Friday, 28 October 2016

Movie Review : Shivaay

SHIVAAY
BY AJAY DEVGAN


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Shivaay… one of the most awaited movies, thanks to its mesmerizing and tantalizing trailers plus word of mouth publicity; and a movie that has got some, shall we say, not-upto-the-mark reviews in some publications that I perused; reviews that, in my humble opinion, don’t really do justice to the movie. Hence, I have made, in my own small way, an attempt to place the other side of the movie, through this review; a review that is unabashedly  gushing  in praise, for the reasons outlined below…




THE NEGATIVES
But first, let me state the negative, or attempt to analyse where it might have miffed some people. It is a movie that is a victim of its own publicity which might just have built up the expectations to a level which the movie fails to reach; or, to be more specific, it raised expectations along a path that the movie does not fully touch upon or justify. The name – Shivaay, or the repeated references to verses of the Lord in the trailer, or the song “Jaa Jaa Kailaash Jaa Kar Vinaash”; or the overlaid dialogue in the trailer.


There is, in my opinion, only one plot weakness; if you ignore that – this is one of the most spine-chilling, or rather, to be more accurate, fast paced thrillers to come out of India in a very long time indeed. That is the development of the central character, Shivaay; either there should have been some proper justification for the references in the paragraph above, or some clear linkage – which is absent.


The character development in slightly weak only of the central character; the difficulty is that, this movie actually has only two characters : Shivaay, and Gaura. There is no one else of note in terms of relevance.  A word here for the Child artist portraying Gaura – she won my admiration for her performance, in a movie dominated in Salmanesue fashion by one single character played by Ajay Devgan…

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THE PLUSES
Notwithstanding the negatives that I have fairly pointed out above, this movie is, from the first frame to the last, a production of sheer class. I could not find even one irrelevant scene in the entire movie; the plot is well defined, the character development, one negative apart, splendid with clearly etched characters, the story is tightly woven and completely logical from start to finish – right till the last frame when the titles begin to play on the screen.


The narrative is taut, and does not deviate from the plot at all; not only that, there is no attempt at any sideplay, sub-plots etc of any kind. Every scene carries the story forward, and is relevant to the movement of the plot in some way; including the songs. That took some doing in a film of this genre. There is not one single wasted scene whatsoever; had anything been deleted, the movie and its story would seem jerky, with no clear connect.


One scene effortlessly blends into the next in an uninterrupted sequence, including the much-criticised scenes, which  are in reality, central to the forward story! Shivaay could not have reached his destination without the Girish Karnad scene, for example; neither would an embassy staffers support to Shivaay seem logical otherwise.


The story proceeds at an unbelievably frenetic pace; so much so, that in order to keep track of the incredibly rapid progression of events, one is forced to remain glued to the seat, not even being able to leave for a loo break – and that is one incredible achievement, any which way you look at it. Saying more would give away too many details of the plot, so let me leave it at that. The pace has nothing to do with the action sequences – the speed of the story has been achieved by a combination of mind-boggling action sequences {which could have been slightly better choreographed, to be perfectly honest} – and rapid progression of the core plot in between, leaving one gasping for breath almost.


The music ably supports the story and the plot, as well as the overall movie; haunting tunes and melodies, well choreographed song sequences and a decent enjoyable score: given that you don’t feel the need or the freedom to leave the seat even during the songs – there is undoubtedly a pulling factor in the songs, which are ably complemented by some riveting photography and beautiful location shoots that draw your breath away; this is ably supported in the entire movie with the tremendous special effects throughout



All in all, this is a fantastic and enjoyable movie, a thriller set at an unbelievably frenetic and break-neck speed, with decent music, great photography, a taut narrative and a decent plot. What more could you ask for in a movie? Given that nearly all movies in Hindi and English {not so far in Marathi, luckily}, require some level of suspension of logic, the negatives are bearable. The negatives mean that the movie will not score ten on ten, but a more realistic 8 on a ten-point scale. But that does nothing to negate the overall movie’s positives, neither does it mean the movie isn’t enjoyable; it is a fantastic and captivating watch! Don’t miss it this Diwali is my considered opinion… 

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