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Expectations Torpedoed
Oct 28, 2016 12:04 AM 126419 Views
(Updated Oct 28, 2016 12:02 AM)





A father’s quest to rescue his daughter from kidnappers in a foreign land.

‘Shivaay’, the eagerly awaited Bollywood release promising a high octane action entertainment that would make Hollywood action directors blush and envy, I only hope they don’t get to watch it to save us the blushes.

Story: Shivaay(Ajay Devgan) is a skilled mountain climber whose services are at times engaged by the Army to carry out special tasks. Shivaay also organizes trekking camps in the Himalayas for mountaineers and thus meets Olga(Erika Kaar) a Bulgarian but a student of Delhi University living in India since 5 years, and who is on a 4 day trekking camp. Love blossoms between the two and she is pregnant. Olga is not ready to be a mother nor wants the baby but Shivaay does, so a girl(Gaura) is born out of wedlock and Olga returns to Bulgaria. It is after 8 years that the speech impaired Gaura wants to see her mother that results in a trip to Bulgaria. In this foreign land, Shivaay saves a boy from human traffickers who then in retaliation kidnap Gaura. Shivaay is determined to rescue his daughter from the dreaded Russian Mafia but in the process becomes a law offender and fugitive in Bulgaria.

Cast: Ajay Devgan casting himself as the extraordinary hero will need viewers endorsement for success on the execution of his vision for ‘Shivaay’. It will be a tough ask. The Polish Actress Erika Kaar and the British child actress Abigail Eames were brilliant. Sayesha Saigal as a diplomat at the Indian Embassy in Bulgaria, looked pretty with not much to do in the film. Vir Das as an IT professional and ethical hacker was passable.

Pros: The plus point of shooting abroad especially in European countries is that it adds value to the cinematography enriching the photographic views which the film successfully exploited. The Polish, British and European actors were superb displaying an effective screen presence. Some of the car chases and stunts were best in class. There are a few carefully executed emotional scenes with catchy dialogues. The script had all the ingredients to generate a thrilling action entertainment but fails in its execution.

Cons: The script was lifeless with no logic or reasoning applied. The first 45 minutes deals with Shivaay-Olga romance covering too many events in 4 days - Olga falls in love with Shivaay, fractures her foot, gets healed, plays holi and gets pregnant in a matter of days. The stunts were amateurish and ineffective even after applying high-tech camera techniques. It seemed Shivaay was the only Indian in Bulgaria who knew the whereabouts of all the bad guys with an action plan to eliminate them which the local authorities and police failed to carry out all these years.

Direction: Ajay Devgan is an indisputable fine actor but the same does not hold true for his Direction. His obsession with self and an attempt to glorify him backfires. His action, sprints, stunts and romance lacked the appeal resulting in a lackluster onscreen performance. The emotional scenes were too much of a drag and highly ineffective. The character of ‘Shivaay’ does not emotionally connect with the viewer with him being brash, smoking chirut, driving rash, carelessly getting a tourist pregnant, bullying and hitting his friends which does not complement his title and contradicts his view that ‘the one who has no one in life to live for, seeks a family’.  The music and songs only served as fillers.

Conclusion: There were high expectations from this film that rolled out trailers promising an exceptional action entertainment that would match the best in Hollywood. What unfolds onscreen is unbelievably unconvincing and a great disappointment. The trailer of Shivaay already captures all the best scenes of the film. The runtime of the torture is around 2 hours 50 minutes and will remind you of Ajay Devgan’s ‘Action Jackson’ – not the story but the deja vu. This big budget film is only for Ajay Devgan fans. The good news is that you could still enjoy your Diwali opting for the simultaneous romantic K Jo release.

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