Mohit Suri has for long promised the moon with every film of his and although all his films are faithfully inspired from either Asian or European films, he has shown enough chutzpah in his work to have us believe that more often than not, he will deliver. But then again the horror of his last film is still fresh. Yes my dear lovebirds, Aashiqui-2 was a plod which completed a home run only on the basis of its soulful music and even Mohit’s weakest film Crook is a better watch than Aashiqui. Which brings me to Ek Vilian, a loosely adapted or should I say a watered down version of I Saw the Devil. Mohit Suri takes the original film, retains the feel and the central idea and Indianises it to suit our tastes. That means the sex has to go and the gore has to go, which often ends up leaving a remake soul less because Korean and Japanese films thrive on violence.
Mohit invests the film with a soulful love story, bucketful of emotions and a fine ensemble of actors who haven’t been seen in this kinda avatar before. This is what works for the film. The sense of urgency, the cat and mouse chase, the good vs bad all come alive and with the help of some terrific songs, Mohit Suri delivers a smash remake which would leave you rooting for the Villain. And for 99% of the audience who have never even heard of the original, the concept would create ripples in their heart and mind.
But the film isn’t without its share of flaws. With such a terrific lead cast, when the support cast falters even a wee bit, it becomes glaringly obvious. Casting Remo as a mafia don is a gamble gone wrong. His thick accent spoils the mood of the film and I could not figure out what is Shaad Randhawa doing in the film and what is the reason he hounds Siddharth although clearly the man has left his criminal past behind. Kamaal R Khan as usual overacts and is a pain to watch. Those few minor blips aside, the film is uniformly good and holds your attention till the end. The crisp length of the film works to its advantage and the buzz the film has whipped up will ensure a strong word of mouth.
Coming to the performances, Siddharth Malhotra comes into his own in his third film and clearly has his Alia moment (pun intended). Shradhha Kapoor is terrific as the chirpy girl with a heart of gold. And Riteish Deshmukh who is often reduced to playing a sidekick in crass comedies is a revelation here. He performs with such gusto and intensity that you will for the cold blooded killer. Not easy I tell you, but such is the man’s performance. Aamna Sharif returns to the screen after a hiatus and is delight to watch.
After some time, I have really come out satisfied out of a Mohit Suri film. The last time that happened was with Awarapan, which probably bombed. The reason i guess is Ek Villain is highly believable and can be the story of anyone. A common man going through the grind suddenly turning into a psychopath, we have all heard of that before. With so much going for it, the film deserves a watch and when it comes to Mohit Suri, all’s forgiven. This is what you do best and this is what we love most. Keep the fight alive.