Cast: Ajay Devgn, Erika Kaar, Abigail Eames, Sayyeshaa Saigal, Vir Das, Girish Karnad
Director: Ajay Devgn
Producer: Ajay Devgn
Writers: Sandeep Shrivastava, Robin Bhatt
What's Yay: The heart-thumping action sequences, Abigail Eames' confident act, soul-stirring songs, top-notch cinematography.
What's Nay: Ajay Devgn and Erika Kaar's lacklustre chemistry, wobbly narrative, mediocre dialogues, sluggish pace of the plot.
Popcorn Refill: Interval
The Iconic Moment: When 'Anu' Sayyeshaa Saigal fumbles for words to express her feelings for Shivaay.
Plot: The film opens with a scene where we see a heavily injured Shivaay (Ajay Devgn) gasping for breath before collapsing on the ground. Time for some flashback and lo, we enter Shivaay's world to revisit the events that transpired nine years ago.
He is introduced to us as a daredevil mountaineer. When he is not lying atop a snow-clad mountain smoking some chillum, you will see him trekking down the mountain like a pro, monkeying around as if it's just a cakewalk for him. Man, he is unstoppable. So much so that it looks like even hypothermia shudders to affect him when he is shirtless!
Nevertheless, our man gets smitten by a Bulgarian tourist Olga (Erika Kaar) and the two end up getting lovey-dovey after he saves her from a snow avalanche during a trek. Alas, theirs turn out to be just a brief fling as they discover that they both have different priorities in life.
But life's not a la la land and soon Olga finds out that she is expecting a baby. Initially she is reluctant to continue her pregnancy but Shivaay manages to convince her. He tells her that he will keep the baby and she is free to choose the life that she wishes to live.
As promised, Olga leaves the infant with Shivaay and flies back to Bulgaria. Nine years pass by, their child named Gaura (Abigail Eames) turns out to be mute. One fine day she discovers that her mother is alive and that her dad had lied to her that she is no more. After some coaxing she finally manages to convince Shivaay to let her meet her mother for once. The duo land up in Bulgaria unware that a great danger awaits for them there that would change their lives forever.
Direction: Post the forgettable U, Me Aur Hum, Ajay Devgn is donning the directorial chair after a long gap for Shivaay which he said is his dream child. While the actor chose to mount his story on his huge canvas, he missed out the fact that such a tale of epic proportions need strong brushstrokes of narration and vivid colors of emotions to create a huge impact.
Shivaay scores high when it comes to visual presentations but lacks a huge chunk of emotional connect leaving you unnsatiated in the end. Having said that, one must appreciate the fact that with Shivaay Ajay has indeed come a long way as a film-maker after his first Bollywood directorial.
Acting: Ajay Devgn shines as Shivaay and gets to be a true-blue desi superhero. However, his romance with Erika Kaar is as thanda as the snow-capped, icy mountains shown in the film. On the other hand the Bulgarian beauty in spite of her heavy accented Hindi pulls off her role decently.
Abigail Eames emotes well and her bonding scenes with Ajay strike a chord. Sayyeshaa Saigal puts up a decent act. Vir Das lands up with yet another wasted role and Girish Karnad's character is seen mouthing gems of dialogues straight out of the 90s book.
Other Technical Aspects: Had the makers focussed more on the plot and layers of drama, Shivaay could have easily ended up as a much better by-product! The first half of the film moves at the snail's pace and that might make some of you fidgety in your seats for a long time.
If that wasn't enough, the film has some outdated and cheesy dialogues that induce unintentional laughter at unexpected moments.
The editing scissors could have done away few scenes and snipped the film by a couple of minutes to avoid the unstable graph.
Aseem Bajaj's camera work captures the snowy landscape as an absolute delight to watch. The well-choreographed action sequences give you the much-needed adrenaline rush when the plot dips and emotions falter here and there.
Music: Bolo Har Har Har has some catchy beats while Darkhaast is some music for the soul. Raatein and TereNaal too works its charm.
Verdict: Watch Shivaay only if you are a sucker for action scenes and don't mind spending huge bucks to witness a scene in the film where a random girl describes Ajay's character as 'hot and sexy' to Erika!