Ek Villain, a Mohit Suri (of cult films, Woh Lamhe, Zeher, Awarapan, Raaz-2, and the recent Aashiqui-2 fame) production is an edge-of-the-seat drama with romance. I liked it because it was different… the good was not so good after all and the bad who behaved good was really not good at all! The film creates undeniable curiosity for the antagonist and is not overly sympathetic towards the protagonist! Instead of the usual happy ending there was no winner. The one who thought he had won had lost and the one who won had lost everything!! A rare love triangle with a different angle in every angle!
After all the hue and cry by the media, I was prompted to see the Korean thriller, “I SAW THE DEVIL” from which Ek Villain has allegedly been lifted! But honestly, the similarities end with the general trend of the story. Right from the start EK VILLAIN charters a different route all together. The characters, the reason that compel a simpleton to slip into the robes of a serial killer, the clash of the good and the bad are all dissimilar! I would say the Korean version may have been an inspiration, no more!
Without getting into the story (because you will lose the fun if I do) let me highlight some of its great points. 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. Numero Uno was the narrating of the tale in reverse instead of a linear fashion. The story unfolds after the catastrophe has occurred and the love has ended… violently. The tender moments between the lovers, the wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time event causing the upheaval in their lives by the antagonist, the twisted game of cat and mouse and the thrilling twist in the finale (which in itself is not your run of the mill variety) keeps the viewer interested, engrossed and captivated! I actually loved the mind games and battle between the good and the evil towards the end was the icing on the cake. And the conclusion the cherry on top!
Dialogue by Milap Milan Zaveri is well penned and well executed. In fact, Milap, who is known for witty and double entendre’, surprises you with punch-packed lines that accentuate the beauty of the sequences aptly. The action sequences, thankfully, are not overdone and balanced neatly where the ruthlessness of the antagonist is depicted minus blood, gore and explicit visuals. Background music by Raju Singh is superb and blends in nicely highlighting a moment effectively. I was particularly impressed with the music. In spite of its melancholic vibe it is sure to make the charts.
Coming to the acting… you cannot applaud Ritesh Deshmukh for his performance enough. Making a radical shift from his roles thus far (of the fun loving naughty friend) he gambles with a dark, intense, sadistic character in EK VILLAIN and carries off the unpretentious, sinister streak with brilliance!!! You can’t help feel sorry for this deranged middle class man fighting his inner demons, while feeling disgust for his actions. Siddharth Malhotra is one bloke that I have always liked. In a positively negative role he is an absolute revelation, handling several complicated moments with exceptional ease and understanding. It must have been rather challenging to act the good guy against the celebrated funny guy and call him bad! He seems to just groove in and keeps us all loving the man who has lost the one love of his life and forgetting that he is really not a good guy himself! Shraddha Kapoor will definitely have made a mark with this film. She is light and simple and keeps the movie moving with clarity. I am sure she will earn a few more fans with this movie.
But it would not be correct of me to not mention that the story line is a bit cocky in places. I reckon, its this need of Indian film makers to keep the movie three hours long that may be the culprit here. The plot in the middle seems to stray with unimportant details. The portrayal of the antagonist in parts need not have been as graphic. But I am happy to overlook these tiny issues and give it four stars anyway!
All in all, most definitely watchable with some wine over the weekend!