POPCORN ENTERTAINMENT RATING : 2.5/5
The much anticipated Ajay Devgn starrer Shivaay arrives this Diwali, and with much fanfare and hype surrounding the film ( it has been in the making for the last 2 years). And Shivaay starts with a bang, with a breathtaking introduction of Shivaay, the mountaineer descending the surreal mountains amidst the terrific background score of Bolo Har Har. This visually outstanding introduction scene sets the tone nicely for an adrenaline pumping action adventure extravaganza to be unfolded . But despite a simple yet compelling premise, Shivaay ends up as a half baked and humdrum film exposed with a shallow story.
With a plot loosely based on the Liam Nesson action flick Taken, the film evolves around a highly skilled mountaineer Shivaay ( Ajay Devgn), whose 8 year old mute daughter Gaura ( Ebigail) gets abducted on the streets of Bulgaria. The father’s vigorous search and scour for her daughter and their emotional bond forms the crux of the story.
Shivaay’s biggest strength is its jaw dropping canvas and terrific execution of action sequences, which are simply outstanding. Special mention of the avalanche and an elongated car chase sequence which will blow your mind away. Also, Shivaays transformation into a mean machine on a killing spree is well portrayed. But the film falters miserably on several accounts, the primary being its duration. With a running time of almost 3 hours , Shivaay exhausts you with an overstretched climax and a poorly weaved out screenplay. With almost every frame focussing on emotional strings of a father daughter relationship, it gets overtly weary since you fail to connect to the characters. Also, overindulgence on action sequences (especially in the second half) with inconsistent characterization and some implausible logic adds chinks to the already debilitating armour of this film. The love story ( Ajay Devgn and Erika Kaar) is nicely shot but ends up being amateurish due to lack of chemistry.
To say Ajay Devgn is the heart and soul of Shivaay would be an understatement. With a powerful presence in each and every frame of the film, Ajay Devgn rides high on histrionics and renders a compelling performance. Menacing to the core in the impressively staged action scenes and equally vulnerable in poignant moments, Ajay proves yet again his mettle as a terrific actor. And this is where he actually fails as a director since the supporting cast looks unwarranted in the scheme of things. Veterans like Girish karnad and Saurabh Shukla are completely wasted, and Vir Das is reduced to a caricature. Sayeesha Saigal is noteworthy in her debut, though she doesnt get much scope to prove her acting chops. Ebigail James is pleasing as the mute child, and Erika Kaar is strictly ok.
Inspite of mouthwatering locales and exquisite canvas, Shivaay ends up being a contrived and superficial effort. Just walk out after the first half, to avoid the noise and exhaustion of Shivaay.