The best “Shaitani” in Indian Cinema

Think of Bejoy Nambiar as a Magician – Rajeev Khandelwal, Kalki Koechlin, Shiv Pandit, Neil Bhopalam, Gulshan Devaiya, Kirti Kulhari and Raj Kumar Yadav as his Subjects – and ‘Shaitan’ as the Magic SPILLED on screen. The reason why I say ‘spilled’ and not ‘spread‘ is something we’d talk about a little later.


A reflection of Anurag Kashyap’s (Producer) controversial debut ‘Paanch ’, the story takes off with Amy (Kalki Koechlin), a mentally traumatized teenager landing up in Mumbai from LA, who is compulsively obsessed with her late mother.  A house-warming party the same evening and she finds herself trusting her life with a bunch of four crazy fellows. A roller coaster ride follows and the course of events is too fast for Amy, Dash (Shiv Pandit), KC (Gulshan Devaiya), Zubin (Neil Bhopalam) and Tanya (Kirti Kulhari) to realize what mess have they leaped into. It was all about drugs, bizarre risks, petty heists and car races…until one such race ends in a miserable accident. That’s the beginning of their descent into a vicious circle of crime and violence, where, in order to save themselves they are willing to put everything on the back burner, specially sanity and morality.


The parallel track caters to the life of an honest, though fiercely aggressive cop Arvind Mathur (Rajeev Khandelwal) who’s fighting the corrupt system as well as the demons hovering upon his personal life.  While he is entrusted with the task to track this case, he comes to terms with the immense corruption brooding the system itself that accelerates crime rather than uprooting it.


Coming to the performances, the characters have been well etched out. Some of the commendable sequences were rendered by Shiv Pandit, Rajeev Khandelwal and Kalki Koechlin. The supporting cast too is strong enough to make its presence felt in the form of the corrupt police officer (Raj Kumar Yadav), Tanya’s sister (Rukhsar), Arvind Mathur’s Collegue (Nikhil Chinapa) and Amy’s father (Rajit Kapoor). Even his tiniest moments in the film have something to offer – like that scene in which Khandelwal kicks a resistant auto-rickshaw driver into action and the way Kalki intoxicates herself as her life complicates. Neil, Gulshan and Kirti too are talents to watch out for!


The USP of the movie is that it depicts circumstances in life, when the inner demons come to the fore and people are forced to react in farthest method, intelligibly and most eloquently. Though the story has loopholes towards the end, Nambiar doesn’t let the viewers take their eyes off the screen with deep colours, the lights shift without any jerks and the camera angles that make you go ‘Whoa! How did he shoot that?’ The loopholes & repetitiveness are the reason why the magic SPILLS a bit towards the end.


The music as well can’t be ignored. Worked upon by an ensemble of Prashant Pillai, Amar Mohile, Ranjit Barot, Anupam Roy and Bhayanak Maut, the music is sure to leave an impact. The background score is not just music, but the soul of the movie. Classics like “Khoya Khoya Chaand” and “Hawa Hawai” take the cake as they compliment the visuals inexplicably. The music overall has the youth feel to it. The songs would for surely leave your feet tapping and mouth humming.


Nambiar deserves a clap for an assertive debut and Anurag Kashyap, for his love for good cinema. Overall, a flick that stands-out proudly even amidst oodles of other youth centric films coming and going these days. This one deserves a 3.5/5 for sure!!


Garima Obrah