Mohit Suri

Tushar A Hiranandani

Milap Milan Zaveri

Another Take
Ek Villain:Ek Aam Fillum

Though Mohit Suri’s name is never mentioned when one talks about young Hindi film directors to look out for, his knack of giving hits can’t be ignored. With his latest offering Ek Villain, a weak remake of South Korean psychological thriller I Saw The Devil (2010), he might have done it again. Not that he has come up with a beauty of a film, but he might have pressed the right nerves of his target audience.

We start with Aisha (Sharddha Kapoor), a way too chirpy girl, who is in relationship with Guru (Sidharth Malhotra). The dull, long-winded scene ends with a bang as by the end of it, the girl is killed by a faceless killer. By now one knows that this is going to be a film with flashbacks (of this girl), while the hunt of the killer unfolds in a lackluster manner. The plot moves at a predictable and dismal pace as Guru, touted as a dreaded underworld flunky, chases Rakesh (Riteish Dekhsmukh) and lets him slip away way too often. His search is devoid of any sort of smart planning while being aided by convenient chance events. Time to time, we also see the killer Rakesh with his son and the nagging wife (Amna Shariff) whom he ironically loves too much. The poverty which this family faces serves as the justification for Rakesh being what he is, which he also spells out in many dialogues.

Expecting too much from a film in which the hospital compound can be easily identified as an old building corridor decorated by a few medical posters, would be unreasonable. Here the doctor shouts like an ill-mannered policeman so that Guru can grab his collar. The mentally challenged patients in another hospital are seen watching Shahenshah just to ensure the hero a dramatic entry and the very next second, they are all getting married in succession. This is all done to make the hero fall for the dying girl whose ailment’s name remains the biggest mystery of the entire film.

You will not identify with the flimsy characters. You won’t know why every second character is competing with the other to get the award for The Biggest Misogynist on Earth. You won’t understand why Remo Fernandes’s character, the Goan Don, acts in the climax the way he does. You won’t be able to answer why Suri still chooses to shoot on ordinary sets when realistic treatment has not only got acceptance but is also considered a plus. To put it bluntly, his mediocre direction adds nothing to film’s sluggish pace. 

But still, there will be a good chunk of the audience which will like this simplistic away-from-reality below-average film. First thing is the storyline which has a gripping, however borrowed, plot. Second thing is the spoon-fed cheesy romance supported by hummable songs, which has a lot more takers than one can presume.

Critically, the film stands little chance for a good word. Riteish Deshmukh is the saving grace among the actors while Sidharth Malhotra is unimpressive barring a couple of scenes. Shraddha Kapoor tries too hard while Amna Shariff is just about Okay. Overall, the actors don’t find great help in the melodramatic characterizations.

The execution comprising the camera, edit and production, falls short of achieving anything on a creative level. The script has a lot of flab which, with soothing but almost identical songs, turns the theatre seat into a sleeping couch pushing one towards a sweet little nap. Dialogues are verbose and crude - Every character tells you in plain words what he is doing at the moment, what’s going on in his head and what are his future plans. The character-traits given to Aisha are straight out of a daily soap and so is the bonding between the hero and the child. All the flashback events are like episodes from a sugary tele-romance. This, however, is also the key to understand the film. Suri knows that his target audience loves such elements and therefore, he doesn’t mind mixing a bit of Aashiqui 2 with the revenge story involving a serial killer.

Ek Villain is a run-off-the-mill revenge-cum-romance film that only an audience with minimum expectations will savor. But that isn’t at all a small bandwidth and it might as well turn out that the producers have played smart to tap it. 

   Dinkar Sharma

Dinkar Sharma is a screenwriter. His film Second Marriage Dot Com was released in 2012. He can be contacted at: . https://www.facebook.com/imdinkarsharma

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