Shaitan: For All Those *%$#& Out on the Streets

Posted: June 17, 2011 by moifightclub in cinema
Tags: , , , ,

We are quite late on this one. And we are still a divided house. The reactions have been quite extreme. Sample some – Like it for what it is, What the F really – Anurag Kashyap Films is rehashing Anurag Kashyap films, it’s in amateurish territories, What a freakin’ headache, he is definitely exciting and with more content to back might make something really noteworthy, Major Hype Overkill, it is an unfortunate coincidence; we seem to have learnt the style to narrate at exactly the same time when we have forgotten what to narrate, all said and done…I loved Khoya Khoya Chaand. And the debate is still going strong.

So, here’s a post on Shaitan by Kenny Basumatary. He is actor, writer, director, and Kung Fu  can easily be his middle name. And yeah, he is music composer and lyricist too. Now even a published author…woosh!

And since there’s no good film at the theaters this friday, do check out Shaitan.

(SPOILER CAUTION: Preferably read this piece only if you have watched the film.)

 A maniac drives his vehicle at murderous speeds, weaving in and out of traffic and nearly hitting you and several other pedestrians and vehicles. You feel like shouting, or maybe you actually do shout, “Abbe saale marega #*&$% k$ *&#$^!!!!”

 In my opinion, Shaitan is that very shout. It’s a warning that says “This is what’ll happen to you, assholes!” to all those irresponsible kids who drive like saare raaste unke pitashree ke hain.

 I frequently see kids, especially on bikes, driving like they think they’re in Dhoom 3 and all the other people on the road are stunt drivers meant to give them way. It’s hardly surprising that accidents caused by such retarded jerks are on the rise. A few weeks ago I read of an 80 year old man who was hit and killed by a biker trying to race. Last month, a friend’s roommate was hit by another overspeeding kid on a bike. She was literally thrown some distance away, and couldn’t stand up or hear properly for two days – luckily she’s healed now. I was quite happy to hear that the sonofabitch who’d rammed into her was hauled off to the police station.

I toyed for a while with the idea of writing a film about the kind of serious consequences that can happen because of stupid deluded kids who think they’re becoming John Abraham by racing on public roads. In my film, two kids would be racing and get into a serious accident. One visual I had in my mind was one of them – helmetless, of course – flying through the air, and then his face – somewhere around the nose and upper lip – would crash into the footpath and shatter in extreme slow motion a la the crash scene in Death Proof. And then a truck would run over his skull and there’d be a loud popping sound – wait, I think I’m getting carried away here.

I’d have focused on the second kid getting grievously injured and having to spend a year in bed without being able to pee or crap on his own, and maybe even losing a limb or becoming unrecognizably disfigured. I’m sure many of us know of such cases. A college friend of mine drove his bike drunk at night and crashed into an electric pole. He needed months of physiotherapy to walk properly again. Another friend’s kid brother was pillion riding while his friend was playing the hero, with the result that the kid brother was the one who ended up in bed for months. A very talented chap who could play guitar very fast also drove his car very fast, and one fine night he crashed and not only landed in a very serious state in hospital, but worse, landed his friends in hospital as well.

My intentions would have been to scare irresponsible drivers so shitless than they’d never race even in their nightmares. Just like one would show people Requiem for a Dream to forever scare them off drugs, this film, if it had ever gotten made, would scare people off racing herogiri.

But now Bejoy Nambiar’s already made that film. And done an excellent job of it. I haven’t personally asked him what his intention was while telling this story, but I suspect it’s what I said at the beginning – a warning – “This could happen to you, assholes!”

Various friends have said that one doesn’t really care much for Shaitan’s characters, and they’re trying to be too cool, but I think that’s exactly the point – we’re not supposed to care for these characters, at least not KC or Dash. I, for one, relished all the trouble that they deservedly got into – KC getting slapped, for example. (“Aur maaro saale ko!”)

I wasn’t excited by the trailer at all – it looked like the film was trying too hard to be hip and cool – highlighting supposedly the most scandalous bits – a girl-girl hardly-there kiss, girls buying condoms, very violent violence, but the moment the accident happened, I was won over. Okay! So that’s what this film is about! It’s not about youngsters trying to be too cool and hip; it’s about youngsters trying to be too cool and hip and consequently getting into shitloads of trouble. Good. I like it.

This isn’t a review of the film, but I must say, I loved almost everything about it – the acting, the dialog, the shots, music, editing. I was a little surprised that absolutely no time was spent on the accident victim’s family, but that would probably be a different revenge film altogether. Even the divorce subplot was dispensable, but the divorce court scene made it worthwhile.

Rajeev Khandelwal was perfect. I would actually like to see another film with this same character – I felt Inspector Mathur was the real-world equivalent of Chulbul Pandey.

