Shivaay has received ‘below average’ reviews from critics, but it was never a film that was expected to win over the critics. Ajay showed the film to the press on Thursday evening and negative reviews were flashing across all media outlets more than 12 hours before the film released in theatres. While the impact of negative reviews can’t be put in numbers, it certainly affected the multiplex business of ‘Shivaay’ on Day 1.
Shivaay Review by Indicine
The writers of Shivaay are too literal in nature, too reliant on connecting the story of Shiva with Shivaay, but it all starts feeling a bit hollow after the first few minutes which showcase the beauty of the Himalayas (alas, the mountain scenes were shot in Bulgaria). There’s not much logic in the film but that could have been overlooked if it was entertaining. It is not that Shivaay is dull, there are quite a few entertaining sequences in it. There’s a good 2 hour action drama movie hidden in the 3 hour long movie.
Shivaay Review by Bollywood Hungama
After having made his directorial debut with U ME AUR HUM, Ajay Devgn dons the directorial hat for the second time with SHIVAAY. While the film’s first half is slow as it sets up the story, the second half becomes racy, engaging and taut, and is loaded with brillaint action sequences. It is however the climax that seems far too stretched than required. Ajay Devgn has put his heart and soul as a director in SHIVAAY, which is pretty much evident in every frame of the film. Ajay Devgn comes out with flying colours as a director of SHIVAAY. He has successfully managed to package the product named ‘SHIVAAY’ in the right manner so as to suit the taste of the cinegoers. Even though the film’s setting, locales and actors are mostly foreign, the essence of SHIVAAY is totally Indian, which acts as a major connecting factor for the viewer. Ajay Devgn has successful incorporated the entertainment quotient in the form of action, which works as the right ingredient for the audiences. There are a handful of scenes in the film that one should not miss at any cost. That includes Ajay Devgn’s introduction scene, the avalanche incident amidst the mountaineering expedition, Gaura’s kidnapping scene and the chase that follows. Full marks for Ajay Devgn for being successful in extracting brilliant performances from the film’s cast.
Shivaay Review by Raja Sen on Rediff
Except in the Devgnverse, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is replaced by Vir Das — a decision that really tells you all you need to know about this film. Devgn might believe Shivaay is a piece of Shiv, but there’s an obvious typo there. To invoke a truly superb avalanche-filled film, this one may as well have been called Force Manure.
Shivaay Review by Sarita A Tanwar on DNA India
When an actor decides to direct himself in a film that stars him, the result can be quite volatile. As a director, Ajay Devgn is riddled with two major problems— editing and self-indulgence. The film had every reason to be at least 20 minutes shorter in length. Some of the scenes are so long and without a reason, you feel the editor was on vacation. Indulgence is evident in the way the scenes are shot. The camera lingers on even when the characters have nothing new to offer. The core of the story is based on the protagonist’s relationship with his daughter. But that itself is randomly scattered in the screenplay. A bit of logic would also have helped. Shivaay’s survival and escape in the pre-climax part is rather unreal. If you’re an adventure junkie, Shivaay is the film for you. And even if you aren’t, Shivaay will make you one. Prepare for action and stunts like never before.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
The story of Shivaay has more meanders than the river Nile. It starts off in the Himalayas, reaches half the world away in Bulgaria. While the location shifts only a few thousand miles, events in the story are light years away from any sense or logic. Ajay Devgn throws in his lot with the film. He acts well, tries to emote through his eyes. Erika, Sayyesha, Abigail all are fine in their characters. But at the end of the day, you are SO not bothered about the protagonist or moved by his plight that all you want to do is take a nap. And the runtime of the film is conducive to the overall atmosphere inside the theatre: doze off. At 2 hours 52 minutes… you know this sentence is not going to end well.
Review by Suparna Sharma on Deccan Chronicle
Actor Ajay Devgn does big, primal emotions well. Small and subtle not so much. The same is the case with his direction. When Shivaay is in action zone, the film is fun and fabulous. When it’s in personal, emotional situations, it’s too infantile and idiotic. Another issue I have with Shivaay is that the myth of Shiv that Ajay Devgn’s character promises conjures up more drama in our head than on screen. The Shiv connect is at best nebulous. Apart from giving the hero an icy abode, a chillum, and making him frisky with ladies after some intended innuendo talk, it amounts to little.I was looking forward to basking in the joy of the silly, big budget film with the inevitable, grand climax. I didn’t get that.
