Release Date : June 15, 2023
123telugu.com Rating : 2.75/5
Starring: Rishi, Shelly, Ravi Kale, Deviyani, Jaffer Sadiq, Lenaa, Nithin Prasanna, Kamakshi Bhaskarla, Manikandan, Ravi Kumar, Aneesha Dama, Sanjay Krishna
Director: Mahi V Raghav
Producers: Mahi V Raghav, Chinna Vasudeva Reddy
Music Directors: Sriram Maddury
Cinematography: Shanmugha Sundaram
Editor: Shravan Katikaneni
Related Links : Trailer
Yatra director Mahi V Raghav has now come up with a crime web series named Shaitan. Starring Rishi, Shelly, Ravi Kale, Deviyani, and Jaffer Sadiq in crucial roles, the show is currently streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar. Let’s see how it is.
Set in Madanapalle, the show revolves around gross injustice, Naxalites, and their fight with the Police department. Savitri (Shelly) is a single mother of three children Baali (Rishi), Jayaprada (Deviyani), and Gumthi (Jaffer Sadiq). Savitri chooses to sleep with a corrupted policeman to feed her children, and hence society brands her as a bitch. Situations make Baali a criminal, and he joins the Naxals group. Also, Baali’s family decides to go to any extent for their survival. How Baali evolving as a Naxalite affect his family forms the crux of the story.
The story isn’t something novel, but what makes the show watchable is its gritty backdrop. Initially, the series depicts the atrocities faced by a family, which helps us empathize with the characters. Shaitan very well does justice to its tagline, “You call it a crime, they call it survival.” What made the character Baali evolve into a criminal has been neatly presented.
Rishi, as Baali, did a stupendous job. The young Kannada actor fits the bill perfectly as a criminal, and he amuses one and all with his remarkable performance. He is intense in the action sequences and successfully portrayed the various emotions present in Baali’s character. Ravi Kale gets a major role, and the actor aced it to perfection.
Others like Shelly, Deviyani, Jaffer Sadiq, and Kamakshi Bhaskarla did justice to their roles. The last few episodes of the series are interesting. Elements like fake encounters, gross injustice faced by a few individuals in society, and how a few treat women as mere objects of desire are convincingly shown. A few dialogues are hard-hitting.
There have been many films that have come in the Naxal backdrop, but unfortunately, the makers are highlighting only the feud between the Police and the Naxals. Very little are we shown about the Naxal’s ideology and what their principles actually are. Shaitan, too falls in the same category. Except for a scene, there is hardly anything that talks about their agenda. As the show is centered on them, ideally, there should have been more scenes that portray their purpose and goals.
Baali character joins the Naxals, but we never get to see his journey as a Naxalite. Within no time, he attempts to kill a big fish, and soon he lands in jail. It would have been better had the makers depicted his growth. The show becomes highly predictable after a point in time, and we can guess many scenes in advance.
Already the makers stated that the series would have an extreme amount of violence and cuss words. In a way, it can be said that Shaitan is a mini Mirzapur, and hence it appeals only to a lesser section of the audience. At times it would give a feel that these cuss words are placed wantedly just to give the show a bold touch.
Sriram Madduri’s background score is thumping. Credit to the cinematographer Shanmugha Sundaram for capturing the visuals in a splendid manner. The editing is perfect as the show moves at a faster pace, with each episode having an average runtime of 25 minutes.
Coming to the creator-director, Mahi V Raghav, he did a passable job with Shaitan. The way the show is set in a crime world looks realistic. The director brings the best out of his actors, but the show is highly predictable. Also, many scenes feel repetitive, and there is very little regarding what Naxalism is all about. The series would have been even more impactful had the makers stressed the mentioned key elements and toned down the expletives.
On the whole, Shaitan is a crime series that works in bits and pieces. The realistic backdrop, the solid performances, and the last few episodes are its assets. But the show is highly predictable for the most part, and a few pivotal aspects lacked depth. The series is along the lines of Mirzapur, which makes a section of the audience stay away from it. Shaitan will end up being an okay watch for those who love crime sagas.
123telugu.com Rating: 2.75/5
Reviewed by 123telugu Team
Note: The show is strictly for adults as it has strong coarse language, extreme sexual content, and gore scenes.
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