Anurag Kashyap might well be in the top ten greatest minds of Indian cinema industry now, as apart from making some of the most impact-full hard-hitting movies, he also has the knack of unearthing real-talent. After the master class 'Udaan', Anurag is coming up with 'Shaitan' which did impress with impressive trailer and teasers but 'Dev D' like print creatives. Will Mani Ratnam's student, Bejoy Nambiar become the next big find like Vikramaditya?
Well, maybe Bejoy Nambiar may not be the big find in Bollywood but he surely is a talent to watch out for. Shaitan is not a masterpiece, it's not a great thriller, does not boast of a flawless script but it’s not completely bad either.
The story is about Amy (Kalki) who is new to Mumbai with a bad past. She befriends a group of spoilt youngsters who spend their time roaming around the city, doing drugs and enjoying their time. Their life takes a turn when on a drunken night they accidentally run over two people and thus starts a hellish run for their life which just worsens as it progresses. In comes Inspector Mathur (Rajeev Khandelwal), who is trying to find the truth. Will he find it? The rest of the story unfolds.
Bejoy Nambiar is surely talented and it doesn't seem to like a debutant's work. But the person, who placed his pawns quite perfectly in the first half, just comes up with chaotic game play in the second, with a decent ending. Bejoy does seem to be quite impressed with the Oscar winner 'Black Swan' but quite a different take. Rajeev Khandelwal's love story is shown without much dialogues transacted between the two, but the depth of their love is shown through their eyes and we are convinced. Quite brilliant. But at the same time, the so called funny instance where Rajat Barmecha makes an appearance just doesn't fit in the narrative.
The movie does boast of some riveting performances, especially from Rajeev Khandelwal, Kalki and Shiv Pandit. The rest of the gang has indeed done justice to their roles with only Kirti Kulhari who seemed a little off color. Nikhil Chinnappa and Rajit Kapoor show how efficient they are. Raj Kumar Yadav, after the brilliance showed in 'Ragini MMS', follows it up with another superlative cameo.
Shaitan looks very stylish and there are several impressive camera works, especially Rajeev Khandelwal's intro scene where they have used steady cam to good effect and also several spectacular ultra slow motion shots. Other sequences also stamp the master class of R. Madhi, picture perfect we must say. Art direction by Rajeevan does give this small movie a rich look but at the same time there are several instances where he shows sloppiness. The time when Kirti is pushed against the wall is one such instance. Editing by Sreekar Prasad is effective and efficient. Music is by several musicians but the title song does impress which is done by Ranjit Barot. Ranjit has also done the background music which is quite impressive as well. Dialogues by Abhijit Deshpande are short, crisp and extremely powerful.
Overall, it’s a well-made, stylish movie which may seem like a normal thriller at the outset but is a psychological thriller. Another success from the camp of Anurag Kashyap.
Verdict: A stylish chaotic run