Home » SHAITAAN is a nail-biting thriller with excellent performances

SHAITAAN is a nail-biting thriller with excellent performances

by Joe Bourn

Shaitaan Review {4.0/5} & Review Rating

Main characters: Ajay Devgn, R Madhavan, Jyotika, Janki Bodiwala, Anngad Raaj

Shaitaan Movie Director: Vikas Bahl

Shaitaan Movie Synopsis:
SATAN is the story of a family in crisis. Kabir (Ajay Devgn) lives in Dehradun with his wife Jyoti (Jyotika), daughter Janvi (Janki Bodiwala) and son Dhruv (Anngad Raaj). They head to their farmhouse for the weekend and on the way, bump into Vanraj (R Madhavan). He befriends the family and cleverly feeds a sweet to Janvi. Immediately, Janvi falls under Vanraj’s spell. Sometime after reaching the farmhouse, Kabir and his family find Vanraj on their doorstep. Jyoti is suspicious but Vanraj assures them that he needs help charging his mobile. Janvi, who is still under his spell, reveals her secrets to him. When Vanraj tries to stay, Kabir tries to chase him away. But shockingly, Janvi violently stops him from kicking Vanraj out of the farmhouse. The family is shocked to see Janvi blindly following all Vanraj’s orders. Vanraj soon makes his intentions clear – he wants Kabir and Jyoti to gift Janvi to him. What happens next is the rest of the movie.

Shaitaan Movie Story Review:
SHAITAAN is the official remake of the 2023 Gujarati film VASH [Written and directed by Krishnadev Yagnik]. The adapted story is excellent and different from other films based on black magic. Aamil Keeyan Khan’s adapted screenplay is very exciting. And it’s quite a feat considering the genre has been beaten to death all over the world and also because it’s mostly in a mansion. Unfortunately, the author does not tie up the loose ends properly. Aamil Keeyan Khan’s dialogues are spot on and the very classy one-liners pack a punch.

Vikas Bahl’s direction is top notch. It keeps viewers captivated in the process, especially when things take a turn for the worse. One feels moved by the state of the family and cannot help but root for them. Also, the tension levels are there throughout the film and it also helps in engaging the audience.

On the other hand, there are too many cinematic liberties. Seeing characters get brutally injured and yet seeing them not only survive but fight back is a little over the top. The climactic battle seems predictable. Also, it is confusing to know that Vanraj withdraws his plan and no one gets a whiff of it. The last scene is interesting but could have been written better.

SHAITAAN opens with an eerie credit animation that sets the mood. The intro photo is great and looks very organic. The madness begins when Vanraj innocently introduces himself to the family. Two standout scenes in the first half are Janvi violently playing with her brother on the swing and the police sequence. The break comes at a critical juncture. In the second half, the madness continues as Vanraj ups his game while the family also tries to outdo him. The finale keeps one on the edge of the seat, despite the shortcomings.

Movie Review: SHAITAAN is a nail-biting thriller with excellent performances

Shaitaan Movie Performances:
SHAITAAN is owned by R Madhavan and Janki Bodiwala. R Madhavan steals the show with his venomous act. He has this innocence about him and hence, it seems believable when Kabir and his family don’t suspect him at first. In the second half, he takes his act several notches higher. Janki Bodiwala steps into the skin of the character. Perfect performance, for sure. Ajay Devgn, too, puts in his best and does a great act. He is sure to be greeted with claps and whistles at the climax. Jyotika offers capable support and delivers natural performance. The same goes for Anngad Raaj. He is quite funny in the opening scenes.

Shaitaan Movie Music and Other Technical Aspects:
Amit Trivedi’s music is fine and all the songs in the film – the title track, “Aisa Main Shaitaan” and “Khushiyaan Bator Lo” – is in sync with the theme. Amit Trivedi’s score is one of the film’s USPs.

Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti’s cinematography is commendable given that it is set in a single house. The camera in the swing range is excellent. Garima Mathur’s production design is attractive. Radhika Mehra’s costumes are lavish. Vikram Mor and RP Yadav’s acting is a bit annoying but it is suitable for the story. Sandeep Francis’ editing is smooth but could have been more subtle in the second half.

Shaitaan Movie Conclusion:
Overall, SHAITAAN is a nail-biting thriller with excellent performances and a climax that keeps you engaged. At the box office, the film is slated for a good opening thanks to the well-received trailer, hype and some holidays on account of Mahashivratri. What will also go in the film’s favor is that after a long time, an A-lister like Ajay Devgn will be seen in this genre.

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