are considered it is very, very mediocre, Bejoy Nambiar has failed to make his characters look like Shaitan, None of them match the manic charisma of Kay Kay Menon’s feral Luke in Paanch.

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