By Subhash K Jha
Film: EK VILLAIN
Cast: Siddharth Malhotra, Shraddha Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh
Directed by Mohit Suri
Rating: ** ½ Two & Half)
Siddharth simmers and scorches the screen with his implosive one man against the world act. As a loner on a rampage after the love of his life is killed, he brings to the table a certain intensity which unfortunately, in this case, can only go this far and no further.
Much was expected from director after “Aashiqui 2”. Alas, Suri chooses to wallow in unnecessary and at times prolonged brutality rather than focus on the tender love story between the seething brute and the bubbly babe.
Not that there is anything new to offer in the love story. The silent indignant loner and the gregarious chirpy girl next door…haven’t we seen Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri take those two characters to the acme of perfection in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s “Mili”?
“Ek Villain” is “Mili” over-heaped with a maelstrom of mayhem, mostly uncalled-for and sometimes atrociously out of place. The action sometimes borders on the utterly ludicrous. This isn’t first time when the director seems to enjoy visualizing the exploits of a sadistic serial killer. In “Murder 2” too, the graphic gruesome killings of the serial offender were recorded with an embarrassing backhanded relish .
The killer in “Ek Villain” is a henpecked husband moonlighting as a guy who believes if life screws you use a screwdriver to screw other people’s lives.
Suri diminishes the brutality of the serial offender by offsetting it with the love story between the criminally inclined introvert(Siddharth) and the sunshine girl(Shraddha) who insists on telling criminally unfunny jokes. Shraddha’s eyes speak volumes. So unfortunately does her mouth in this film. How I wish our cinema would stop equating volubility with vivacity.
More regrettable are the plot’s mood swings. In spite of the tragic overtones the love story never quite acquires the wings that you’d expect a romance between two such good-looking people to. In spite of some beautifully enacted moments of fragile passion between the lead pair, it all comes undone in the second-half when Siddharth and Riteish do a farcical face-off replete with the most atrocious dialogues and scenes that make them look like two school boys fighting over who’s larger.
The sinister often makes way for the silly, specially when musician Remo Fernandes shows up as a gangster replete with an accent that is as hard to identify as the Korean film that Suri has adapted into this strange brew of the brutal and the tender. Even more bizarre Kamaal R Khan playing what looks a jerk with knee-jerk relish.
However Shaad Randhawa playing cop displays a powerful screen presence.
There are many lapses of continuity in the storytelling all trying to pass off as a stylish non-linear love story told backwards.One of the turning points in the story when Siddharth’s character befriends his wife’s killer’s little son in a church, is such a wildly improbable shot in the dark, you wonder what the director was thinking!
In trying for a merger of mayhem and emotions the film finally falls apart like the shattered pieces of a broken heart.
We expect so much and get so little. That’s life.