Ek Villain Returns Movie Review: Wasn’t a fan of Mohit Suri’s 2014 film Ek Villain, and I hadn’t even watched the Korean original, I Saw The Devil, back then (Interestingly, the Wiki page of Ek Villain ignores the whole remake part). Of course, when I finally got to see Kim Jee-woon’s gore-fest, I got more appalled about how Bollywood skewered a gruesome, disturbing tale of twisted morality into something so kitschy, save for the beautiful “Galliyan” song. However, compared to Ek Villain Returns, the sequel that Mohit Suri returns to direct, the first Ek Villain feels like an undeniable masterpiece. This one sorely misses Rakesh Mahadkar! Ek Villain Returns Song Shaamat: Tara Sutaria and Arjun Kapoor’s ‘Rock Anthem’ Looks Fascinating (Watch Teaser Video).
So Ek Villain Returns begins with a mass murder that happens in the flat carried by a mysterious intruder wearing a smiley mask. The flat belonged to a singer Aarvi (Tara Sutaria) who goes missing, and is presumed to be dead. The finger of the law is pointed at her toxic ex-lover, the spoilt rich brat Gautam (Arjun Kapoor), who goes on a run.
Is he the real murderer and the ‘villain’? Or is it Bhairav (John Abraham), the cab driver cum zoo-assistant besotted with the sultry Rasika (Disha Patani)? Also, what is the obsession with throwing the word “villain” just about anywhere and everywhere, just because it is in the title? Do movies work the same way as a web article that if a SEO keyword isn’t used enough, it doesn’t trend on Google?
Watch the Trailer:
Ek Villain Returns is supposed to be an original film, unlike its predecessor. It could be, I really don’t want to think of any movie being marred by such slipshod adaptation. Though in between, I did a catch a ripoff of The Rock’s crane stunt from Skyscraper and there is an ending twist that is lifted off, well, a lot of movies. But at least, I hope Ek Villain Returns acquits itself of being called a poor version of some movie, it is simply poor on its own. Ek Villain Returns: Ekta Kapoor Insists John Abraham, Disha Patani, Arjun Kapoor Starrer Is Not a Korean Film’s Remake.
The first half of the film delves into the flashbacks of the two love stories, and unlike the one in the first film – where you still care because there is an undeniable chemistry between Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor – here, both the romances are simply dull. Twisted, yes, but interesting? Not enough. Because, the writing isn’t strong or mature enough to handle the deep, dark complexities of these flawed people to make their digressions appealing enough on screen. And despite the hotness thrown on the screen, the chemistry between the leads goes in the opposite direction.
Yup, there are quite a few twists, quite a few hummable songs and there is Shaad Randhawa making his perfunctory appearance in a Mohit Suri movie. The women look smoking hot and act equally bad. The men go shirtless, indulge in shoddy action scenes and also don’t fare that well in acting (Yes, Riteish, I missed you a lot). Arjun Kapoor is the best actor of the lot, and that really says something here. John, while mostly wearing a blank face throughout, was marginally better the climax.
Is Ek Villain Returns a complete damp squib? I won’t say yes. There are a couple of scenes that I did enjoy as a viewer, because they were enjoyably cheesy. Like the interval fight portion between the two male leads in a Metro train sparks interest. But then I was more bothered about how the whole train was empty (even the Metro station), and this film is set in Mumbai (Patani’s increasingly irksome Marathi catchphrase is a frequent reminder of that), a city that feels never so empty even in the night. The cluelessness about the city that you are basing the whole story was irksome, to say the least. 8 Pictures of Ek Villain Returns Actress Disha Patani that Are Oh-So-Sexy!
I would never have bothered about such contrivances, had Ek Villain Returns did better in other aspects of a film. The action scenes are just about average with some evident use of green screens; the direction is merely passable. I have seen Mohit Suri direct better movies in the past, case in point, Woh Lamhe, Kalyug and Raaz: The Mystery Continues. Even the supposedly erotic portions of the movie feel so tamed out.
There are some surprise twists near the end that might thrill some, though I didn’t hear a single gasp in my auditorium and there were people who were cracking up on Tara Sutaria’s feeble wisecracks. However, those twists don’t really feel earned in the buildup alluding it.
Then there is the matter of romanticising toxicity in a relationship. Yes, Ek Villain Returns accepts that all its four leads are flawed and that’s something admirable. But then the movie goes on to create melodrama out of their reprehensible behaviours to make them somewhat sympathetic that the Kabir Singh in the audience would be getting orgasmic thrills. At one point, the movie seeks humour out of a women being harassed out of her wits. Yet, what’s new, Bollywood? Right? It’s okay to have imperfect characters, but what if they are made to be so imperfect – both in terms of their characterisation and the writing – that you stop caring about any of them? Ek Villain Returns truly suffers from that.
– The Songs
– The Acting, The Writing and The Execution
Ek Villain Returns’ real villains aren’t in the characters but they are in the bad performances, bad pacing (despite lasting a bit above two hours), bad writing and lacklustre direction. There are a couple of twists – the trailers did trick us (no complaints there, even Avengers: Infinity War did that) – and the lead characters are morally complicit, but Ek Villain Returns isn’t loathsome enough as it thinks of itself to pull off such an immoral tale.
(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Jul 29, 2022 01:41 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).