Reviewing the Reviews: Mostly 2 stars for Ek Villain, but not completely trashed

30 Jun,2014

By Deepa Gahlot


Ek Villain

Directed by: Mohit Suri

Starring: Ritesh Deshmukh, Remo Fernandes, Shraddha Kapoor, others


Everybody is agreed that Mohit Suri is a decent enough director; what goes wrong with Ek Villain is that the plot lifted from much-admired Korean film I Saw The Devil is mangled into vapid romance and melodrama, studded with good music, that becomes the audience magnet.


The film got mostly 2 stars, but didn’t get completely trashed. Riteish Deshmukh got most of the raves. For an undemanding audience like ours, the film delivers enough thrills.


Rajeev Masand of IBNLive calls it “moderartely fulfilling,” which is just about it. “Suri, a competent director, who has a knack for ripping off foreign films and ‘Indianizing’ them by adding a romantic subplot and a superhit soundtrack, employs the same formula here. The victim on this occasion is the Korean revenge saga, ‘I Saw The Devil’. Suri and his writers tone down the violence, amp up the melodrama, throw in a love story, and give the psychotic serial killer a justification for his misogyny. It’s all very Hindi filmi, complete with corny lines that’ll make you roll your eyes in disbelief.”


Raja Sen of criticises the very idea of a remake, “There seems to be something fundamentally wrong with the way we remake films.


You know those often-hilarious South Asian DVD covers for pirated Hollywood films? Where they misspell the actor names and write a bizarre, ungrammatical and illogical version of the summary? With peculiar posters where content from two movies is often melded freakishly into one, as if all Tom Cruise movies were the same? Well, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that our filmmakers might not be remaking the films themselves but these odd DVD covers. (No, dear producers, that is not what you call a cover version.)


Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express, writes, “There’s one in every love story, says the tagline of Ek Villain, and the film strains every sinew to justify it. The three main characters – Guru the loveless orphan grown into a gun-toting goon, Aisha the pretty girl busy ticking off items from a to-do list, and Rakesh the smarting-under-daily-humiliations-working-stiff — ricochet off each other, resulting in a film doused in schmaltzy romance and creepy violence.”


Aniruddha Guha of Time Out comments, “It’s a pity Ek Villain is a rip-off. From the moment the trailers went on air and people started recognising similarities with Kim Jee-Woon’s spectacular I Saw The Devil, folks involved with Ek Villain have been rubbishing rumours about the plot being stolen from the Korean thriller. Which is a lot worse than not commenting at all, because when you watch the film you realise this is no “inspired” effort, but a faithful remake. But producers Ekta and Shobha Kapoor, who are set to make a killing at the box office, weren’t willing to shell out a miniscule part of their profits for the rights.”


Saibal Chatterjee of writes, “There is one in every love story, the film’s tagline proclaims. Not true at all. Ek Villain has one too many, both among the dramatis personae on the screen and the men behind the scenes. The biggest of the villains in Mohit Suri’s Ek Villain is the screenplay itself. It is as muddled as a serial killer’s twisted mind and just as destructive. A vapid love story dovetailed into a confused psychological thriller, Ek Villain revolves around three characters that are severely damaged in varying ways.”


Shubha Shetty Saha of Mid-day grumbles, “‘Ek Villain’ is touted as an intense film. It kind of lives up to it. But in its 140 minute duration, it ends up with so much relentless intensity that after a point you start looking for an escape from this heat. This is a classic example of a film that takes itself so seriously that it ends up looking manipulative and largely lacking in genuine emotions and soul.”


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