This devil springs a surprise


It’s dark. It’s disturbing. And it’s aptly titled Shaitan.

Bejoy Nambiar’s directorial debut gleefully skips the Bollywood bus and takes a refreshingly risky route. The outcome is some edgy cinema that makes up for its little flaws with strong performances.

So you have LA-returned Kalki Koechlin who had a disturbed childhood with an even more disturbed mom (who appears in bathtub-filled flashbacks). Koechlin needs a shrink, but dad Rajat Kapoor refuses clinical treatment.

New to Mumbai, she makes friends in no time— all rich and doing their own thing. Gulshan Devaiya, the urban brat, is all booze and smoke; Shiv Pandit deals in drugs; wannabe actress Kirti Kulhari is the most grounded of them all, while game-addict Neil Bhoopalam fills the comic gap.

One accident and it’s run, run and more run. Which brings tough cop Rajeev Khandelwal to the scene. Add a kidnap plot and the gang of five goes underground (in burqas).

Shaitan has some stunning stunts and brilliant slo-mo moments. Of course, it meanders into the banal path midway, but the cast steers clear of it soon.

It’s an Anurag Kashyap film and Shaitan bears his stamp all the way. Delightfully devilish.