Movie Review: Shivaay

Shivaay: Too much ado about nothing

Ajay Devgn always had a penchant for extravagance; remember “Raju Chacha” or even his first directorial venture “U Me Aur Hum”, “Shivaay” is ten steps ahead as far as the mounting of the movie and extravagant production value is concerned…

“Shivaay” traces the journey of a Himalayan mountaineer Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) who runs a business of taking shivaay-movie-reviewtourists for trekking on the Himalayas. In one such trekking expedition he meets Olga (Erika Kaar) a Bulgarian national who loves India. They fall in love and Olga becomes pregnant, but Olga does want to stay in India and has plans in Bulgaria, so she leaves the kid with Shivaay and returns to Bulgaria. Shivaay takes care of his daughter Gaura (Abigail Eames), but things change for them when Gaura expresses her desire to meet her mother. So Shivaay and Gaura go to Bulgaria in search of Olga, whether they are able to find Olga and what happens to them in Bulgaria is what the movie is all about…

Written by Sandeep Srivastava & Robin Bhatt, the movie lacks newness and the story waivers from being a father daughter movie to human trafficking movie and the writing does not justify any of the track. The major issue of the movie is that every sequence just goes on and on as if the writer did not know when to cut the scene. The first half drags incessantly and you lose interest half way through the movie. The second half is heavily inspired by Leeam Neeson’s “Taken” and that to half baked. Another issue is that all the characters look too plastic to be true, and there is absolutely no chemistry amongst the characters, whether it is Shivaay Olga Love Story or the father daughter relationship, it is completely devoid of emotions. The emotional quotient is not present throughout the movie, which is the biggest drawback and in the bargain the audience are disconnected throughout the movie. The run time of 172 minutes is the biggest hindrance that to for a movie that is so mediocre, the writing is absolutely below average…

The same can be said about the dialogues which are very ordinary and old fashioned and adds up to the boredom…

The performances also do not help the movie, starting with Ajay Devgn who plays the titular role, is too banal and early 90’s like. It seems Ajay just sleep walks through his role maybe due to his additional responsibility of direction as well. Another problem Ajay looks too old for the role especially when he is paired with girls half his age. Sayesha Saigal who plays Anushka the official at Indian Embassy, is the only bright spot, her performance in her debut role shows spark and confidence; she is definitely a actor to watch out for. The polish actor Erika Kaar who plays Olga, is another foreign actress trying to make it big in Bollywood after Katrina Kaif made it big, but she is hardly impressive, I may say she was average in the movie, can’t blame her solely as the writing was also at fault. The child artist from Britain Abigail Eames who plays Gaura tries hard to portray the character and she is impressive in bits and pieces but not completely, well blame it on below average writing. Girish Karnard as Anushka’s handicapped father is wasted in a badly written character which makes him look more comic than serious. Vir Das as the geeky hacker Wahab, is irritating mouthing chaste Urdu dialogues, you can make out that he is visibly uncomfortable doing so, and his performance is below average, Vir Das needs to understand that Stand up comedy and acting in a movie are two different ball  games. Saurabh Shukla as the Indian Diplomat who is a Bihari looks more like a caricature. Rest of the international actors look completely lost and they overdo in expressions… Overall all the performances including Ajay Devgn’s are below average…

It is the technical aspect which scores high, whether it is Aseem Bajaj’s cinematography which is brilliant in capturing the snow capped mountains of Bulgaria or the beautiful locations of Musoorie all are spot on. The action sequences are to die for especially the mountain climbing sequences, hence kudos to the action department comprising of Peter Fernandes & Junaid Sheikh, but some sequences are stretched unnecessarily like the car chase sequence or some of the mountain climbing sequences which look super humanly.

The VFX is just too good and is at par with Hollywood and is the highlight of the movie. It is the editing department which falters and impacts the movie, the editing by Dharmendra Sharma could have been much more crisp, more so when the movie was supposed to be an thriller cum action flick…

Music by Mithoon is another highlight, the title song sung by Sukhwindara Singh, Mohit Chauhan  & Badshah haunts you even when the movie is over, it has such an impact, the love duet “Darkhast” sung by Arijit Singh & Sunidhi Chauhan is melodious, the lullaby “Raatein” sung by Jasleen Royal is soothing to the ears, in a nutshell all the tracks are melodious…

Ajay Devgn showed his emotional side with his first directorial venture “U Me Aur Hum”, in “Shivaay” Ajay emphasizes more on the technical aspect than on the script which falls flat and the movie lacks emotional quotient completely. Definitely NOT Ajay Devgn’s best…but I still have faith in him as a director; he just needs a fantastic script to show his mettle as a director….

“Shivaay” does not live up to its expectations due to its average writing and non-existent Emotional Quotient… I will go with Two & Half Stars….

Movie Rating: 2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

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