With Shivaay, Ajay Devgn returns to direction after a gap of eight years. The film, which weaves in high octane action with intense emotions, explores the relationship between a father and daughter. Devgn confesses that the emotional turmoil that his character goes through was something that he could relate to.

In a tete-a-tete with Pandolin, the actor-director, who has ensured that the film was made under his banner, talks about the reasons behind producing the film, casting fresh faces and more.

Ajay Devgn at the promotion of the Shivaay

Ajay Devgn during the promotions of Shivaay

What was it about this story that made you act in it as well as direct it under your banner?

It wasn’t about the story alone; it was about the emotional thought that was put into the story. Ultimately, the story is woven around emotions. A story can be simple, but the emotions you convey through it become the crux of the film. The story might be non-complicated, but it is the screenplay that takes the story forward. For me, it was that emotional thought of a father-daughter relationship that encouraged me to act, direct and produce the film. I could’ve shown the same emotion through a family drama or could’ve taken it somewhere else, but the emotional angle and the screenplay drew me.

Why did you choose new faces when you could’ve got any establish co-actor for your film?

Firstly, the script demanded most of the characters to be foreigners. For Sayyeshaa Saigal’s character, we needed a new and much younger face and hence we chose her. Moreover, Shivaay is a performance oriented film so it was very difficult for me to hunt a new face that could perform at that level. We tested Sayyeshaa for the movie and she proved herself very well. She was very raw in her performance and we saw great potential in her.

On a personal level, were you able to relate to the story and your character?

I think I could relate to the emotion of the film more than just the story. And, I could relate to the character a lot because I have a daughter as well.

Ajay Devgn in and as Shivaay

Ajay Devgn in and as Shivaay

What are the challenges that come with such an action packed film?

Action is a part of the emotional journey and therefore, I wanted to keep the action real. Moreover, people know me for action as it is in my blood. If I am making a film, the action has to be good. This is an emotional and intense film, but the film, on the whole, and the action, is on a big scale. Plus, the action is a part of the story and drama of the film.

The music of the movie has been appreciated, particularly the title track. What were your requirements for the composition?

Mithoon is a passionate musician and he is very good with melody. In Shivaay, we wanted to push him out of his comfort zone and once he opened up, he did a fabulous job.

Coming to the title track, we opted for multiple singers because the song needed that kind of energy. To produce that kind of energy we needed powerful voices, so we had Mohit Chauhan whose voice has a lot of sweetness to it. Adding to that is Badshah’s rap, which gives the song a lot of energy. Then we had Megha Sriram Dalton who hasn’t sung much before, but she did an excellent job with this song. Normally, shlokas are sung by male singers, but we decided to go with Megha because her voice has that kind of power.

Photo ofAjay Devgn
Ajay Devgn
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