What Ajay Devgan the star deserved, was a sharper director and a better script. In the end, there’s little else to Shivaay than the eye-watering locations (both in the Himalayas and in Bulgaria), and occasionally poignant moments between Devgan and the little girl who plays his daughter. Everything else is noise. Way too much noise.
Shivaay ultimately suffers from the malice of overdose. An overdose of action and an overdose of melodrama, both of which should have been chopped off at the editing table. As the director of the film, Ajay should have focused on keeping the story short and tightly edited.
Devgn’s stunts are a treat to watch, but that’s about it. Shivaay treks trough high altitudes, but the film keeps waiting for him to return to the valley with a string attached to his legs.
One can predict the knocks and punches and dives and VFX-aided saves without as much as batting an eyelid. Although I liked that one long take chase around the police headquarters, at best Shivaay is a terrific looking terrible film.
Visually, there is much going for this film, especially with cinematographer Aseem Bajaj making the most of the striking Balkan canvas and painting breathtakingly pretty pictures on it.
Overall, Ajay is unstoppable in Shivaay but you wish he wasn’t! Laced with visual excellence, you applaud his film’s larger than life canvas but despite the efforts, his second directorial venture fails to engage you emotionally.
Shivaay seems high on never ending action and loud emotion. Visuals don’t fill the void of the missing storyline...
If you’re an adventure junkie, Shivaay is the film for you. And even if you aren’t, Shivaay will make you one. Prepare for action and stunts like never before.
Watch Shivaay if you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE TO DO. Else watch a documentary on mountaineering. Or child trafficking. Or Bulgaria. Or whatever you want to. (Just a special mention for the company which made the tent that weathered pretty much everything.)
With crisper editing and less melodrama, Shivaay could’ve been the best of the year. But the ‘more is less’ approach just doesn’t work out.
All said and done, Ajay Devgn fans will be watching it in any case but those who are still hooked to this, I will say that SHIVAAY is Ajay Devgn's weakest Diwali gift since GOLMAAL. SHIVAAY must have started with the ambition to reach the highest peak but unfortunately, gets buried in the avalanche of a routine story that lacked any glory.
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!
Shivaay is not the light fun crackerjack Diwali film you’d like to sit through this festive season. It is laden with an overbearing darkness which eclipses all of the film’s efforts to pull us into its embrace.The proceedings get so edgy that they finally topple over.
Ajay Devgn’s visually rich film lacks Lord Shiva’s famed light-footedness...
On the whole, Shivaay is a slow and often boring human drama with very limited emotional appeal and little entertainment value. It may find favour with the masses and single-screen cinema audiences but its run in the multiplexes will not be smooth at all. Given the high price at which it has been acquired by the distributors, it will entail heavy losses to them.
Not a shred of originality in this father-daughter copy of 'Taken' plus 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', unless you are fascinated by snow, tattoos, and foreign locales where really bad foreign people live. Ajay Devgn, has a huge fan following as an action hero does not disappoint, but the CGI finishing does. And you begin hating Kailash Kher singing annoyingly in the background during emotional scenes and the title song playing ad nauseam during the action scenes.
Audience Reviews for Shivaay
he falls , he flies, he is shot by a gun, he is hit hard on his head but he still survives n wins over those deadly goons..Ohh come on
"Desi version of Taken minus the intricate attention to details!!!"
Festivals like Diwali, Eid etc, are eagerly awaited by Bollywood hoping to cash in on the extended weekends. Due to this, film makers announce their releases usually a year in advance in order to avoid a tussle at the box-office. Even then at times, mud slinging has occurred between rival camps when both of them vie for the same dates. This year, Ajay Devgn had "Shivaay" hit the screens on the same day as "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" & it had stirred a controversy prior to release when the "attention seeker" Kamaal Khan claimed that he was offered money by one camp to bad mouth the other (only God knows, whether anyone would seek this idiot's help). Anywaz this wasn't the first time that Ajay was involved in a controversy coz in 2012 as well, he claimed his "Son of Sardar" was denied screens in favour of "Jab Tak Hai Jaan". Well his movie came in second at that time, but will there be a shift in momentum this time around???
Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) was a Himalayan mountaineer who made a living arranging trekking expeditions. During one of the treks, he saves a Bulgarian female named Olga (Erika Kaar) from an avalanche which provides fodder for a romantic relation to develop between the two. Their relation leads to her being pregnant much to her dismay but she decides to bear the child for Shivaay. However, after the birth of their daughter, Gaura; she leaves her in the care of Shivaay & returns to Bulgaria. Gaura (Abigail Eames) was made to believe that her mother had passed away but she gets to know the truth & coax Shivaay into taking her to Bulgaria to meet her mother. Will she get to meet her after all they had no clue about her whereabouts???
This is the second directorial venture of Ajay after "U, Me Aur Hum" which was pretty average & failed to impress the audience. Scripted by himself, the basic thread is definitely inspired from Liam Neeson's "Taken" & he has tried to showcase the emotional connect between the father & daughter in addition to the high octane stunt sequences. He is basically a one man army who vanquishes the enemies with his brawn while there doesnt seem to be any specific planning as everything seemed to work like clockwork. On the positive side, most of the stunts are well choreographed & gives the movie a racy feel in some portions. Aseem Bajaj has done an impressive job with the cinematography but the editing by Dharmendra Sharma was pathetic as it's damn long with numerous scenes that could have been easily chopped off. With regard to the music, Mithoon has done a decent job with the BGM.
The director in Ajay, seemed like he couldnt get enough of himself & ended up being present in almost all the scenes. He has done an earnest job as the protagonist & as always rocked in the action sequences. Abigail Eames might have been mute, but even then she performed reasonably. As for the rest, Sayesha Saigal & Erika Kaar was average while Girish Karnad was wasted.
Verdict: The box-office collection will be dependent on the single screens as the mutiplexes are likely to favour ADHM. The stunt sequences are the USP of the movie while the emotional drama wedged into the movie fails to connect with the audience. With everything at his disposal as he was both the director & producer, Ajay ought to have paid more attention to the story as it did have the potential to be a winner in all centres. In short, watch it for the action or else forget it!!!
Ungodly-Like. ♦ Grade D-
Ajay Devgn has what we call the "acting chops" to portray a diverse range of characters, but this directorial action thriller fails to herald him as a "man at the helm" which should have been understood, done, and dusted way back in 2008...
Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) is a fiery mountain climber who is presently trying to perceive life's intricacies. Bit of a loner, he is an expert when it comes to climbing and descending gigantic snow-covered peaks, and the border army is arrogantly thankful to him for being an occasional savior. It is by chance that he meets and consequently falls in love with Olga (Erika Kaar), a Bulgarian national with a pompous attitude about her dreams and responsibilities. Considering her relationship with Shivaay as only a casual fling, she flies back to her motherland handing him over their infant daughter who was born out of wedlock. Time passes by and the child grows up to be Gaura (Abigail Eames), who thinks, or is made to believe, that her mother died soon after she entered the world. Shivaay, who loves her like the apple of his eye, has to clear the dilemma when Gaura accidentally finds out that her mother is still alive...
The setup is pretty rundown with a tried-and-tested story riddled with mind- numbing superhero characteristics. The drama starts with Shivaay's feats as the audience are supposed to gasp in unison watching him free-fall from the mountains without a proper harness. Gasp! Self-appreciation is acceptable, but the degree here is intolerable, which is further aggravated by the dialogues which make the central character look like God. Drama soon turns into action and crime as Shivaay and Gaura fly to Bulgaria to meet Olga. Things start going south when Shivaay faces repeated difficulties and has to scramble his superhero powers (viz. defying logic and bullets, artfully using a firearm, and fighting like batman on steroids) to take what is rightly his.
The attempt at humor is horrendous and cringe-worthy, and fails to induce any laughter. But, the secondary unintended humor does drive the narrative into that territory, making the film and its characters a laughing stock in front of an audience who are well-versed with Hollywood action sequences. The characters are seen romancing in a free-falling tent, for cryin' out loud, and from there, it takes a downward spiral into a dark trench of nothingness. Muddled with improper use and picturisation of songs, the film solely depends on the cat and mouse chase which is the whole of second half.
