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Ek Villain - Non-uniformly grey; Ritesh Deshmukh at his best
The romantic-psycho-thriller is a Mohit Suri type of film, which is adequately enjoyable at places and for it's songs but lacks a certain mass that is needed by a matured viewer.

"Ek Villain" is a romantic-psychological-thriller with ample twists & turns that make it interestingly watchable, but due to the same reason it becomes convoluted with so many ideas that make the film a little over-the-top. However, the Director - Mohit Suri - as always, puts enough paraphernalia in the content that a viewer would sit through the film and mostly enjoy.

The film alternates between the "fairy-tale" romance of a gangster with a childhood tragedy (Siddhart Malhotra) and a fun loving girl (Shraddha Kapoor) who is dying due to an unknown disease; and the unnerving consequences of an overly frustrated and emotional wreck (Ritesh Deshmukh), unable to digest the taunts and reprimands of people especially his wife he loves dearly and won't ever hurt, goes on and stabs offending-women and thereby, pours his heart to their dying bodies as if it's a session with a shrink and catharsis for him.

Their paths cross and tragedy occurs. However, in the second half, it becomes a sort of open-question(as also stated in promotions) that "Who is the Real Villain?", because at some point every character in the film is driven by "vengeance, love and heartbreak".

The USP of the film is it's outstandingly memorable performance by Ritesh and also the best-reason to watch the film, who gave a version-2.0 of Prashant Narayanan of "Murder 2" (also by Suri) but with deeper shades. To derive from the words of Late Patrick Swayze, "You look into his eyes and read volumes... that is the kind of power he has as an actor." He further confirms what Steven Spielberg said about "comedians" ? "...an actor with a comical grasp has a great sense of drama"; and Deshmukh did. He was vulnerable yet domineering, not very black but supremely grey in his persona.

Siddharth breaks his mould of a chocolate-boy while Sharddha is decent enough, and croons a husky track too. Infact, the casting (Aadore Mukherjee Mehra; "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag") is full of surprise choices - "Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha" famed-singer Remo De Souza (the gangster's godfather; crude though closely authentic), Aamna Shariff(the nagging wife of psychopath; alright but unconvincing), Kamal R Khan (the cocky-cheesy friend of same; indifferent from his public self), Shaad Randhawa (the war-mongering CBI inspector; constant choice in Director's films but unimpressive), Prachi Desai(harlot in a song; totally useless) ? however, apart from the principal characters, none is impressive neither conclusive in their parts. Probably because of the unfinished screenwriting, which apart from a few good scenes was unimpressive. So were the dialogues; although some "jokes" were likeable.

The other pluses are- the Music with multiple composers (Mithoon, Ankit Tiwari), something pioneered in his films by Mohit Suri, but the lyrics were more engaging this time - especially "Galliyan" (by Manoj Muntashir) and "Zaroorat" (by Mithoon). The editing (Devan Murdeshwar; "Fashion") is a huge savior.

The film, as aforementioned, has plenty to offer - engaging twists, a heartbreaking story, romance and action - though, somewhere things got so inconclusive; maybe that was the reason that most viewers hurried to the Exits during the conclusive sequence. Nevertheless, the film is a Mohit Suri-thriller and watchable. I will go with a 7/10 score.

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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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