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Ravina Rawal

Suri’s math is all wrong, but this film’s worth a watch

28th Jun 2014

Ek Villain

Director: Mohit Suri

Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Shraddha Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh

Kamaal R Khan seems to have returned from the self-imposed exile he threatened to go through with when Modi came into power, then escaped the confines of his Twitter account (which is responsible for most of his current fame) and actually managed to sneak himself into a real movie. It's worth at least a couple of commendatory nods, if not outright cheers. In director Mohit Suri's Ek Villain, KRK plays a character that fits in perfectly with his Twitter persona — a slightly unhinged, "TwoRupeesPerson" with a wild grin and the persistence of a, well, Kamaal R Khan. He does a shockingly decent job of it, eliciting hoots and cheers from an appreciative front row at the theatre. These are the same guys who, only seconds later, climb all over each other to get a closer look at Shraddha Kapoor, who plays Aisha — a girl so bubbly that champagne should go into hiding, with such a good heart that Saffola should make her their brand ambassador, and such a determined do-gooder that you want to stab yourself with toothpicks — because it probably won't kill you, but it'll definitely make you scream.

But then you feel bad for judging all of this because (not a spoiler alert) she's dying. And all this effervescence is just her trying to live life to the fullest, and ticking things off her bucket list before she has to exit, stage right, pursued by a deadly disease that no one in the film finds it necessary to define.

Guru (Malhotra) is a ruthless villain with a dark past. Aisha first sees him at a police station where she's doing some do-gooding, and then stalks him all over the place, trying to get him to kidnap a guy from the mental asylum into which he's been wrongly admitted. Turns out that guy is an 80-year-old who wants to marry another 80-year-old and basically Aisha is all about bringing things like love and unicorns together so she can sit back and eat her cupcakes in peace before she dies.

They hang out, fall in love, get married and lives change all around. When Aisha is attacked in her home, a devastated Guru swears to hunt the attacker down and exact his revenge. Does he manage it? The movie is worth a watch to find out, even though you'll probably guess most things that unfold in the second half.

Riteish Deshmukh plays the other bad guy, and does a respectable job of it. I say respectable, because last week he put me through the colossal disaster that was Humshakals, bringing me close to swearing off him permanently. But this goes beyond just damage control — not to get carried away or anything, but Deshmukh can actually act! I had entirely forgotten this.

Sidharth Malhotra is not a particularly convincing bad guy at all, but he's so darn cute with those pained, sad eyes of his that you're not likely to hold him ransom to anything.

And then there is Remo Fernandes. To which my only reaction the whole time was: WHY? Because, as the film's tag line goes, there's a villain in every story? Not to find fault with things just because, but they've kind of got the math wrong there. In this film, there are many villains. All over the place. And that word gets flung around a lot, making absolutely sure you get everything they're trying to tell you because subtlety is overrated.

Suri has reportedly been getting annoyed that people are assuming that Ek Villain a rip-off of a Korean film called I Saw the Devil, but unless you're the sort that pretends to have heard of every arcane foreign language film that exists, this little nugget is unlikely to interrupt your experience.

It certainly didn't interrupt anyone in the packed theatre, which is otherwise usually eerily quiet during the 10 a.m. shows. Maybe they weren't paying much attention — between shouting AISHA! AISHA! at no one in particular, hoping to find their real-life Shraddha Kapoor in the crowd, no doubt, where would they have had the time?


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