Of course, the production setup is exhilarating, with the exotic locations quenching the taste buds of the anticipating audience. The stunts are laughable, but the car chase sequences are enough to entice an action film fanatic. But, wait, you cannot fully enjoy these sequences because few seconds into them, the title track starts playing in the background as Shivaay breaks a bone or few in slow-mo. However, this good part ends in a jiffy, and the plot again goes back to defying common sense, bringing out new, half-baked, and clichéd characters who are in the space just to help the protagonist. One of the very few good things about the whole affair is the type of masks the antagonists sport. Reminds one of The Town (2010) and The Dark Knight (2008).
The biggest problem with the film is that the emotions don't come. They just don't. It's like they know it's a gimmick, and refuse to take the center stage. Even if we consider the actors' quickly-changing countenances, the emotions either are missing or are not properly showing, which all makes the viewing-experience an irritating exercise of the mind. Devgn has worked hard here, which he may call his magnum opus, but I won't. His efforts are clear, but a flat screen cannot be held on a wall using a single bolt. The foreign actors are fine with their portrayals, while newcomer Sayesha Saigal fails to impress. Vir Das and Girish Karnad are puppets.
Lastly, it is a terribly long film which are filled with montages that were unnecessary and sequences that do not induce entertainment. It shifts genres like a machine gear and conclusively uses an inefficient converter to settle at tragedy, reducing the three-hour journey to be about absolutely nothing except maybe about a father's undying love for his child. One will heave a sigh of relief by the time he/she walks out of the hall, trying to answer his own conscience about his 2016 Diwali and how it has turned into a Himalayan blunder.
BOTTOM LINE: Ajay Devgn's "Shivaay" is an action film in parts based on a story that is familiar to the audience at large. Wait for TV premiere.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
Review of Shivaay
Shivaay is an Action film by Ajay Devgn and it also marks his directorial debut. The film is an out and out action film with more of fight sequences/trekking and less of words. It operates on a simple plot, though very powerful relationship that of a father-daughter, and wider issues like child trafficking at international level. It does have some breathtaking visuals of mountains and action sequences. But certainly the film has its own loopholes.
The film begins with Shivaay being knocked out to the ground and his breathing sound. The camera focuses on the hand-knitted doll lying there. Then the story is conveyed in flash back, to be precise 9 years back. Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) is a guide, who is an expert in trekking. He does help the people during catastrophic landslides and also helps Indian Army in covert operations. He falls in love with a Bulgarian girl Olga (Erika Kaar) who came for trekking to India. Olga gets uncomfortable when she comes to know regarding her unexpected pregnancy. She wanted to go back to Bulgaria and had her own life to live. She did not want the child, but Shivaay was very adamant on having the baby. He asks Olga to stay back till her delivery, give him the child and then go back. Olga goes back to Bulgaria giving the girl child to Shivaay. Then, one gets to see 8 year old mute Gaura (Abigail Eames) trekking along with Shivaay. When she discovers that her mother is in Bulgaria contrary to what had been conveyed to her about Olga not alive, she forces Shivaay to take her to Bulgaria to meet Olga. The moment they land in Bulgaria, the trouble starts. Very soon we see Shivaay chasing his enemies, running away from police authorities, getting trapped in a foreign land etc. Anushka (Sayesha Saigal), an embassy employee and Vir Das, a technical geek in a hacker’s role come to the rescue of Shivaay. Parallels are drawn between Gaura-Shivaay’s and Anushka-Girish Karnad’s father-daughter relationships.
Shivaay lands into what sort of troubles? Who become his enemies and why? How does Shivaay fight back ? Is he able to explore the nexus of child trafficking ?
Regarding the cast, Ajay Devgn definitely stands out as Action Hero. Rest of the cast have less screen time and are ok. Girish Karnad, a great actor, is underutilized in the film.
Cinematographer Aseem Bajaj has indeed given some great visuals, it is top-notch.
What lacks in the film is that it is very quick in jumping from father-daughter bond/emotional connect to the issues of child trafficking followed by chasing sequences between Shivaay and the culprits and at times between Shivaay and police authorities too.
Shivaay is an out and out Ajay Devgn’s Action film, which has some breathtaking visuals by Aseem Bajaj. Watch it, if you like action films.