Review by Renuka Vyavahare on The Times Of India
On heart-pounding beats of Bolo Har Har, Shivaay has a spectacular opening scene that sees Ajay descending dangerous Himalayan cliffs like a pro. The stunning cinematography captures the mountains like no Hindi film has managed so far. You feel you are in for an adrenaline pumping ride and expect a nerve-racking survival drama to unfold in the hills, on the lines of ‘Cliffhanger’ or ‘Vertical Limit’. However, the film takes a cliched spin and ends up looking like a slow-mo version of Liam Neeson’s ‘Taken’ franchise.
Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
When Devgn steps off the screen, which is not for too long, on come a bunch of clueless people: an unintentionally hilarious `ethical hacker’ (Vir Das, having the most fun in the film), a corpulent diplomat who delivers lectures on the virtues of being a Bihari (Saurabh Shukla), a middle-aged man in a wheelchair (Girish Karnad, not quite sure what he is meant to do), and a pretty girl (Sayyeshaa Saigal) whose sole job description is to look upon the hero in wide-eyed adoration, when not thinking deeply in a bath-tub.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
It takes the film nearly three hours to establish that obvious fact. By which time you are too tired to even think. The actors in the supporting cast – Abigail, Erika, Sayyeshaa, and even Vir Das playing an ethical hacker whose services are enlisted by Shivaay – do their bit to be noticed, but no more. 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.
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
Shivaay himself is a curious fella: a daredevil thrill-seeker who leaps off cliffs and mountains, routinely refers to himself in the third person, and appears to talk only in punchlines. Despite the shallow writing, Devgan infuses the character with genuine humanity and makes his pain at being separated from his child fully palpable. He’s equally convincing in ‘superhero’ mode, flying into a mad rage when provoked, landing punches and kicks at the speed of lightning, even driving without foot on pedal, and surviving both bullets and stabbings. What Ajay Devgan the star deserved, was a sharper director and a better script. In the end, there’s little else to Shivaay than the eye-watering locations (both in the Himalayas and in Bulgaria), and occasionally poignant moments between Devgan and the little girl who plays his daughter. Everything else is noise. Way too much noise.
Review by Tushar P Joshi on Bollywood Life
As an actor you can’t really help it if your director treats every scene like it’s an extended showreel. But hold on! Ajay directs and acts in Shivaay and that perhaps is the biggest flaw of the film. There are moments when you can see him struggle in a scene only because he’s wondering if the people around him are getting it right. There is that feeling of filing in and compensating for the rest of the crew. But a man can only do that much, and had Ajay decided to just act and blow us away with his action and emotional moments , Shivaay would be a different experience. The lengthy scenes and the second half that endlessly drags its feet are a true test of your patience. Shivaay could have easily been a shorter film with a more gripping narrative had the editing been a bit more stricter.
Review by Mayank Shekhar on Mid-Day India
Never mind. That’s not even the point of this pic. What is? Well, to be honest, two absolutely cracker set pieces — one, a cliffhanger sequence set between the cracks of a mountain; and the other, the longest car-chase scene I know in Hindi movies, shot in Sofia. They make you wonder why this isn’t an IMAX movie. Both occur in the first half of this very competently shot film. As do the story, step outline, screenplay, dialogue, and direction. You acknowledge the effort, head out for coffee, popcorn, and get ready to start again.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Ajay Devgn, who juggles many hats in this film (actor, director, producer), scores fairly well on most counts. But what he truly manages are the stunts, which could be the film’s biggest and perhaps, only selling point. Even though a bit self-indulgent (he’s in every single frame), he portrays distraught like few others and in the scene where his character breaks down, he’s a lot more than the action hero who straddles two bikes. Abigail Eames, playing Devgn’s daughter in the film, is convincing and the decision to orally handicap her character contributes to her success. This film could’ve been one of the best-conceived action films in recent times, if only it could cut back on the melodrama, most dialogues and perhaps, Vir Das.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
All said and done, Ajay Devgn fans will be watching it in any case but those who are still hooked to this, I will say that SHIVAAY is Ajay Devgn’s weakest Diwali gift since GOLMAAL. SHIVAAY must have started with the ambition to reach the highest peak but unfortunately, gets buried in the avalanche of a routine story that lacked any glory.
