Ek Villain Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

ekvillain Rating: 4

A hero. A heroine. And a villain. That’s the standard template Bollywood has been using for decades now. Very infrequently do you come across a film that creates undeniable curiosity for the antagonist. Mohit Suri’s EK VILLAIN is one of those rare films.

The attention-grabbing trailers and the mesmerizing soundtrack have generated substantial curiosity for the film. So much so that the know-alls are drawing parallels with the Korean thriller I SAW THE DEVIL [2010]. The grapevine gains credibility because the two films — the Korean as well as EK VILLAIN — focus on the serial killer and how the male protagonist, whose life has overturned due to a distressing occurrence, courtesy the serial killer, gets even with the antagonist. The resemblance ends there.

The similarities apart, EK VILLAIN charters a novel route completely. The characters, the objectives compelling the protagonist to slip into the robes of a serial killer, the clash between the good versus evil factions are dissimilar when compared to the Korean film. So, there!

Let’s enlighten you about the premise, before we proceed further! Guru [Sidharth Malhotra] is a quiet, tough and ruthless guy working for a gangster [Remo Fernandes] in Goa. A dark past continues to haunt Guru, until he meets Aisha [Shraddha Kapoor]. He falls in love with her and subsequently marries her.

Guru quits his job and moves from Goa to Mumbai to make a new beginning with Aisha. Just when things seem perfect, she falls prey to an attack…

Devastated, Guru starts hunting the miscreant and is shocked to learn of his seemingly innocuous and unpretentious identity. Something is amiss and Guru is unable to place a finger on the precise problem. What is the assailant’s motive?

Instead of narrating the tale in a linear fashion, Mohit Suri uses an altogether different mode this time — reverse narration — whereby the story unfolds after the catastrophe has occurred. The tender moments between the lovers, the upheaval in their lives caused by the antagonist, the twisted game of cat and mouse and the thrilling twist in the finale… Mohit has a knack of narrating stories with flourish and the tale he sets out to narrate in EK VILLAIN keeps you on your toes all through.

Mohit makes EK VILLAIN an enthralling experience, no two opinions on that. Although a number of movies have focused on serial killers, the talented raconteur along with screenplay writer Tushar Hiranandani [also the creative director of the film] makes sure they pack several remarkable twists that transcend the genre, making it a novel experience for the spectator. The undercurrent of tension and the violent crimes are intertwined skillfully with the affectionate moments between the lovers and the emotional turmoil that the protagonist goes through. The writing, in short, keeps you captivated right through the finale, which, again, is not of the run of the mill variety. As a matter of fact, the clash between the good and the evil towards the concluding stages is the icing on the cake.

Mohit’s movies are intensely violent, most of the times, and EK VILLAIN follows the same format. Given the nature of the subject, Mohit keeps the proceedings dark, but not repulsive. At the same time, the ruthlessness of the antagonist is depicted minus blood, gore and explicit visuals.

One has come to expect a winning soundtrack from Mohit in film after film and the music of EK VILLAIN lives up to the gargantuan expectations. This being his first movie outside of Vishesh Films, a production house synonymous with chartbusters, it’s imperative that Mohit score on this front as well and score he does. ‘Galliyan’, ‘Banjaara’, ‘Zaroorat’ and ‘Awari’ — each of the tracks is soulful and reverberate in your memory even after the screening has concluded.

Dialogue [Milap Milan Zaveri] is another highpoint of the enterprise, garnishing the well penned and well executed sequences with flourish. In fact, Milap, who is known for witty and double entendres, surprises you with punch-packed lines that decorate the sequences wonderfully. Cinematography [DoP: Vishnu Rao] captures the vision of the storyteller on celluloid to perfection. While the film is visually rich, the underwater sequences stay in your memory. The action sequences, thankfully, are not overdone and balanced neatly in the proceedings. Background music [Raju Singh] is superb.

After repeatedly being cast in fun-loving/naughty parts in film after film, Riteish Deshmukh gambles with a dark, intense, sadistic character in EK VILLAIN. It’s a radical shift from what he has portrayed thus far and I must add, the actor carries off the unpretentious, sinister streak with brilliance. A middle class man who’s fighting his inner demons, you take to the performance all the more because Riteish manages to keep it fine-drawn and plausible.

Sidharth Malhotra is an absolute revelation, catching you with complete surprise as he handles several complicated moments with exceptional understanding. Recall the portions that portray him simmering with pent up anger. This must’ve been a challenging character to interpret, since the actor gets to portray varied shades and as he gets into the groove, you realize that the three-film-old actor has finally come of age.

Shraddha Kapoor, the catalyst who moves the story forward, looks dew-fresh and manages to add so much to every sequence she features in. Again, the part she gets to portray is not of the run-of-the-mill variety or ornamental in the scheme of things, for she has to move the story frontward. Post AASHIQUI-2, this is yet another performance that’s sure to multiply her fan-following.

