Shaitaan Movie Review: R Madhavan and Janki Bodiwala steal the show in this riveting supernatural flick



    A family's fun farmhouse getaway turns nightmarish when a mysterious and dangerous stranger invades their home. Things become even more sinister when he performs black magic in the family's teenage daughter and his real motives are revealed.

    Director :
    • Vikas Bahl
    Cast :
    • Ajay Devgn,
    • R Madhavan,
    • Jyotika,
    • Janki Bodiwala,
    • Anngad Raaj
    Genre :
    • supernatural/horror
    Language :
    • Hindi
    Shaitaan Movie Review: R Madhavan and Janki Bodiwala steal the show in this riveting supernatural flick
    Updated : March 08, 2024 09:00 AM IST

    At the exterior, the Vikas Bahl directorial Shaitaan seems to revolve around a haunting tale of black magic and hypnosis. But in the interior, it showcases the strength and courage which a parent exudes when any harm befalls their child. Despite some flaws, the movie successfully manages to keep you at the edge of the seats with its riveting performances and the macabre tone. 

    The plot focuses on Kabir (Ajay Devgn)'s family consisting of his wife Jyoti (Jyotika), teenage daughter Janvi (Janki Bodiwala), and son Dhruv (Anngad Raaj). A fun getaway in their farmhouse turns nightmarish after a stranger Vanraj (R Madhavan) invades their home. Only when he frighteningly hypnotizes Janvi then the family realize that he has some dangerous ulterior motives. 

    Shaitaan's one of the main highlights lies in its tone-setting and execution, especially in the first half. The entire sequence of Vanraj terrorizing the family is characterized by thunder and a brutally harsh rainy day. The dialogues and the writing by Ameel Keeyan Khan and Krishnadev Yagnik especially signifying Vanraj's tyranny and the helplessness of the parents are convincing. The movie travels at an efficient pace and does not fall prey to monotony. The interpersonal relationship between the characters especially the 'Shaitaan' and his prey is horrifying and impactful. 

    However, the movie struggles mainly in the climax. One cannot help but wonder how Ajay's character can play the hero supreme with a knife stabbed in his hand or how the police authorities looked so feeble against a cultist. While the setting of the final battle between a vengeful father and the evil force is riveting but some of the methods adopted look illogical and too heroic. While the ending was supposed to bring a tint of twist, it instead becomes extremely predictable. 

    Ajay Devgn and Jyotika do full justice to their respective roles showcasing the helplessness and horror undergone as parents who have to watch their child being subjected to such brutality. Ajay is intense, fiery, and vulnerable at the same time while Jyotika unleashes her inner tigress in some of the scenes. However, it is Madhavan and Janki Bodiwala who steal the show with their acts. Madhavan has a demonic and macabre aura which truly justifies his role as the 'Shaitaan.' The actor is a fine balance of being conniving and menacing at the same time. By the end, his role is a huge callback to Ashutosh Rana's character in Sangharsh. Janki Bodiwala is extremely convincing and impactful. You cannot help but empathize with her as she undergoes a living hell indeed. Aangad Raaj is endearing and does full justice to his role. 

    The cinematography by Sudhakar Reddy Yakanti is top-notch and captures the fateful night perfectly. The background score stays true to the terrorizing theme of the same. Amit Trivedi's music stands out with the title track of the film. Minus the few misses, Shaitaan comes across as a fairly riveting watch with exemplary performances.