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  • Ankur Pathak

    Ankur Pathak (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - March 17, 2013 4:53 PM IST
    3.5DM (582 ratings)
    ShaitanRelease date : June 10, 2011

    Picture this:

    A pair of goons accidently caught running a grim racket on sly by an impulsive cop. Both parties are spraying bullets of confrontment and resistance attacking each other. The cop uses the corpse of a middle-aged woman, whos seemingly been molested after drug abuse, as a bullet-shield. The setting is fashioned around grainy chawls with thin by-lanes, Dev Anands classic Khoya Khoya Chaaand is harmonizing the insanely corrupt scenario, even as a bunch of friends on the verge of losing their sanity run for dear life, after a cold-blooded yet quarrelsome murder, in another context.

    This, dear spectators, is a classic shot that would be remembered, and enviably admired by breeds of filmmakers, even as we movie-fanatics devour in the irresistible, raw beauty of the corruptness.
    Shaitan a film that uncovers the murkiness camouflaged beneath each of us, layer by layer, is another norm-breaking gamble backed by Anurag Kashyap and Viacom 18, which gives us a trace of a filmmaker who can stand confidently close to Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese.

    Bejoy Nambiar is that discovery.

    An uninhibited story of a bunch of clear losers the type, which is so neck-deep clueless about their objective, they go on a path not only less travelled, but plain deserted. Amy, Dash, Zubin, Tanya, KC are your everyday collegians who want to give everything a shot. So if tossing of coke is a usual, speeding a yellow Hummer, is another in one of their pleasures. As the already paced-up night loses its grip, the careless lunatics crash into a scooter seemingly killing an odd-couple. A local inspector rounds on them and demands a hefty bribe to remain muted; the five of them amongst themselves decide to kidnap Amy assuming her father would bail her out. The turn-of-events are grossly contrasting to their imaginations and the perils that tag complimentary alongside drag them to chaotic madness, a hellish arena.

    Director Bejoy Nambiar creates a surrealistic environment centered on the five characters, who get to share deserving amount of screen-time. If Amys (a fantastic Kalki Koechlin) disturbed childhood has resulted in her being an out-of-line adolescent, then Tanyas middle-class morality goes beyond control when she helplessly witnesses the horrific turn of events. Investigating the self-inflicted conspiracy is Inspector Arvind Mathur (Rajeev Khandelwal in a brilliant role) who, unable to strike a balance in his married life with his challenging police duty battles demons of a traumatic personal life, that more-than-once erupts in his aggressive bashing to the goons.

    With so much happening, it gets increasingly pressuring to maintain control with a steady pace. But Sreekars Prasads editing is phenomenal and unconventional, even if it is uneven at parts. He blends two unrelated scene posing as one; the significance perhaps is that at one point, they will.

    Anurag Kashyap says if the audience is looking for message, they must back an NGO, rather than come out to watch Shaitan looking for one.

    It is his deliberate modesty that he says so, as Shaitan is a film overflowing with burning messages. It not only addresses the craziness of the youth today by cleverly portraying characters as victims of their own crimes, it also touches upon what troubling, and unexpected consequences the customary fraudulent ways of our police force can ensure.

    Darker, and subtly dramatic, Nambiar who takes his own time to settle makes the characters in this picture sluggishly unmask their flaming demons, and their pretentiousness which proves fatal. Their risks baffles not one, but a chain-reaction ensures even the most remote of the person is unwittingly embroiled.

    Shaitan doesnt unfold like a film. It spreads out as a well-carved documentary of the zaniness of the youth gone colossally haywire. By the time it comes to an evasive and a vague climax, it not only acts as a warning, but leaves you clustered in the head, as you automatically become conscious of your actions.

    Its shot sublimely, with cinematographer Madhie exploring shades of red, black and grey.
    Shaitan is exhausting to watch, and that is also the intention. A script that relies on its originality as much as its hues of criminality, Nambiars next will be eagerly awaited.

    Kalki Koechlin might be the potential contender for awards next year, as she does her Ami with unbelievable perfection. It seems as if shes known Amy for too long. Kirti Kulhari the relatively rooted girl trying hard to blend with high profile charisma is a realistic Tanya, who yells loud when she panics bad, and is muted when shes powerless.

    The guys, Gulshan, Neil and Shiv are actors who are very talented, and the best part, uninhibited.
    But its hard to talk of actors, and technicians other than Nambiar. He holds the film so damn well, you relish this kind of rare cinema. Bejoy Nambiar, wow. Seriously, wow.

    Shaitan is a film that is disturbingly well-informed about the prevailing eccentricity of the countrys youth. Exploiting that as a catalyst, the film explores the puzzling lengths of ludicrousness the Gen-Now can swoop below to, living in an illusionary-alright world, believing matters can be set straight with their strategic scheming.

    The film rings a bell of warning and a cry of caution.

    Its hard to see it as fiction. It is alarming to believe it as existing reality.

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