Movie review – Shivaay – If you are an action junkie, go for this Ajay Devgn flick

Movie review – Shivaay – If you  are an action junkie, go for this Ajay Devgn flick


By Joginder Tuteja

Rating: ***1/2

What does a man do when his daughter is kidnapped in a foreign land and his worst fears come true? Well, he goes on an all around destruction, especially when his name goes as Shivaay and he is one fearless and tough soul. That’s the core plotline of Shivaay, something that was apparent in the promotional campaign of the film which is produced, directed and enacted by Ajay Devgn. While the first promo brought to fore the action appeal of the film, the subsequent promos established the fact that emotions would rule the narrative as well. In that aspect, the film stays true to its promise and delivers a glossy affair.

It is quite apparent right from the beginning of the film that high octane action would dominate the proceedings in an almost three hour narrative. So while snow peaked mountains make you go breathless courtesy the visuals on display, the action which takes place on the streets of Bulgaria belong to never seen before variety. In fact it won’t be wrong to say that as a filmmaker, it must have been real hard work for Ajay Devgn and his team to get every frame picture perfect since the film looks truly looks like a multi-crore extravaganza on the big screen.

So whether it is the romantic portions or the songs that follow or the expedition on the mountains or the chases that entail or the locations that are chosen or the VFX that fills in the screen, you can pretty much see for yourself that no stone has been left unturned by Ajay to make Shivaay as the richest looking film of the year. The film’s cinematography is pleasing to eyes when it comes to the softer portions and then catches your attention with eyes wide open when the dramatic and action sequences unfold.

That said, full blown action in the film actually takes some time to be unveiled. There are good 30-40 minutes spent in establishing the love story between Ajay Devgn and Erika Kaar. Right till the time their baby is born, there are some portions where you do feel that it would have helped the film if it would have skipped forward on a more urgent note. The real action kick-starts though when the baby turns into an eight year old girl (Abigail Eames) and Ajay decides to visit Bulgaria.

From this point on till the interval, there is no looking back for Shivaay as two major action sequences unfold. In fact the entire choreography of the action here is truly mind-blowing and you just can’t help but take a pause and admire the detailing that goes into capturing the series of events that follow. Yes, of course cinematic liberties are galore here as well as just like any other ‘masala’ potboiler Bollywood flick, here too police just can’t lay their hands on Ajay Devgn and he single handedly takes on the baddies.

This pretty much continues into the second half as well and while there is no major suspense element per se, the thrills are definitely there to fill in the frames. You do expect Saurabh Shukla (as the Indian ambassador) to make some major contribution but unfortunately that doesn’t quite happen. Sayesha Saigal makes an appearance as well and though she is Ajay’s accomplice in the drama that follows, at times you do wonder if her part could have been more crucial to the events that follow. Vir Das does chip in a bit for his special appearance part is just about decent. Girish Karnad doesn’t have much to do though.

Eventually, it turns out to be an all around Ajay Devgn show and this means that as a quintessential hero, he takes it upon himself to take over the criminals as well as the police without much of a help from the outside forces. In fact it is also surprising that the set of Russian/Bulgarian villains turn out to be all brawn and no real brains as other than firing the bullets and driving vans, they don’t really seem to be playing a game of strategy in order to come up trumps. Now if that element would have come into play as well, the journey of Shivaay from the beginning till the end of the story would have created even more impact.

Last 10-15 minutes though get the emotional edge back into the scheme of affairs. This is where one gets to see the vulnerable side of Ajay Devgn, something that makes Shivaay a well rounded affair where action and emotions come in good doses. As a father, you would relate to these emotions quite well and for those who like to see high adrenalin action sequences unfold on screen, Shivaay turns out to be an entertaining watch.

Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder

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