SHIVAAY Movie Review: You may enjoy this wholesale idiocy in a generous festive mood

It’s an action thriller made by an idiot for the idiots. Now, in the forgiving mood of the festival season marked by the worship of goddess Laxmi you may even enjoy this idiocy. The ‘vahana’ of the goddess of wealth and prosperity is an owl, the large-eyed bird, the epitome of stupidity, and this film is wholly devoted and dedicated to it.

The idiocy begins with its title which has nothing much to do with Lord Shiva. In fact it mocks and abuses the very idea of the most benevolent, free-spirited and maha moody Super God, devadhidev, of the Hindu pantheon instead of making good use of it to enhance the power of its narrative and characterization. The dimwits who wrote the film and titled it thus are a reprehensible blot on the name of screen writing and storytelling and those who put their money into it doubled up the folly. And Ajay Devgn must thank the CBFC for saving his backside by cutting out some really damaging and ugly stuff in the film that would have got him into the crosshairs of ardent Shivbhkts. Moreover, only in Hindustan you can get away with insulting, and abusing Hindu icons and symbols.

Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) is a mountaineer who can climb up and down snow-covered mountains in his low waist jeans almost like the Spiderman. He also organizes trekking expeditions for tourists. He smokes ‘chillum’, drinks milk, and has tattoos of a Shiva head, a cobra, and a trident on various body parts. And being a man he of course has an actual male organ of reproduction to prove he is a true embodiment of his name. Thanks to the intervention of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), he refrains from flashing it or talking about it.

A foreigner named Olga (Erika Kaar), a Bulgarian girl, joins his trekking expedition and after he saves her from an avalanche, they indulge in casual sex. She gets pregnant very soon and wants to abort the child. Shivaay forces her to have the child. She gives birth to a girl child, a mute who is not at all deaf. Olga returns to Bulgaria without even having a look at the newborn. Shivaay brings up the child who turns out to be as feisty as 'fisty'. She beats up her father with her fists in anger before getting overwhelmed with hyper-emotion and hugging him. Her name is Gaura (Abigail Eames).

There is a minor earthquake and Gaura accidentally discovers a letter from her mother who she thought was dead. She again follows the fisticuff and hug routine. Shivaay takes her to Bulgaria. That’s where the stunts and fights begin as Gaura is kidnapped by a gang of child traffickers and human organ dealers. He fights singlehandedly with the gang to save his daughter. He is helped by Anushka (Sayesha Saigal), an Indian embassy staffer, Olga, his estranged wife, and a Paki (I presume) computer hacker (Veer Das).

It’s a badly conceived, incompetently developed, pathetically written, idiotically directed, and ludicrously performed ‘father rescues daughter’ variety of action thriller. The writers and director seem to have no clue about how to use the essential elements of the genre effectively. This is a humongous and criminal waste of money, talent and effort.

The expensively shot and CGI enhanced imagery of snow-covered mountains and its stunts, fights and action sequences are of little help. Ajay Devgn himself has acted badly. His non-commitment to the role can be clearly seen in how badly he smokes the ‘chillum’. The supposedly serious emotional scenes draw laughter, and the supposedly funny gags leave the audience cold. Its wholesale stupidity nullifies the impact of some of the dramatically and smartly designed action sequences and stunts.

It’s a well shot and edited film. One of the songs, a Shiva stotra, comes across as a saving grace amidst the cacophonous music and annoying singing. It also is some relief to ears that are tired of listening to ‘allahu, maulahu’ songs that have become the leitmotif of nearly every Bollywood film.


Rajesh Kumar Singh

@khulkebolo @neelnabh


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