Balaji Motion Pictures’ Ek Villain (UA) is the story of a villain wreaking havoc in the love story of a man and his wife. Guru (Sidharth Malhotra) works for underworld don Caesar (Remo Fernandes) and is his blue-eyed boy. By chance, he meets Aisha (Shraddha Kapoor) who is a happy-go-lucky, chirpy, carefree girl and who is in a hurry to complete a number of tasks, some small and others big. Guru, who is a hardened criminal, softens as he interacts with the lively and golden-hearted Aisha. The two gradually fall in love with one another and although Aisha wants to now distance herself from Guru, he doesn’t want to leave her.
Even as Guru is trying to turn over a new leaf, calamity strikes in the form of a villain who kills Aisha. Guru’s world comes crashing down. For Guru, it is now a crazy hunt for the murderer. Who has murdered his Aisha and why?
There’s another track of Rakesh (Ritesh Deshmukh) who is frustrated in life. He seems to be below-average at his work place because of which he is the subject of ridicule. His wife, Sulochana (Aamna Sharif), whom he loves to death, is so fed up of his mediocrity that she loses no opportunity to hurl the choicest insults and abuses at him. In frustration, Rakesh murders women who speak ill about his work but he doesn’t harm his wife as he loves her more than anything else in the world. Thus far, nobody knows that the unassuming and simple-looking Rakesh is a murderer who kills people in cold blood. Rakesh and Sulochana have a little son, Manish (master Nihar Gite), who is very disturbed by the constant fights his parents have.
Is there a connection between the murders committed by Rakesh on the one hand and Aisha’s killing on the other? Was it an old enmity of Guru due to which Aisha had to lose her life? Is Guru able to avenge Aisha’s murder? Why had Aisha wanted to go away from Guru’s life? What is it that Aisha had wanted to tell Guru just before she was murdered? Does Guru get to know it? Is Rakesh booked for the many crimes he has committed? Does Guru have to pay for his crimes as Caesar’s assistant?
The film is based on Korean film I Saw The Devil. The story, penned by Tushar Hiranandani, is very engaging and also very novel because one has not seen a drama of the kind shown in this film. Tushar Hiranandani’s screenplay is splendidly written, the non-linear writing helping to reveal bits of suspense at the right time and thereby keeping the audience interest alive from the start till the very end. Also, it must be said to the writer’s credit that in spite of the drama oscillating between the present and the past (in flashbacks), the audience doesn’t get confused. There are a number of scenes which remain with the viewer till long after he has seen the film. Instances of the memorable scenes: the one in which Guru (on the railway platform) pleads with Aisha (in a moving train) to not leave him; the one in which Dipu’s mother curses Guru for having killed Dipu and tells him why she intentionally failed to identify him in court for the murder; the one in which Rakesh tells Guru how their cases are not very different and are, in fact, quite similar; the scenes of Rakesh’s mental trauma; the light scenes between Guru and Aisha; the scenes in which Guru tries to give Aisha all the happiness in the world by fulfilling her long list of wishes etc.
Although it is a love story, the film is basically a suspense thriller, and in spite of being a thriller, it has all the other ingredients of a wholesome entertainer – it has romance, light scenes, comedy, action, drama, music and even a dash of emotions which tug at the heart-strings. The best part of the story and screenplay is that it is supremely entertaining and absolutely engaging. In fact, so riveting is the screenplay that it is difficult to take one’s eyes off the screen for even a second. Milap Zaveri’s dialogues are lovely and add a lot of weight to the proceedings.
Sidharth Malhotra does an excellent job of Guru. He looks handsome as ever and fills the screen with his presence, endearing himself to the audience. He acts with effortless ease and breathes fire in the action scenes. So wonderful is his performance in the difficult role that it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the newcomer (relatively speaking) springs a mighty surprise. The boy is destined to go places! Shraddha Kapoor is cute and wins over the audience with her innocence and spontaneous acting. She is truly a natural actress and her dialogue delivery and voice modulation are a major asset. Ritesh Deshmukh is a revelation! He has given such a convincing performance in the role of the psychotic killer who leads an otherwise mundane life that one can’t help but sing his praises. He brings out his frustration so effectively that one can’t help but marvel at his performance. All in all, distinction marks to the three lead actors. Aamna Sharif shines in the role of Rakesh’s acid-tongue wife, Sulochana. So extraordinary is her acting that the viewer starts detesting her for her vitriolic comments. Remo Fernandes adds a touch of freshness to the character of the underworld don, Caesar. He acts well. Asif Basra is first-rate as Aisha’s father. Shaad Randhawa is effective as the investigating CBI officer. Kamaal R. Khan does a very fine job in a special appearance as Brijesh. Rishina Khandare makes her presence felt in the role of the nurse. As the doctor, Aradhana Uppal has her moments. Praveena Deshpande is superb as Dipu’s mother who gives a false witness in the court. Meharangiz Acharia leaves a mark as Rakesh’s female boss. Prachi Desai adds glamour in a song-dance. Sidhant Sachdev (as Dipu), master Nihar Gite (as Manish), Anagha Joshi (as Brijesh’s wife), Vidhyadhar Karmarkar (as Chhotu), master Yash Acharya (as young Guru), Jack Wayne (as Simon), Vikas Shrivastav (as Wagle), Vinita Amar (as the judge) and the rest lend excellent support.
Mohit Suri’s direction is outstanding. He has made a wholesome entertainer which doesn’t lose its grip on the audience at any point of time. His non-linear narration could’ve become confusing but it doesn’t and that’s creditable. He has taken care to include ingredients which would appeal to audiences across all age groups, and to classes and masses alike. Yes, a thin section of the women and family audience may find the violence too gruesome but that’s not a big point. Music is a major highlight of the film. Every song is delightful. The ‘Galiyan’ song (composed by Ankit Tiwari and wonderfully penned by Manoj Muntashir) is a hit song. The ‘Banjara’, ‘Zaroorat’ and ‘Humdard’ songs (all composed and written by Mithoon) are wonderfully melodious. The ‘Awari’ song (composed and penned by the duo, Rabbi Ahmed and Adnan Dhol) is a nice item song. The unplugged version of ‘Galiyan’ song, which comes in the end rolling titles, is a very intelligent addition, having been rendered by Ankit Tiwari and Shraddha Kapoor. Raju Khan’s song picturisations are good. Raju Singh’s background music is terrific. Special mention must be made of his use of the hit tunes of the film’s songs in the background score to great advantage. Vishnu Rao’s cinematography is just too lovely. A number of scenes, including the under-water sequence, are eye-filling. Javed-Aejaz’s action and stunt sequences are excellent and look truly natural. Priya Suhas’ production designing and Sandeep Suvarna and Salim A. Razzak’s sets are very appropriate. Devendra Murdeshwar deserves the highest praise for his crisp and super-sharp editing.
On the whole, Ek Villain is a super-hit, a blockbuster. It will score in the multiplexes and the single-screen cinemas, in ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ class centres, and will be loved by the masses and the classes alike. It has tremendous repeat value – yes, tremendous repeat value despite being a suspense thriller.