• Saheb Abdullah
    Saheb Abdullah
    82 reviews
    Top Reviewer
    4

    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

    November 26, 16
  • Midhun Ben Thomas (Dilseben)
    Midhun Ben Thomas (Dilseben)
    160 reviews
    Top Reviewer
    4

    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!!!

    Rating: 2.25/5

    Regards...Ben

    November 01, 16
  • Tejas Nair
    Tejas Nair
    258 reviews
    Top Reviewer
    3

    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 clich├ęd 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

    October 29, 16