‘Shaitaan’ (2023) Cast And Character Guide: Who’s Who In Ajay Devgan’s Film?

Shaitaan is a brand-new horror drama directed by Vikas Bahl about an evil entity that encounters a happy family and wreaks havoc to fulfill his dream of becoming the most powerful by sacrificing humans. The film has very few characters, but each one of them has a role to play and they begin to affect each other as the story progresses. 



The original Pan-Indian actor R. Madhavan portrays the role of Vanraj, and his character is the so-called “villain,”  the entity who manages to enter the family and begins to unleash his powers. Vanraj does this slyly without making any noise about his intentions or powers. Mostly in horror films, the villain establishes himself with his or her powers right from the start. In Shaitaan, Vanraj becomes fast friends with Kabir Rishi and takes chances by hoodwinking his daughter Janvi. The man is successful, which allows him to spread his evil wings by controlling Janvi further. 

Vanraj is arrogant and turns into a smug creature while underestimating the power of Kabir Rishi and Jyoti as parents. Vanraj gets away with many actions in Kabir Rishi’s home, while his control over Janvi continued to grow exponentially. Vanraj’s hostage-taking skills become better after a few hours in the house. He claims to be a non-human who thrives on sacrificial power. The only way to stop him would be to use his powers against him. There seemed to be nothing Kabir Rishi and Jyoti could do to stop his force from taking over their daughter, who was brainwashed and asked to go against everything her parents asked her to do. Vanraj seems unfaltering. 


Kabir Rishi

Ajay Devgan, as Kabir Rishi, is the quintessential father figure who would go to any extent to save his daughter from making a grave mistake that would affect her in the long run. Ajay Devgan has portrayed a similar character in Drishyam, in which his character saved his family. Kabir Rishi in Shaitaan is not aware of Vanraj and his powers, which is the reason why he lets his guard down to help him since he comes across as a friendly stranger. This mistake cost him dearly, and Kabir Rishi quickly went into problem-solving mode instead of taking the physical altercation route. Unlike the stereotypical men, Kabir Rishi is emotional and vulnerable and, at times, helpless because he is unable to pull Janvi out of the trance state. Vanraj was in full control most of the time, and all Kabir Rishi could do was protect his daughter from the ill things the villain was unleashing in the hope that Janvi would be let go. Kabir Rishi initially was clueless about how to put Vanraj on the backfoot, and nothing he did seemed to help them or Janvi. 

The scare tactics were effective, and Kabir Rishi and his spouse could not stop Janvi from harming anyone. Kabir Rishi tried to part with their money and jewels in the hope that Vanraj would leave them alone, but the entity chose to incarcerate them to get the husband and wife to take him seriously. Kabir Rishi’s only strength is his resilience, and he chooses to go save his only daughter from getting herself killed.



Tamil actress Jyotika is Jyoti in Shaitaan and is the mother of Janvi, and unlike Kabir Rishi, she is a steadfast person. Jyoti loses her mind when Vanraj is allowed to stay in the house, as she is not comfortable with the man who seemed to have followed them to their holiday home. Jyoti is in for a shock when Vanraj shows his true nature. Jyoti tries to break the contact between Janvi and Vanraj, but many of those exercises are of no use as the daughter is probably hypnotized. Jyoti resorts to physical altercations as she believes this might be the way to get the man away from Janvi, but Varnaj’s powers cannot be surpassed. 

As a mother, it is difficult for her to watch her daughter spiral, and she feels helpless. Jyoti only did everything she thought was right for Janvi and the family, and that included making sure Janvi did not kill herself. Jyoti can do nothing to stop the monster from taking over, but it is her strength that may in the end help her to go after Vanraj, whose only intention is to sacrifice Janvi to seek more powers. Jyoti, just like her husband, is shocked to learn their attempt to make Vanraj leave with their money and jewelry does not work. The scary part of her role as a mother is the helplessness that comes from watching Janvi be dragged into the world of black magic.



Janki Bodiwala as the daughter of the couple reprises her role from the original Gujarati film. Janvi is a typical girl in her late teens who has several plans for her future and has doting parents who might do anything for her. Janvi sadly becomes the next victim of Vanraj, whose only plan is to get her parents to let her go so he can sacrifice her to attain more power. 

Janvi loses control of her body and mind right from the moment she and her family meet Vanraj, and all she can do is submit herself to his powers as he tries everything to scare her parents. As a young girl, she is subjected to what many may consider inhumane torture. She is asked to physically harm people she loves without realizing this could have harmful repercussions. Janvi sadly cannot be brought back to her normal self until Vanraj is stopped from speaking and giving instructions. Janvi’s self-destructing mode is activated, and only her father and mother’s resilience would help her. 



Dhruv, the youngest child of Jyoti and Kabir Rishi, is a mere spectator in the ordeal the family is put through. As a young kid, his role is to offer some insight into the latest technology. The kid is from the new generation, is handy with the latest gadgets, and is far more knowledgeable than any other person in his family. Since Dhruv is a tad bit young, he is kept away from the conversation that flares up between Vanraj and Kabir Rishi. The young kid does not witness his sister becoming a victim of the powerful entity that has entered the house, but he soon understands his family is in danger, and just like the rest of them, he is helpless. Dhruv is harmed in the process of Vanraj trying to prove a point to his parents, and he is made collateral damage several times. Dhruv’s fate is certain, and for him to remain alive, it is crucial for Kabir Rishi and his family.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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