Ek Villain Returns makes an effort to be edgy but instead elevates farce.
Last Updated: 06.38 AM, Jul 29, 2022
A new serial killer has been born eight years after Rakesh Mahadkar (Riteish Deshmukh) terrorised Mumbai. He is more vicious and nasty, yet he still wears the Smiley Mask as a disguise. Ek Villain Returns is about two guys who have a one-sided relationship. Who is the hero and who is the villain depends on the paths they take to complete their love stories.
It took Mohit Suri seven years to bring back a successful thriller after Ek Villain with Malang back in 2020. Soon after that, he announced that he was taking the Villain franchise forward with Ek Villain Returns. When you set a precedent with a simple yet twisted storyline and cast Riteish Deshmukh as the main antagonist, the film is destined for instant success. Then when you have a sequel with four people—John Abraham, Arjun Kapoor, Disha Patani, and Tara Sutaria—posing as villains, one should expect fireworks.
But does it happen in Ek Villain Returns? It's a blatant NO! The film is set within a timeline of six months, with Arjun and Tara's story running parallel to John and Disha's storyline. However, the tales are different, and the treatment too. The film bills itself as a psychological thriller, with heavy dialogue about vengeance, love, hate, and failure. But instead, it just flusters your mind with its bizarre plot.
The only common link between both films is the baggage of a villain started by Riteish Deshmukh as Rakesh Mahadkar, along with Shaad Randhawa, who is a regular in Mohit Suri's films, reprising his role as ACP Aditya Rathore.
There's no goodness in the film in terms of the execution, dialogues, nothing. If people around you start laughing while watching a thriller flick, you know a problem lies then and there. Arjun Kapoor keeps on repeating a dialogue ("marna chalega but haarna nahi") throughout the film, and after a point, it just stops making sense.
There's a special mention during the opening credits given to Rohit Shetty and Milap Zaveri. You may wonder why. But Kapoor, without a helmet, roams around the city on his Ducati and jumps over police jeeps and lands on one only to see the jeep get burnt immediately-cue, Shetty! However, that might not be the reason altogether, but I tried joining the lines.
While Zaveri, who penned the dialogues for the first instalment, leaves his trail in this film as Aseem Arora takes charge. In some instances, the film goes into Gunda mode with actors delivering dialogues that rhyme. There's no impact created with these lines, and even John's "Madam rating dena mat bhoolna" fails to get etched.
Half the time, Disha says, "Murkh ahes ka?" in Marathi, which loosely translates to, "Are you mad?" It seemed like instead of posing that question to John, she was asking the viewers to sit through the film. The actor plays Rasika, a Marathi girl, and she keeps mouthing Marathi here and there. Half the time you don't understand what she's saying.
Meanwhile, the film takes no time to establish who is the villain, and the why behind it all makes for an entire plot. The common link with Ek Villain is that a bad boy turned okayish boy bears the brunt of bringing a change in him, thus losing his loved one. However, that one dialogue by Riteish, "Aaj ke baad aapko shikayat ka mauka nahi milega," freaks one out for all the right reasons.
Among the four, the one to watch out for is Arjun Kapoor, who is seen as an unabashed and unapologetic person who refuses to understand what's right and what's wrong. However, the actor aces it better when he keeps an intense look and lets his eyes do the talking.
He plays a spoilt brat who cares about money at the cost of his relationships, be it by blood or love. The character Gautam has his own way of seeking revenge against the girl he falls in love with, and parting ways with them seems like a cakewalk for him.
Tara Sutaria as singer Aarvi brings her musical side to the film and is plain Tara with the scope given to her. On the other hand, we see Disha Patani has been given more range while bringing innocence, sensuality, and the villainous side too.
Last but not least, the disappointing arc is given to John as Bhairav, who has aced as the "villain" in many of his films, starting with Dhoom. However, he failed to hit that benchmark created by him nearly two decades ago.
Mohit Suri's movies have twisted plots with a serial killer on the run. However, the emotional quotient is so high that it gives the benefit of the doubt to the villain's intentions. However, this one is like Ek Villain meets Madhoshi (remember John Abraham and Bipasha Basu's 2004 film?) with the plot just being excruciating and a non-entertainer.
Adding to that, the songs composed by Ankit Tiwari, Tanishk Bagchi, and Kaushik-Guddu also won't be charting much on your playlist, despite having versions of Galliyan in the album.
I have enjoyed Mohit Suri films which are of the thriller genre, including Zeher, Kalyug, Murder 2, Ek Villain, and also Malang. Sadly, Ek Villain Returns has followed the path of Half Girlfriend and Hamari Adhuri Kahani.
Ek Villain Returns tries too hard to be daring and ends up taking absurdity to the next level. The plot becomes predictable after a point in time, and it becomes excruciating with the bizarre dialogues adding to it.