Review by IANS on Sify
On the directorial front, Ajay Devgn, has concentrated more on the technical brilliance than the emotional quotient. His screenplay is packed with artistically composed frames, brilliantly layered CGIs and visual effects. The film is dazzling to view, but, with snappy edits and tight close-ups, his action sequences with jaw-dropping set pieces, seem more manufactured than real. The impact of his story telling is lost. Also, the trekking scene is very amateurishly canned.
Shivaay Review by Indiaglitz
The first half takes its sweet time to come on the right track. The finale part is bit dragged and ends on the dramatic note. Erika’s Hindi was terribly bad along with tacky dialogues and overdramatic fights between Ajay-Erika followed by Ajay-Abigail are over the top. Sayesha Saigal track was half-baked and lacked the intensity. Her track was required for the film but fails to create the needed impact. The finale part is bit dragged and required more action scenes.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
Unfortunately the movie does not end there. It goes on and on and on and on, until you realise that the baddie in the movie is Emotion. None of the characters are capable of it. Ajay Devgn can be forgiven because he does show he is pissed off with that angry eye thang. Others? Better not ask. Watch the film on the telly. And if you are a parent, dream up of ways to punish brats who throw a tantrum like the Bulgarian Brat of Bhaijaan in this movie.
Review by Githa Vanan on Bollyspice
It’s not to say this isn’t a workable bordering on good script. Who doesn’t like a good hero dad story? But for the good guy to stay the good guy, you need to back him up with emotional engagement with the audience and a bad guy that has equal capacity. This is something that is diluted severely due to the development. Sandeep Srivastava and Robin Bhatt brought in the reality of child trafficking and how far it can go, but they failed on retaining that reality throughout the film. Editing by Dharmendra Sharma is possibly one of the bigger flaws since it would have alleviated most of the painstaking brain numbness. Perhaps the major advantage is the cinematography by Aseem Bajaj. It is simply spectacular. Production values had the right intention to say the least. Mithoon’s music takes a more background setting with Shivaay but you do take notice. ‘Raatein’ by Jasleen Royal is the one you walk away with as well as Mithoon’s ‘Bolo Har Har Har’.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
For an action film, there is nothing novel about the fight/chase sequences either. Except that they go on and on and on. This movie certainly did not need to be a minute over the 120-minute mark. In addition, you have predictable situations and tacky dialogue. The one thing I did not expect though, is the gratuitous sudden addition of a woman-in-a-tub song. Shivaay comes across as a film that wants to be more than a regular action film. It doesn’t quite achieve anything there. On the other hand, it loses out on being an out and out crowd-pleasing action film too.
Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
Actually, it’s such an action-dominated film that the efforts to put emotional breathers in between seem futile. After all, we all know where we are going to bump into. Obvious things take till eternity to happen. The characters sledgehammer us with useless information. Actors like Girish Karnad and Saurabh Shukla mouth dialogues that have no or least connection with the central theme. Accommodating everyone pushes the length of the film to 173 minutes.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
However, the deadly Devgn sucks when it comes to romance and his scenes with Erika Kaar are unintentionally funny. We hope the director could have showed some finesse while writing the initial 30 minutes, which comprises Shivaay’s love story. Erika is decent to look at but her insistence on talking in accented Hindi, even in letters, is quite laughable. Sayyeshaa Saigalshould have seriously chosen a better film to make her debut with as she hardly gets to do much in the film, apart from uttering unintentionally funny lines while Vir Das should avoid cameos where he is needed to overact. Finally, what is wrong with Girish Karnad!? The man, who is considered one of the finest actors we have today, is an utter disappointment in his role as a pious father.
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