MUMBAI: In the old days, they would say that there are only seven story themes in this world and we keep making films around them. Then came television, and the serials took away more than half of them to beam into people’s drawing rooms on a daily basis. Of these, romance and comedy as feel-good themes work on both mediums, films as well as television.
The situation led to some trying out different storylines. So we have makers who work on finding new blends and we get a Vicky Donor or a Dirty Picture or a Kahaani once in a while. Ek Villain, for a change, combines many varied genres. It is a love story, it has that tried-and-tested Love Story (Erich Segal) angle of one of the leads having an expiry date, and it is a psycho killer thriller, with cops and criminal and also a dash of underworld. It takes all that to make the 209-minute saga that is Ek Villain. Film titles are at premium and, at times, (like this one) look forced.
Sidharth Malhotra had a bad childhood watching his parents being killed by goons while he hid under the bed. Next thing you know, he is all brawn punching people into oblivion. He represents the local Goa don played by Remo Fernandes. He plays the kind of character Dharmendra played in all time classic Phool Aur Paththar (1966); a heartless inhuman kind who melts due to circumstances.
Sidharth knows only one thing well, how to liquidate a person. And he does not use a gun to do that. Shraddha Kapoor, a journalist, spots him at a police station going through third degree. Sidharth catches her fancy and she chases him in her typical choolbooli ways, again done earlier by just about every heroine since the inception of cinema. But, Shraddha plays what Rajesh Khanna played in Anand or what Ranjeeta Kaur played in Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se. Sidharth is now in love with her. His softer side takes over and has a purpose to live.
Producers: Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor.
Director: Mohit Suri.
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Shradha Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Aamna Sharif, Shaad Randhawa, Remo Fernandes, Kamaal Rashid Khan and cameo by Prachi Desai.
He has changed, he has just managed to land a job when Shraddha is killed by a psycho even as he listens to her shrieks on his cell phone. There is no secret about who the psycho is as he is revealed to public soon enough though Sidharth has still to find out who he is and get after him. There is a cop who likes to play two sides against each other and he directs Sidharth to Remo as the killer of Shraddha which he has not but this opens an opportunity to add an action sequence to the film. Remo assures Sidharth that he looks upon him as a son and had no cause to kill his love.
Sidharth is back to square one but soon gets lucky as he comes across a young boy who leads him to the killer, Riteish Deshmukh. Sidharth decides to punish Riteish on regular basis instead of killing him in one go. Beaten badly, Riteish is delivered to a hospital doorstep by Sidharth and there he tries to kill a nurse. What sets off the murderer in him? It seems Riteish has always been ridiculed and humiliated mostly by women including his wife. But he loves his wife too much to kill her and takes his revenge on other women who provoke him in any way; whatever jewelry he finds on his victim, he gifts it to his wife to try to win her back.
The wrap of the story is on expected lines but convincing which works in the favour of the film. That it does not threaten the viewer with a sequel is a relief.
The script is generally well-etched; a few glitches and liberties here and there are accepted. Direction is able with Mohit Suri maintaining a generous dose of emotions throughout. The film drops momentum at times but catches up again soon. Suri has been able to eke out good performances from his cast when not through histrionics then through expressions. Sidharth does a lot just by his expressions and also doing well in brute action. Shraddha as a cute do-gooder waiting for her inevitable death impresses. Riteish gets a killer look with the help of grey contact lenses which are exploited mainly during his killer moods which also helps juxtapose his docile, henpecked husband at home. Aamna Sharif does a decent job of being his nagging wife. Shaad Randhwa as a sly cop is okay. But, what is Kamaal Rashid Khan doing here? He is supposedly the comic relief. Maybe the makers thought his very presence provides that.
One of the positives of the film is its music as it has already become popular. Item numbers are a norm nowadays but, here, Prachi Desai does an item on a sad number which is well thought of. Photography is good.
Ek Villain has had a bumper opening with positive word of mouth and looks set to be a hit.