Telugu shows are growing by the day on OTT channels. What might come as a bigger surprise for viewers is the transformation of the industry.
It is getting intense in every aspect of filmmaking. Shaitan is a new Telugu series that is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar in seven languages, including Hindi.
The crime thriller series has nine episodes that stretch to approximately four hours in totality.
Is it worthy of your time? Here’s my Shaitan series review.
Shaitan Series Synopsis
A disturbing childhood makes survival impossible for Bali. Suffering from the clutches of poverty, social backlash, and emotional trauma, he is forced to make choices that lead him down a treacherous path.
However, once he gets accustomed to it, Bali’s life becomes a living hell.
Shaitan explores the intersection of the Naxalite movement, politics, and the world of law enforcement,
Created by Mahi V Raghav, Shaitan stars Rishi (Bali), Shelly Kishore (Savitri), Deviyani Sharmi (Jaya), Jaffer Sadiq (Gumthi), Ravi Kale, and others in lead roles.
What Works for Shaitan?
First of all, Shaitan’s storyline packs a punch. It is unafraid to showcase the raw and harsh realities that Bali faces.
And when I say ‘raw,’ I convey it to the very literal meaning. You see rough intimate scenes, abusive dialogues, and disturbing visuals all the way.
From the moment you start watching, the show grabs your attention and refuses to let go, offering a thrilling rollercoaster ride into the depths of darkness.
Speaking of darkness, Shaitan doesn’t hold back when it comes to gore. The portrayal of violence and brutality is unapologetically real, heightening the intensity of the series.
If you have a strong stomach, this aspect will keep you on the edge of discomfort, further immersing you in the grim atmosphere that permeates the show.
Furthermore, Shaitan masters its background score. The series boasts a haunting and atmospheric soundtrack that effectively amplifies the tension and suspense.
Whether it’s a heart-pounding chase scene or a dramatic confrontation, the background score perfectly complements the on-screen action, creating an immersive and captivating ambiance.
I think all of it has to do with the concept. By intertwining the Naxalite movement with politics and law enforcement, the series offers a unique perspective on societal issues and power dynamics.
It sheds light on the complexities of these realms, revealing the shades of gray that exist within seemingly black-and-white narratives.
The thought-provoking nature of the idea adds depth and substance to the series, making it intellectually stimulating along with its thrilling nature.
Additionally, the visual effects in Shaitan are stunning. They don’t seem superficial at any point. You will be aroused by them, always.
How are the Performances?
Performances in Shaitan are commendable. The cast, led by Rishi as Bali, Shelly Kishore as Savitri, Deviyani Sharmi as Jaya, Jaffer Sadiq as Gumthi, and Ravi Kale, deliver compelling and authentic portrayals of their characters.
Their acts evoke a range of emotions, from sympathy to fear to intrigue, and bring the story to life in a compelling manner.
Not just them, everyone else has done a superb job.
What Doesn’t Work for Shaitan?
Well, Shaitan has some technical downsides. For example, there is a street firing scene between the cops and goons.
You can see the general public walking alongside the road without any fear despite shots being fired. Normally, something like that would attract chaos.
Furthermore, a friendship between two people is an emotional bonding. Shaitan seems to have forgotten this basic rule.
It depicts the gradual deepening of bond between two highly unlikely characters but at no point were the makers able to make me believe in their connection.
The idea of making them friends is too unreal to believe, in my opinion. Yes, when you give it a deep thought, things might start making sense.
I also quite disliked the screenplay, at times. It is a usual practice for modern filmmakers to show a highly intense scene at the beginning of an episode and cut it just in time before the intro theme to generate hype.
However, when they go back to join the dots at some point in the show, they need to maintain the veracity of the scene previously shown.
In Shaitan, this doesn’t happen on one occasion. The makers go back to the scene but they change a few dialogues, which renders the execution dead.
I just happened to notice it once.
Should you Stream or Skip Shaitan on Hotstar?
The show can be watched. You are most probably going to love it though there are scenes that might make you uncomfortable.
Is Shaitan on Hotstar a Family Series?
No, Shaitan is an ‘A’ rated show, and watching it with your parents or kids might not suit your comfort.