Mohit uses the supporting cast most appropriately. Aamna Shariff is in super form as the nagging wife. Her sequences with Riteish are first-rate. Shaad Randhawa is top notch. The coolness with which he carries off his part is sure to catch your eye. Kamaal R. Khan springs a pleasant surprise. He gets to reprise a character that’s sure to be an instant hit with his fans. Remo Fernandes handles his part very well. Asif Basra is perfect. Prachi Desai sizzles in the song ‘Awari’.

On the whole, EK VILLAIN is a stylish, spellbinding and terrifying edge-of-the-seat thriller. It’s a step forward in this genre, without doubt. A sure-shot winner!

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  1. aryan 6 years ago

    Ek Villain Movie Review by Rajasen

    If I were to review it in one word, I’d say Ek Villain is… Unnecessary, writes Raja Sen.

    Let’s start with what we know.

    We know, by now, that Mohit Suri can direct.

    He knows how to block a scene, he knows how to use actors competently, he knows the importance of a strong moment, and the songs in his movies (more often than not) actually aid the narrative instead of weakening it.

    We know that Siddharth Malhotra is an impressive looking lad, manlier than most of Bollywood’s current brigade, and that when left free of dialogue — as he was in Hasee Toh Phasee earlier this year — he can muster up both likability and a smoulder.

    And, ever since 2004’s Naach, we’ve known Riteish Deshmukh can act.

    What else do we know? We know that Ek Villain is a shameless ripoff of the madly thrilling Korean film I Saw The Devil, a crackling 2010 horror-thriller full of elegantly executed ultraviolence, a gore-fest so deftly handled it remains impossible to look away from.

    Yet, there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with the way we remake films.

    You know those often-hilarious South Asian DVD covers for pirated Hollywood films? Where they misspell the actor names and write a bizarre, ungrammatical and illogical version of the summary? With peculiar posters where content from two movies is often melded freakishly into one, as if all Tom Cruise movies were the same? Well, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that our filmmakers might not be remaking the films themselves but these odd DVD covers. (No, dear producers, that is not what you call a cover version.)

    Hence we have Ek Villain, where we take a hardboiled Korean film — full of brutal gore and sexual abuse but enough panache to stay constantly gripping — and inexplicably scramble it into a sex-less, gore-less slasher film with a wide-eyed love story running through it all. Gone are the thrills from the original and in come the cliched background score, watered-down murder scenes, and much, much silliness.

    Shraddha Kapoor, for example, who has Pharrell Williams’ Happy as her mobile ringtone, chirpily sits around filling up her journal with polaroids, when she turns to see a menacing figure. Clad in all black, with gloved hands, he advances upon her, basically the Scream killer minus the ghostface mask.

    Her reaction, however, is one of plucky indignation. “Why didn’t you knock?”, she demands from this shadowy figure. “Don’t you know it’s not polite to enter someone’s room without knocking?”

    And the idiocy rolls on, scene after scene strung together and not even attempting to make sense.

    There’s a mental-asylum ‘kidnapping’ that makes no sense (but is still in the film to show off Mohit’s/Siddharth’s love for the iconic Amitabh cheesefest, Shahenshah); a man who robs his victims but doesn’t have money to pay an autowallah; and a pinwheel that helps the ‘good’ guy find the bad one. Yes, a pinwheel. Like you get on Juhu beach.

    In the original film, it was an engagement ring, and here it is a pinwheel, those flimsy paper things you can buy six of for a tenner. Because that’s enough to convict a man. Why this change? (Beats me, but the cover must have been a masterpiece.)

    Why, again, is this a remake? Why would these filmmakers steal from a film and yet leave out the good parts, the bits that made those films great? And why do we do it over and over again? Suri can shoot a chase, sure, but do let’s give him a meatier script.

    Malhotra isn’t bad, except for his propensity to grunt all the time, as if snarling like a beast were the only way to show toughness. (It isn’t. It shows brain damage.)

    Riteish Deshmukh is good, despite being straddled with awful dialogue. “Everyone makes fun of me,” he complains woefully, a possibly true-life sentiment that could be blamed on his Hindi film choices.

    Shraddha Kapoor, alas, has evidently been told that talking too fast will make her appear spontaneous (and thus give her an edge into the Parineeti Chopra market), but while the girl has a nice smile, it takes more than coke-sped-up dialogue-delivery to create a fresh, natural character.

    If I were to review it in one word, I’d say Ek Villain is… Unnecessary.

    It features some genuinely awful writing, it is sillier than the examples thus far have illustrated, and the one good thing you can say about the film is that it ends briskly enough.

    Oh, and that it has Remo Fernandes with a most amusing accent. But that’s more consolation than recommendation.

    Given free tickets, sure, you could escape Humshakals in theatres this weekend with this mediocre effort, but I say do yourself a favour and seek out the Korean DVD. (Uncover it, even.) Now that’s bloody special.

    Rating:1.5/5

    https://www.rediff.com/movies/review/review-ek-villain-is-too-silly-to-thrill/20140627.htm

  2. aryan 6 years ago

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