Film Review: ‘Shivaay’ Is a Diwali ‘Patakha’ That Sputters at Best

Film Review: ‘Shivaay’ Is a Diwali ‘Patakha’ That Sputters at Best

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Remember that familiar feeling of disappointment and irritation at getting the same ol’ dabba of sonpapdi or badaams or quarter filled bhujia packets as Diwali gifts?

Well this big Diwali release will leave you with the same emotions! Starring Ajay Devgn in three roles – as director, producer and actor – may be epic in its scale but a blunder when it comes to execution.

Ajay plays Shivaay, the cool chillum smoking dude who lives in the Himalayas and leads trekking expeditions in those snow-capped mountains.

When one of the girls he takes a fancy to asks him “Tum mein Shiv jaisa kya hai?”, he doesn’t even bat an eyelid before displaying his 3 tattoos – Shiv’s face on his chest, the naag on his bulging biceps and a huge trishul on his back.

I kid you not! This apparently does the trick and while the expedition doesn’t really go as planned, love happens.

Our mountain guy realises that he can make his own babies and have them too by emotionally blackmailing woman, and just like that, lonely Shivaay now has an 8-year-old firang daughter (Abigail Eames) for company.

Oh did I forget to mention his love interest is a Bulgarian played by the Polish actress Erika Kaar, who, poor thing, is forced to mouth dialogues in Hindi for some absurd reason.

Poster of <i>Shivaay. </i>(Photo Courtesy: FF Films)
Poster of Shivaay. (Photo Courtesy: FF Films)

The kid (Abigail Eames) though is spared the torture and instead isn’t allowed to speak at all.

Hey, if it worked for Kabir Khan in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, it can work for him too! And what works for Rohit Shetty should reap benefits too, so there are lots of flying cars crashing away to glory and some elaborate punching sequences.

But Shivaay, why is the plot missing? Why? And the character sketches? And the editing? Was the director Devgn smoking what the actor Devgn was shown smoking on screen? Is this the reason why Shivaay is so vapid and predictable?

As the action shifts to Bulgaria in the second half, Aseem Bajaj’s brilliant camera work brings the stellar locations to life, but nothing fills the void left by the absence of a decent script.

None of the characters are allowed to blossom. We feel no connect whatsoever in all those emotionally charged father-daughter scenes or between Devgn and his lady love.

Sayyeshaa Saigal comes in well past interval and while she has great screen presence, there isn’t much she can do in this film. The bad guys are mere masks. Literally. They are wearing masks and going about robotically gunning for Devgn.

Ajay Devgn and Sayyeshaa Saigal in a still from <i>Shivaay</i>. (Photo Courtesy: Eros International)&nbsp;
Ajay Devgn and Sayyeshaa Saigal in a still from Shivaay. (Photo Courtesy: Eros International) 
Still, it is a film that won’t put you to sleep because the “Bolo Har Har Har” chant that accompanies almost all the actions sequences will keep you awake!

What the film frankly needed was some divine intervention, which was hard to come by, and so except for some stunning visuals and a couple of engaging car chases, Shivaay is just a deep long sigh!!!

Even for Ajay Devgn loyalists my advice would be – tread carefully. This 172 minute long pursuit will test your patience to the core.

I give it 1.5 QUINTS out of 5.

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