Friday, June 10, 2011


The Devil Within

In recent times, crime pages of newspapers are full of graphic reports of the kind of delinquency that would have been unimaginable some year ago. A lot of these crimes are committed by well off youngsters looking for a thrill, with the arrogance of family money and clout coming to their rescue. There is also a growing number of young people with no direction, but excess energy to expend. The film is a kind of updated version of producer Anurag Kashyap’s Paanch, but the violence and moral decay seems somehow easier to take now, when fact is much more gruesome than fiction. (It would, for instance have taken a demented mind to have come up with the Nithari killings or the Neeraj Grover murder in a work of fiction).

Bejoy Nambiar’s Shaitan is about this soulless set of people, who participate in their own destruction. They are the drinking, drug-taking, wild, swaggering dudes who stage a fake kidnapping of the richest of the lot, a troubled (too much psychobabble here) girl called Amy (Kalki Koechlin). The gang of rotten brats includes KC (Gulshan Devaiya), Dash (Shiv Pandit), Tanya (Kirti Kulhari) and Zubin (Neil Bhoopalam). A hit-and-run episode gets a blackmailing cop (Raj Kumar Yadav) on their backs. They decide to get the money out of Amy’s father by supposedly abducting.  Inspector Arvind (Rajeev Khandelwal) is assigned the case, and things start going wrong with the gang, one misdemeanor snowballing into a storm.

Nambiar has a tight grip on the subject, gives it an edgy feel, aided by a brisk pace, tremendous cinematography and sound, excellent uses of locations and apt music.  The director does not give the impression that he empathizes with his protagonists or wants to convey that crime is cool or an acceptable part of youthful rebellion.  The violence does get excessive and there is always a titillating aspect to it, but Nambiar treats it with a curious detachment. He doesn’t make any effort to make the audience like his characters.

Rajeev Khandelwal heads the cast, with his attractively implosive presence and Kalki Koechlin brings to the role crazy energy. Can’t say the film is enjoyable, but it is watchable in its own morbid way.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker