There’s a fight in the Metro. There is a fight in an old building. There is a fight on a busy road. But why are they fighting? The question lingers for a long time while watching Mohit Suri’s Ek Villain Returns. Touted as a spiritual successor to his 2014 film Ek Villain, this sequel is much more painful, meaningless, and psychotic. Obviously, it doesn’t just take a bad story to make a substandard movie. In the case of Ek Villain Returns, there is much more that contributed to the end result. Slow writing, lazy directing, half-baked characters, and mindless twists and turns all converged on what could have been a nail-biting thriller, a rather dull watch.
And if that wasn’t enough, here you have four actors who are so horribly wasted. Two macho men – John Abraham and Arjun Kapoor – with their best action hero avatar and then two beautiful girls – Disha Patani and Tara Sutaria – who tried so hard to understand their characters – but no foursome could save Ek Villain Returns.
A serial killer is on the prowl (maybe Riteish is missing Deshmukh here) and ruthlessly murders young girls with a twisted love story. Gautam (Kapoor) is a richly spoiled brat, who has a kind of love-hate relationship with Aarvi (Sutaria), who we mainly see singing on stage at open-air theater concerts. Cut into an intense, introverted taxi driver Bhairav (Abraham) who falls in love with Rasika (Patani), a saleswoman in a chic shop who has a thing for materialistic pleasures. After a while, both Kapoor and Abraham appear as disowned lovers and begin to move in peculiar ways. Mind you, nothing is now clear who the serial killer, the villain or the hero is. The yellow mask is back, but whoever is behind it will take forever to be revealed.
Thirty minutes into the movie and we are still told how Gautam and Aarvi met and fell in love, took revenge, fell in love again, broke up et al. Still no clarity on the plot. Even during Bhairav’s taxi rides, all we see is him obsessed with Rasika and constantly asking for “reviews”. But why? Why can’t he see her mean intentions? Why doesn’t Gautam tell Aarvi that he loves him? Why do one-sided lovers fall victim to this villain? Why does Mohit Suri make a simple script unnecessarily complicated? Why don’t we get most of the twists and turns at the right time?
Fortunately, at 128 minutes, the film isn’t too long, but no matter how many hours you spend watching the story, you just want it to pick up the pace and reveal what really happened. In addition, the non-linear narration turns out to be a failure as there is hardly any difference in how these characters look. So it just gets confusing with each flashback.
In terms of performances, I wasn’t expecting much from Sutaria and Patani anyway, as they have only been used as props to give men an agenda in their lives and decide their actions. Their character never really bowed. Patani’s creepy laughter is rather annoying and gives you a headache. Sutaria does her best, but she can only do so much that the script asks her to.
Abraham turned out to be a rather surprising casting for this role for me, purely because I expect him to do so much better. Ek Villain Returns puts him in a box and doesn’t let go. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time Abraham had so few lines in a movie. Above all, Kapoor gets to shine and take the cake. His character has shades that you can identify with. In the supporting cast, actors JD Chakravarthy and Shaad Ali as agents get so little to do that you feel sorry for them. They are made to appear and disappear from the story according to the director’s whims and imagination.
Not to mention, the soulful song Teri Galliyan has been reprized as Galliyan Returns and plays in the background throughout the film. The rest of the album is just forgettable and doesn’t live up to expectations at all.
Long story short, at the end of it all you only wish it would have been better if this villain didn’t return at all. I mean, who would have thought that a script like this in today’s time would make its predecessor look a much better movie. Ek Villain Returns is now in theaters. Watch it only and only if you can resist the so-called mass cinema that expects you to keep your brain at home.