With changing times, its really encouraging to notice that the new age directors are showing the guts to try out something different from the staple Bollywood pattern. Though it's true that it might not exactly rake in the moolah always, but still it exposes the audience to diverse genres making them yearn for films of substance. Now coming to think of it, Anurag Kashyap is one such film maker who has always gripped the fascination of the audience & critics alike be it for his script in "Satya", "Kaun" etc., or direction in "Black Friday", "Dev D" etc. This time around, he has come up with "Shaitan", which is under his production & directed by debutant Bejoy Nambiar. So will this latest venture garner the applause of one & all???
It goes without saying that the first impression that we get on reading the title "Shaitan", is that it's a dark movie just like his previous ventures. As a matter of fact, the film talks about the reckless lifestyle of the present age teenagers whose ultimate aim in life is pleasure with utter disregard for morals. Amy (Kalki), Dash (Gulshan), Zubin (Neil), Tanya (Kirti) & KC (Shiv) are the modern day, cool & hip youngsters who relishes anything that gives them a high be it drugs, sex or speed. On one such wild night, they mow down a couple of people on the roadside with their Hummer & what then follows is the decisions that they make to cover up their actions. As one would expect, one crime leads to another & it eventually spirals out of control. To take toll of the situation arrives the no-nonsense upright Inspector Mathur (Rajeev Khandelwala), who himself is in turmoil with a suspension & a failed marriage. So how does Mathur go about his duty & is there no path for redemption for the youngsters???
Just as in the case of any good movie, the kudos for the decent effort definitely goes to the script writer duo of Megha Rangaswamy & Bejoy Nambiar. Inspite of being a debutant, Bejoy Nambiar has been successful in creating a sense of flutter in the minds of the audience as the events pan out. The film doesnt take much time to get into the plot but rather than the situations been created, its more of how & why the erratic young minds works out those situations. There are a couple of sequences in the second half involving the escape of the youngsters & a shootout between the police & gangsters which are shot pretty exquisitely & will get the pulse racing. However, since we are used to seeing some goodness in movies, the persistent negative shade is likely to create a sense of uneasiness & at times boredom.
Coming to performances, Rajeev Khandelwala who is one of the well known actors of the silver screen has come up with a fantastic performance as the Officer who is forced to carry out his responsibilities while fighting with his inner demons. Kalki was equally proficient with her enactment of Amy who looks for sources of pleasure outside her estranged family. The remaining cast were equally apt in their roles as well. Another major plus point has been the excellent cinematography by Madhie & an awesome background score by Ranjit Barot which is completely in sync with the mood of the movie.
Verdict: Without doubt "Shaitan" deserves a word of praise for a different take on the life of youngsters, which is hard hitting & disturbing at the same time. It will have the critics singing praises for attempting something different. However, I do have my reservations regarding the audience response, as I believe its meant only for the Multiplexes. In short, its dark & different but unlikely to be palatable for many!!!