Shaitaan Review: Baap Of All Devils

The core of this movie "Shaitaan" is black magic where a stranger puppets a teenage girl in the family and how her father puts everything to get her back.

General Rating

In a nut-shell:

Baap Of All Devils

Shaitaan Star Cast/ Actors: Ajay Devgn as Kabir, R. Madhavan as Vanraj, Janki Bodiwala as Janvi, Jyotika as Kabir’s Wife, Anngad Raaj as Dhruv

Shaitaan Director: Vikas Bahl

Shaitaan Release Date: March 8th, 2024

Shaitaan Available On: Theatrical Release and (likely to be released on Netflix Platform)

Shaitaan Released/ Available In Languages: Hindi

Shaitaan Runtime: 132 Minutes

Shaitaan Critic Review:

A dead rat. A cigarette. Someone walking off.

Director Vikas Bahl builds the eeriness even before the credit titles roll as the Hindi remake of the Gujarati supernatural thriller Vash takes off.

It’s a likeable family of four with well-heeled Chartered Accountant Kabir (Ajay Devgn), wife Jyoti (Jyotika), daughter Janvi (Janki Bodiwala) and son Dhruv (Anngad Raaj) bantering with one another before they set off to their beautiful farmhouse. Secluded as most ‘house of thrills’ must be.

In all the back and forth over Janvi wanting to go off with friends to Ladakh, writer Aamil Keeyan Khan (adapted screenplay and dialogues)puts in a line for Kabir who casually tells his daughter that if she went off the radar, he’d find her whichever corner of the world she was in. Khan also writes in a couple of quick scenes to establish Dhruv as a savvy kid who edits videos like a pro.

Dad’s line and Dhruv’s hobby play an important part when Vanraj (R Madhavan) befriends the family only to possess Janvi and put the foursome through its most traumatic ordeal. As the trailer has already revealed, Vanraj is the Satan himself in human form. Once possessed, victims like Janvi are like puppets – they’ll stop at nothing to follow his instructions.

From landing a hard slap on her father and banging her brother’s head to dancing or laughing non-stop, Janvi is putty in Vanraj’s hands.

Does Krishnadev Yagnik’s original story which was in Gujarati work in its Hindi avtar?

The atmospherics, a spacious farmhouse without staff, rain beating down with bolts of thunder and a ‘Main parmatma…’ background title number for Madhavan in his climactic act, are from the laundry list for thrillers.

Since there is no mystery to solve and the devil is unveiled pretty early, it’s only a question of how good will ultimately prevail over evil. There is a credible cast in place to carry it through. R Madhavan is superb as the devil incarnate, charming when he’s introduced and deliciously wicked thereafter, serving up a range of moments. Ajay Devgn as the reliable dad who’ll go out on a limb to protect his family (remember his line, I’ll find you no matter where you are) always looks like a man who’ll deliver, whatever it takes. Anngad Raaj is cute with his side comments on his sister and Jyotika slips into mother mould comfortably. Janki Bodiwala who played the role of the possessed teen in the original too, faces a tough assignment that demands quicksilver changes in body language, movement and mood.

With performances, tropes and some of the dialogues doing what they have to, it’s left to the screenplay to engage the viewer. It does for most of the time, even if it is an overlong climax that requires a bit of explanation as you go along. But good triumphs in its own way and there’s a strong line that comes from Devgn about what dads can do.

The takeaways: never trust a stranger and never underestimate the power of a father.

Shaitaan – Watch Or Not?: It doesn’t hook you or have you chewing your nails but if you like the supernatural, and there hasn’t been one in the theatres for a while, try it. At least for the performances.  

Shaitaan Review Score Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Shaitaan Official Trailer:

Shaitaan Official Trailer (Credits: JioStudios)

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Baap Of All DevilsShaitaan Review: Baap Of All Devils