You know, there’s a Shaitan poster at intervals of 200-300 meters on every main Bombay street. I think the amount of publicity they’ve tried to do for this movie before its release is just plain stupid, because this movie is so freakin’ awesome, that I don’t think they even needed to make so many big posters to create hype! One trailer was good enough to generate excitement in all of us! Or at least, in a die-hard film fanatic like me. [Watch the official Shaitan Trailer]
Oh yes, number one: the awesome, super-stylish trailer. Two, the name itself. And three… the taglines: Face Your Inner Shaitan. Oh and did I fail to mention a four! The name of Anurag Kashyap to top it all. This could not have been a failure under any circumstance at all. Any.
Great it was expected to be and great it has turned out to be. People were, I was, expecting it to be some self-questioning psychological thriller that blows your mind off. Blow the mind off it does, sort of, but with a much simpler story.
Shaitan – Synopsis
This film is basically about the crazy life of five super crazy friends who like living life on the edge like complete maniacs. The movie introduces 5 friends – Amrita/ Amy (Kalki Koechlin), Dushyant/ Dash (Shiv Pandit), Zubin (Neil Bhoopalam), Karan/ KC (Gulshan Devaiya) and Tanya Sharma (Kirti Kulhari). Coming from rich families (apart from Tanya and Dash), these kids do the usual stuff which rich rotten kids love doing – cruising on yachts, splashing about the swimming pool, partying all night, the works. Throwing piss filled balloons on Holi and morphing their college lecturer’s photos in class is something which they find routine and boring. Living life to the fullest, this gang of super rich kids are about to have to shock of their lives. One night, when all of the them are high on stolen bottles of cough syrup, they overrun two unknowns riding a scooter and kill them under their snazzy hummer. They get caught, but the corrupt cop asks them for 25 lakh to keep his mouth shut. So that’s the story: do they get the 25 khokas, or do they end up in jail?
Trying to do the same thing as a friend of one of them did, they decide to kidnap one of their own and demand a ransom of 25 with five zeroes. That’s ok, but they didn’t expect the dad to involve the police. Being the daughter of a rich dude, her ‘kidnapped’ news spread like wildfire, and since her friends were actually the ones who had ‘kidnapped’ her, they were with her… so the world assumed that they were kidnapped as well.
So here’s the thing: as the level of craziness rises with which they try to hide and carry on with their plan, they slowly start losing their sanity. Differences arise in a direct relationship to the level of hype this case gets. They begin fighting amongst themselves, until insanity drives them to a point of no-more-control-over-myself.
Amidst all this, Kalki Koechlin [Amy], the girl supposedly kidnapped, can’t let go of her 12-year-dead mother. She gets high on drugs, and keeps falling into flashbacks. So whilst the rest of the gang is going mad over differences, Amy is going mad over her dead mother.
The cop hired to solve this case, played by Rajeev Khandelwal, is determined to set things right. But the task is not as easy… because who is the kidnapper exactly? No one knows but the kidnappers themselves. As time goes on, the level of seriousness goes up, the level of madness hits an all-time high, and the shaitan in each gets naughtier [not at all in a childish way!].
What sets Shaitan apart from others? It’s the style. The way the visuals have been shot is actually brilliant. Made on a modest budget, the stunning visuals makes it seem as if the movie has been splurged on by the producers. Many more have tried this Zack Snyder-type slow-motions a lot, but they haven’t got a real situation to back up their stories of why they used this effect. But here, what with the great voice-overs, what with the getting high and all, what with the great camera work, a cool story, decent performances and smooth direction. The only thing lacking is a tight script and and the editing. The second half of the film drags on and one knows what will happen, wishing that it happened sooner.
We give it a 3 on 5.