The ApunKaChoice movie review of Ek Villain. Here’s a tale with no heroes. Scratch that. Here’s a tale of a hero with a villain lurking within, and of a villain who could never be anyone’s hero. In short, here’s a tale of not ‘Ek’ but two villains, and a heroine who’s too chirpy for her own good.
In Ek Villain director Mohit Suri and dialogue writer Milap Milan Zaveri, take the gist of the 2010 Korean slasher flick ‘I Saw The Devil’ and strip it off the gory blood-splattering and sexual abuse, dress it up in Bollywood mush and melodrama that tear-jerking janta laps up with glee. The end result is a bowdlerized, Bollywoodized thriller with nice twists and turns to give you the bang for your buck.
Guru (Sidharth Malhotra) is a loveless gun-toting gangster who grins at the sight of a man he bashed burn to death. This cold-blooded beast is tamed, humanized by the bubbly Aisha (Shraddha Kapoor), a consummate do-gooder who’s terminally ill. Slowly and surely, the orphan Guru discovers that his heart is capable of loving, and he loves Aisha with as much ferocity as he once hated the world with. He gives up the gun for the girl, but when a misogynistic serial killer Rakesh (Riteish Deshmukh) slays Aisha, the villain in Guru rears its head again. He wants revenge, and of the most gruesome kind.
Mohit Suri tells the tale non-linearly, moving back and forth in time with aplomb, and adding the twists without ever letting the story go off the rails. If one reel has the lovey-dovey Sidharth-Shraddha chasing the butterflies in an idyllic setting, the other has Riteish slaying his victim slowly with a screwdriver.
The director fleshes out Riteish’s character best. An ordinary guy, persecuted by a nagging wife (Aamna Sharif) and ridiculed by the world, he turns a killer to exact his revenge from life. And the actor slips under the diabolic skin credibly and brings out a maniacal streak without going overboard.
Sidharth Malhotra is a heartthrob hamstrung with limited emotive range in his expressions, deadpan one moment, furious the other -- flitting within the extremes without nuances. Shraddha Kapoor plays a livewire, but seems to go OTT in her exuberance.