Shaitan isn’t easy to watch (unless you’re used to the levels of violence in, say, Chan-Woo Park’s Vengeance trilogy). Some bits are quite violent – do not take your kids along. But I would say the violence is essential to drive home the point the film makes. It’s worth a watch. High production values don’t automatically mean a film is mainstream crap and low production values don’t necessarily mean a film isn’t non-mainstream crap, and vice versa.

  1. mihir says:


    Aside from that, nice article. cheers.

  2. Manish says:

    I felt that Inspector Mathur was today’s equivalent of Vijay and will rate him among best Cops from bollywood.

  3. Bakhait says:

    Ankash tatti bhi karega to tumne sukha ke wife ko gold bol kar mangal sutra bana lena hai uske liye… the movie is ok.. stop raving bout it .. if the same movie wud hav had a mainstream actor tumne maa behan ek kar deni thi uski…

  4. Exactly. Nicely written.

  5. hardik mehta says:

    correct me if i am wrong….and i have posted this on as well..

    As i was watching Shaitan, I was reminded of all the stylised treatments that mr. kashyap has done over the years in his cinema. At the outset, I have been a keen follower of Kashyap & Co. and have bought expensive multiplex tickets for almost all their films and I think Black Friday is a masterpiece in my books along with Oye Lucky and Maqbool..
    But while looking at Shaitan –i felt like its one tribute after other to his treatments only…The asst. editors happen to be my friends who said: that Mr. Kashyap stepped in only 2 days before the shoot, so the director wouldnt have got inspired from his style…but sample this now…and I repeat correct me if i am wrong…

    1. A Black Friday like chase on the Pintya song…Remember Indian Ocean’s brilliant score, as the hawaldar goes from slums to pipes etc…
    2. Aamir-like treatment on Khoya khoya chaand. If you remember how violence was shown while Ha Rahem was playing in background. here it is:
    3. Paanch and Gulaal-like characters and the usual end where everyone ends up killing everyone…and we are left with one or two protagonists with blood-shed around
    4. DevD like shots when characters smoke up and get dizzy…almost all camera angles, the feel and the treatment are same…

    as someone mentioned – it looked like a string of great music videos..thats it…

  6. bruna_a says:

    If Sanjay Gupta had produced the film. You’d all be taking a collective shit on it. And you would be justified in doing so – because the film is crap.

    Kenny, stop mindlessly citing Korean cinema. Most of those films you love have a complicated, but defined relationship with violence. In Shaitaan, Nambiar oscillates between trying to make the violence feel gritty – and making it look saxxy (cue khoya khoya chand). Clearly, he can’t make up his mind. And this is because he has no take on the content – whatever ‘works’ in the moment is thrown at the audience.

    Shaitaan’s violence is to Chan Park Wook’s film in the same way Back to the Future’s plot is to Action Replay. The violence in Shaitan has no insight or real context backing it. precisely why its lame.

  7. Kushal Shah says:

    Chanwook Parks film have very gross violent scenes.Shaitaan comes no where near.
    apart from that very well written.
    A good debut for Bijoy.although the film has lot of inconsistencies,but still worth a watch.
    better than Most of Holly and Bollywood shit

  8. Sadhu says:

    Wtf ?

  9. zeekhan says:

    Actually you have written well but some time things dont go in the specified directions.

  10. Ashwin says:

    So it is offical you have not seen any Park movies, comparing a second rate hindi film to Park is not a sin, but foolishness.
    When people say they do not care for the character, they do not mean they want character to be caught or get slapped, they simply do not care if they are caught or not.
    Shaitan is not even good a bgrade thriller.
    Help me understand this points, which i as viewer could not understand,
    The commissioner gives the case to suspended police officer, what the helll he was thinking, what did he said to media.
    Secondly, they 4 characters are roaming around city, with so carefree attitude, nobody recognise them on street.
    They go to watch movie at Navrang andheri, but Shiv Pandit walks and makes phone call from fun republic andheri, which is on other end.
    Holi comes in march, which comes at end of Indian school term, while Gokulashtami comes in August,wondering why would anybody join college in last month.
    Rajeev takes a rickshaw from commissioner’s office, which is in south bombay and goes all the way to Vasai, he could have reached by train earlier, why does not he inform police officers of Vasai,does he want to hog all the credit.
    In the end, all the blame is put on corrupt inspector, but what about the fact that this youth did something wrong and that is why he was asking for bribe.
    I can go on and on…

  11. hardik mehta says:

    ashwin bhai – mumbai ki geography ke hisaab se film thodi banaate hain…kya yaar…

  12. Ashwin says:

    Fine, ignore the geography.What about Festivals, Holi and Gokulashtami have a gap of 4 months.

  13. zeekhan says:

    well i can say nice sayings….keep it up :p

  14. zeekhan says:

    hmmmm nice article….

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