'Shivaay' - Movie Review

Updated: Nov 14, 2016, 14:33 IST | Mayank Shekhar

'Shivaay' is one of those rare Bollywood movies that needn't have existed after the interval at all. Absolutely nothing happens. Besides Ajay Devgn, who we know is happening anyway. So you sit back and enjoy 'Shivaay'. Just please don't ask why!

'Shivaay' - Movie Review
'Shivaay' poster. Pic/Shivaay film's official Twitter account

U/A; Action-drama
Director: Ajay Devgn
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Erika Kaar, Abigail Eames, Sayyeshaa Saigal, Vir Das
Rating: 2/5

You just have to be the world’s biggest Ajay Devgn fan to keep your eyes peeled over 2 hours, 50 minutes, on him, all through a film. Given Mista D has been around for two-and-half decades on the big screen, I’m sure such fans are one too many.

Speaking of which, let’s just recall where we’ve loved tragedy king Devgn the most. For me, it’s undoubtedly Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Company’ (2002). For most others, I’m sure, it would be Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Hum Dil Chuke Sanam’ (1999) — a lovely looking fantasy where Devgn, the husband, goes off to Italy, to reunite his wife (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) with her lover (Salman Khan).

Over here, he pushes off to Bulgaria to have his little child finally meet his biological mom. No. That’s the main mission. Yes. This explains the massively mounted picture — not only produced by Devgn, but where Devgn directs himself as well. He’s also employed every resource at his command to put together a slick Hollywood-style production, where one rightly scales up to dumb down, and what’s wrong with that?

In fact, if one were to replace this solitary Indian man from this picture with any other eira geira gora, you’d think this was a Hollywood movie anyway — set in the West, among snow-capped mountains, between car chases, black uniform cops, and growling villains, the Caucasian heroine, the little white child, and the other stuff you’re used to with vanilla American event pix that have been picking up Rs 100 crore plus from Indian theatres of late.

Since you must know, Devgn plays the chillam-smoking Shivaay. Shivaay is a Sherpa. That’s news. He helps tourists climb mountains. A Hindi-speaking East European girl instantly falls for him after she asks, “Shiva ke jaisa tumhare paas kya hai: lambe baal, naak, trishul? (What do you have that’s like Shiva: long hair, nose, trishul?).”

The first two are kinda given. For the latter, he points to the tattoo of a trident on his back, and then gets to his most Shiva-like quality. That word is muted from the film. At least one person laughed to it somewhere in the last rows of the theatre I was seated in. As did the entire hall when they played with another double-meaning joke—the only other moment of humour in this film — much later.

Never mind. That’s not even the point of this pic. What is? Well, to be honest, two absolutely cracker set pieces — one, a cliffhanger sequence set between the cracks of a mountain; and the other, the longest car-chase scene I know in Hindi movies, shot in Sofia. They make you wonder why this isn’t an IMAX movie.

Both occur in the first half of this very competently shot film. As do the story, step outline, screenplay, dialogue, and direction. You acknowledge the effort, head out for coffee, popcorn, and get ready to start again.

Why do we talk in terms of first-half, second-half? Because this is a Hindi movie — the best of which dip after the interval. You step back into the theatre, and realise, woah, this is one of those rare Bollywood movies that needn’t have existed after the interval at all. Absolutely nothing happens. Besides Devgn, who we know is happening anyway. So you sit back and enjoy Shivaay. Just please don’t ask why!

Watch the trailers of 'Shivaay'


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