Bollywood has steadily segregated itself into three broad groups. First group is the one who creates original content and the second is the one who adapts older content from elsewhere and gives adequate credits. Like what we saw in Citylights when director Hansal Mehta made it clear through half a dozen mentions that his film is an adaptation. The makers of Ek Villain, irrespective of what their earlier credentials may be, have treaded into the third group - the ones who copy and do not attribute original source. Not quite respectable.
Despite numerous reports that Ek Villain is inspired by Korean film I Saw A Devil the producers continued to rally that their film is a piece of original work. This Mohit Suri film derives heavily from the 2010 Korean hit.
And that is where Ek Villain falters. With a ready premise, the director and his team was left with a task to build a screenplay which could fit well for the Indian audience. They did come up with very impressive additions in characterization and story, but lost way in trying too hard to do the same. So much that the film slipped from being a thriller to a slower drama.
Ek Villain is the story of an ex-gangster, Guru (Siddharth Malhotra), who leaves his rowdy ways to be with his love Aisha (Shraddha). However destiny plays a cruel game as Aisha is murdered by a serial killer Rakesh (Riteish). The story from there on is about Guru's hunt for the killer and peace.
While there is no suspense element, it's the thrill that goes completely amiss as the screenplay goes back and forth tracing the love story between Guru and Aisha and the present. To make matters more interesting, the writers provide a back-story to the killer giving him a certain grey glow rather than an out-and-out dark character.
I would give marks to the writers for coming up with more rounded characters. But deduct marks for not managing to keep the screenplay from going haywire, as a result of which the pace suffered.
Among the pluses of the film include powerful performances by the leads and kickass music. Siddharth Malhotra indeed is turning into an actor to watch out for. He is a unique combination of energy, looks and visible dedication. Shraddha works well for her part. It is Riteish Dehmukh who manages to get attention for delivering something not many would have expected him to be capable of - that evil grin. He is provided a character that he should be proud to flaunt. I am not sure about the need for Remo Fernendes and Kamaal R Khan in the film. Better actors could have added to the respective roles.
I have long considered Mohit Suri as an extremely under-rated director. This film proves again that he does have a flair, only if not let down by the writers. This is a classic case of trying to provide a buffet meal and going wrong when the audience would have just been happy with A la carte!
While walking out of the theater I heard an aged couple talk. The lady says, "Chalo, at least this was better than Humshakals." The gentleman agreed and adds, "Yes, true!" Well, though unfair a comparison considering both films belong to completely different genres, it does speak enough.
Ek Villain could have been a far superior product. What it becomes is a lackluster thriller. You could watch it for the actors and the drama. Not if you wanted to watch the thriller Ek Villain was promised to be.
Critic: Noyon Jyoti Parasara
(2.5 / 5) : Above Average