In Shivaay, Bulgarian tourist Olga Something-ovsky asks Ajay Devgn, the trekking guide, “Odd name yours. Shivaa with a ‘y’. Why? What do you have that Shiva has? Where’s the long hair?”
Shivaay then reveals a tattoo of the long haired deity on his ripped torso.
“What about the snake?”
He reveals a tattoo of a serpent on his muscular forearms
He reveals the tattoo of Shiva’s weapon of choice spread over his toned back.
She falls silent.
He then asks whether she wants to see his ****** (Nihalani made sure the word was muted.)
Since she coyly walks away to her (transparent) tent where she is later joined by Shivaay, we assume he offered her a peek at something more than a mere tattoo. This sets the tone for Shivaay, a chest thumping story about one’s own greatness, and – well – divine genitalia.
Shivaay and Olga then fall in love, she becomes pregnant. She does not want to have the baby, because she has other plans for life, and clearly, this pregnancy is an accident. Shivaay offers Olga a glass of milk, which is code for “have this child, so I can finally have a family for myself.” She agrees, she delivers, she leaves. Shivaay then is left with his daughter, Gaura, who is mute. We witness a slow-paced-cute-song with montages of father-daughter bonding.
Until, Gaura finds out the truth about her mother, and the duo leave to Bulgaria, with nothing but a piece of paper in which Olga wrote her address, 10 years ago.
Gaura gets kidnapped by a child trafficking mafia and the rest of the film features insane car chases (inspired heavily by Ajay Devgn’s favourite Rohit Shetty films), gun fights, hacking ordeals which are presented like child’s play, and some weird father-daughter interactions between the characters of Girish Karnad and Sayyesha Saigal.
Shivaay, we are told over and over again, is as cool as the Kailash.
Like when he is dragged by the van that holds his kidnapped daughter, for many kilometers, clad in jeans that remain intact at the end of the scene. Such a lost opportunity for product placement, this scene. Or towards the end of the film, when no amount of firing from 5 machine guns is gets him. We wonder if he has a force field surrounding him.
Set aside the unbelievable stunts, even the dialogues are cheesy. A paralyzed Girish Karnad tries to stand, in an attempt to convince his daughter to help Shivaay. He stumbles and falls. A shocked Sayyeshaa asks why. Girish says, with a quivering voice, “someone has to stand up to injustice.” Ajay Devgn has clearly not left the 90s.
In a film that largely dwells on the emotional bond between a father and his young daughter, Ajay Devgn employs well known tricks from the innumerable South remakes he has done – Slo-mo walking, deeply frowning face, reddened eyes, and letting his face show the strain – also known as overacting and scenery chewing. However, his performance simply lacks the vulnerability or compassion that is needed for such a role.
The screenplay is haywire, and just when we think this Himalayan mess is coming to a close, we are made to sit through twenty more minutes. There are two pseudo-climaxes in the film, and the film goes on and on in search of an end. Dragged to a 173 minute run-time, the film gave me incredibly boring moments during which I tried to count how many times a faulty bulb in the cinema flickers per minute. This game was definitely more interesting than the film we were being subjected to on screen.
The Shivaay review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.