Ajay Devgn’s much-awaited Shivaay and Karan Johar’s flick Ae Dil Hai Mushkil were released today. Shivaay reviews are out and the news is far from soothing for Ajay.
Most reviews have described Shivaay a disappointing film with NDTV calling it “a misfire of Himalayan proportions.” For India Today, the film is the “Ajay Devgn film is best enjoyed when high.”
Surely, Ajay wouldn’t have liked critics to speak about his film in such derogatory terms. But, that’s what pretty is the dominating theme of review of Shivaay. Bar one or two web portals, there’s almost unanimity that the Singham star may have produced a monumental disaster in Shivaay.
There’s also a sense that given the recent controversy attached to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and nationalism debate, Shivaay may attract hardcore supporters of Hindutva politics to theatres. The actor’s own allegiance with the BJP may help his cause in that direction.
NDTV: Shivaay is obviously Ajay Devgn’s film all the way – he is in virtually every frame. His body tattooed with the lord’s locks, serpent and trident, he is Shiva’s own man on earth. He smokes a chillum, sports earrings and looks as if he is always on an acid trip. His fans will have absolutely no reason to feel shortchanged. But the film doesn’t propel itself anywhere close to ending on a high.
In a philosophical mood, Shivaay advises Olga that a relationship shouldn’t be measured by the number of days it lasts, but by the number of breaths. Climb down to a more mundane plane and try judging Shivaay by the number of yawns and yelps of disbelief it induces. You will lose count pretty quick.
India Today: Watch Shivaay if you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE TO DO. Else watch a documentary on mountaineering. Or child trafficking. Or Bulgaria. Or whatever you want to. (Just a special mention for the company which made the tent that weathered pretty much everything.)
Filmfare: It offers an action film experience at par with western standards. It wants to be a genuinely intelligent action movie. But its affinity to be overtly emotional gets the better of it. With crisper editing and less melodrama, Shivaay could’ve been the best of the year. But the ‘more is less’ approach just doesn’t work out.
Indian Express: Shivaay ultimately suffers from the malice of overdose. An overdose of action and an overdose of melodrama, both of which should have been chopped off at the editing table. As the director of the film, Ajay should have focused on keeping the story short and tightly edited. For instance, Sayyeshaa’s bathtub song sequence appears to be in the film to give the debutant some prominence in the otherwise Ajay Devgn show. Not to forget the underutilization of veterans like Saurabh Shukla and Girish Karnad by casting them in miniscule roles. Perhaps it would have been better had Ajay focused only on acting and deputed experts behind the camera.