Story: Shivaay (Ajay Devgn), is a story of a fearless Himalayan who heads to Bulgaria to fulfill his nine-year-old daughter Gaura’s (Abigail Eames) wish of seeing her mother Olga (Erika Kaar), who abandoned them years ago. But their plan goes wrong when the little girl gets kidnapped in the foreign land. Rescuing her from the masked child-traffickers becomes his only reason for survival.
Ajay Devgn in the title role, is perennially jumping off every cliff in any range in any part of the world. Otherwise he can be found smoking a chillum, extremely self-consciously at that, looking meaningfully at the audience as though telling them: stop me if you can.
There’s more — the wintry grey-blue palette, the extreme close-ups especially of the eyes and the breathtakingly beautiful landscape the lofty Himalayas and the pretty cobbled streets of Sofia in Bulgaria. there are long chases around the city landmarks, bloody fights, several dead bodies of Russians and Bulgarians and enough smashed cars to give Rohit Shetty a major inferiority complex, in not one but all his seven lives.
Welcome to the Ajay Devgn brand of stylish cinema. The kind that looks modish but sports a terribly archaic, outdated heart. Shivaay falls in love with Bulgarian Barbie doll-like beauty Olga (Erika Kaar) while trying to save her in a life-threatening avalanche. For a bit it made me get nostalgic about the shared socialist past of the two countries and how both have moved on but that would be a needless digression.
Director: Ajay Devgn
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Erika Kaar, Abigail Eames, Sayesha Saigal, Vir Das, Girish Karnad, Saurabh Shukla
Bottomline:The Ajay Devgn brand of stylish cinema sports an archaic heart at its core.
The abduction of his daughter turns our chillum-smoking cool trekker into an angry killer, who vows to bust the flesh trade racket in Bulgaria. Soon high-octane, gravity and death-defying action sequences take centre stage, which are on par with the Hollywood films. An extended car-chase sequence in particular is outstanding.
For some strange reason, while all Bulgarians, including the fickle mom and the several ugly villains are bad, all the individuals of Indian/subcontinental descent are nice human beings. Clearly, the Bulgarians did not know what they were in for or they just decided to bear with it for the sake of economics. For if this can lead to an increase in film shoots and in the inflow of Indian tourists to their country, well then why not?
Issues: biggest issue is the movie 3 hours long some editing would have been more better being run-time (3 hours).
Ajay, who is perhaps in every frame of the film doesn’t know where to stop as a director.
Overall, Ajay is unstoppable in Shivaay but you wish he wasn’t! Laced with visual excellence, you applaud his film’s larger than life canvas but despite the efforts, his second directorial venture fails to engage you emotionally.
However on the eve of Dipawali, Shivaay can be at least one time watch to see the international level standard of fight sequence and car chase.
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