Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Shaitaan Movie Review: A nail-biting supernatural thriller with superlative performances

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Director Vikas Bahl’s Shaitaan successfully weaves a tale of suspense, horror, and the supernatural, making it a compelling addition to the thriller genre. The film revolves around Kabir’s (Ajay Devgn) family, who unwittingly invite a stranger, Vanraj Kashyap (R Madhavan), into their farmhouse. The story takes a dark turn as Vanraj gains control over the teenage daughter, Jahnavi (Janki Bodiwala), leading to a series of bizarre and life-threatening commands.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its ability to create a tense and unsettling atmosphere without relying on CGI. The antagonist’s sinister intentions and mind games are the driving force behind the narrative, leaving the audience with a palpable sense of dread. The screenplay, crafted by Aamir Keeyan Khan and Krishnadev Yagnik, skillfully sidesteps conventional horror tropes, exploring the age-old debate between the supernatural and science.

While the first half maintains a gripping pace, the second half dips slightly into monotony. Despite some unconvincing plot elements and a predictable climax, the film’s masterful use of atmosphere and top-notch acting elevates it into an unsettling experience worth having. Cinematographer Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti deserves praise for creating an atmosphere of dread, complemented by Amit Trivedi’s haunting musical score.

Madhavan delivers an outstanding performance as the malevolent Vanraj, portraying the character’s sinister deeds with perfection. Ajay Devgn’s portrayal of a helpless but determined father adds depth to the film, while Jyotika and Anngad Raaj also contribute commendable performances. Janki Bodiwala deserves special mention for her pitch-perfect portrayal of Jahnavi under a devious spell, showcasing her versatility in emoting a range of responses.

The film’s adaptation of the 2023 Gujarati film Vash proves to be a fresh take on the black magic genre, with Aamil Keeyan Khan’s engaging screenplay driving the narrative forward. Despite some loose ends and predictable moments, director Vikas Bahl’s first-rate direction keeps the audience captivated throughout.

Shaitaan succeeds as a nail-biting thriller with superlative performances and a clapworthy climax. R Madhavan and Janki Bodiwala shine in their respective roles, and the film’s well-received trailer and Ajay Devgn’s return to the genre contribute to its potential success at the box office. Overall, Shaitaan is a must-watch for those seeking a riveting supernatural thriller experience.

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