Review by Dr. Nitya Prakash

In this hostage thriller, Ajay Devgn embodies both the saviour and the family man, blending elements of suspense and familial drama into a mildly chilling narrative. Ajay Devgn’s portrayal often revolves around his role as the unwavering hero, characterized by his commitment to justice and his fierce protectiveness over loved ones, as seen in films like “Gangaajal” and the “Singham” franchise. Conversely, his recent projects, such as the “Drishyam” series and “Shivaay,” showcase him in a more relatable, paternal light, emphasizing his tender side as a devoted father.

In “Shaitaan,” directed by Vikas Bahl, Ajay Devgn’s character, Kabir Rishi, finds himself navigating a harrowing ordeal to save his daughter. The tension and unease in the film stem not from genuine horror, but rather from the formulaic approach of psychological thrillers and hostage dramas, exacerbated by the addition of supernatural elements. R Madhavan’s portrayal of a manipulative intruder adds depth to the narrative, as he ensnares Ajay Devgn’s daughter through sinister means, exploiting her innocence.

The film’s reliance on brutality and the exploitation of young women for shock value is a recurring and unsettling aspect. Furthermore, certain elements, such as the objectification of female characters and the portrayal of transphobia, feel outdated and out of place in a contemporary narrative.

Despite its shortcomings, “Shaitaan” offers moments of genuine suspense, particularly in its jump scares and tense sequences. However, the predictability of the climax and the exaggerated portrayal of the antagonist detract from the overall impact of the film. Additionally, the inclusion of disclaimers distancing the film from endorsing black magic feels unnecessary and detracts from the narrative’s immersion.

In terms of performances, Jyotika impresses as Janhvi’s mother, delivering a restrained and convincing portrayal. Ajay Devgn embodies his familiar archetype of the protective father with conviction, while R Madhavan shines in his role as the cunning antagonist, infusing the character with both humor and menace.

Overall, “Shaitaan” relies heavily on shock value to engage its audience, offering a mildly unsettling hostage drama with compelling performances, particularly from R Madhavan. However, its reliance on formulaic tropes and dated elements ultimately hinders its impact, making it a somewhat forgettable addition to the genre.

Rating: 4/5

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *