Ek Villain sadly returns for no good reason. The story is supposed to have a villain, a hero and a damsel in distress. Actually, make that two. But it’s just a confused, messy rehash of psychopath killer movies that takes itself so seriously that it becomes unintentionally funny, almost hilarious and does no one any favours.
Mohit Suri’s Ek Villain came out in 2014 and gave us a dark, menacing side to Riteish Deshmukh. The sequel is being touted as its spiritual predecessor, but frankly it can well be said to be a soulless standalone film that keeps making up what it thinks is a plot as it goes along in the most uninspiring fashion.
The film keeps us destabilised at all times. It opens with a gory scene, where a house party turns into a site of murder. This is effective and encourages us to expect more, only to land with a big thud. We meet Gautam, a rich brat who famously announces “Marna chalega haarna nahi”. He acts like a total jerk, smiles to himself and loughs out loud in a maniac fashion. It's a character that is desperate to call itself a villain. Gautam is easy to hate, and Arjun Kapoor barely has a chance to redeem himself given how badly his character is written.
A “twisted in the head“ character can give us a delicious premise if explored well, but in this Suri-verse credulity is stretched to a snapping point. Gautam meets Aarvi (Tara Sutaria), young and ambitious singer desperate to make it to the top and in breakneck speed. Even before we acknowledge her quirks, she becomes a prototype of a placid girlfriend .
Incoherent in parts, the film tries to camouflage its lazy writing with forced plot twists.
Lines like “three months back “ and “six months back“ fly on screen as Arjun Kapoor’s manic laughter meets John Abraham‘s cold stare. It has more to do with the Jonh's inability to do anything else with his facial muscles. In the emotional scenes John has a deadpan expression, as if waiting for someone to whisper his lines to him. In action sequences his hands move swiftly while the face remains staggeringly blank. John plays a cab driver ever eager for a good rating. The sinister turn his character takes could have been better explored by delving into the inner workings of his mind. But probably this was beyond the scope of this film.
All that Ek Villain Returns gives us is John Abraham and Disha Patani, who can’t manage one-and-a-half expressions between themselves . There is very little steam in their scenes together, and as for the fight scenes between John and Arjun, a big yawn could suffice.
Our rating: 1 Quint out of 5
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)