Q: What do you get when the writers of one of the most juvenile films of all time, Grand Masti, think they can remake the Korean cult film I Saw The Devil?
A: Ek Joke. LOLZ!
Ek Villain is proof that you can get pretty much anything made in this country if you pick the right DVD and pitch it as an unofficial remake and get the right names involved.
It seemed like a foolproof plan except that the thieves here are so clueless that even if they managed to break into the Louvre, they would come out robbing the contents of the museum’s bathroom, instead of the original Mona Lisa.
Grand Masti Writer 1: “But yaar, which Bollywood star will play rapist serial killer? Tone down karna padega. Wot 2 do?”
Grand Masti Writer 2: “Let’s give him a screw-driver instead. Get it? Get it? Get it? Lulz”
Ek Villain is a frustratingly bad film because of the mediocrity of writing derived from the lamest of stale jokes. The thin thread of the I Saw The Devil narrative — if we can loosely call it that here — is held together with the oldest of jokes that will make you roll your eyes… and a love story that’s so fake that you can’t wait for the serial killer to kill the girl so that we can get on with the story of the chase and the revenge.
The exposition of character is so juvenile that the writers make their heroine keep a scrapbook of things she wants to do when she grows up. No, the girl is not six years old and even six year olds today would laugh at this anachronism of a plot device. Also, she’s dying. Of boredom, we suspect, since the film stays silent on that.
Shraddha Kapoor is so spectacularly bad that you suspect Riteish Deshmukh stabs her with a screwdriver just to save her from the misery of having to do something she just can’t do. Act.
He channels some of the angst of being made to do the kind of cheap comedy films he has had to suffer, and the rest here is just method acting. Riteish is fantastic and equally watchable is Sidharth Malhotra, whose presence makes up for the absence of meat in the script.
I Saw The Devil begins with a murder in the very first scene and gets to what’s the interval point here in 20 minutes flat. Half of Ek Villain is filled with pointless flashbacks to give Shraddha Kapoor a chance to wear pretty clothes and play the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Hey, even her ringtone is Happy, even if we aren’t.
However, the grammar of the film has the power to transcend the worst of writing and luckily, this film has Mohit Suri at the helm — so even if the ‘what’s happening’ is cringe-worthy, the ‘how’ is not all that bad.
Suri manages to lend a couple of touches that actually make us buy that the film may have a heart somewhere deep inside the manufactured assembly-line fakeness around it. Like the scene where she reveals she is dying. Or when we see that the two ‘villains’ aren’t very different.
Grand Masti Writer 1: “Korean hero needs transmitter to keep track of the serial killer’s movements.”
Grand Masti Writer 2: “People won’t understand transmitter kya hota hai. Bollywood hero hai. Uska TRACK RECORD hai.”
Grand Masti Writer 1: “Lulz. And no one can say we copied.”
Producer Ekta Kapoor walks in, having read the first draft, screams her head off: “Even a photocopier can do better than you!”
Writer 1 notes down the line, sneaks it into the script and submits it again.
“The writing is slightly better now I think.”
The film gets made.
P.S: One more thing. When everyone’s favourite serial killer Dexter comes to India, we know who’s going to be wrapped in plastic first.
Director: Mohit Suri
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Shraddha Kapoor, Aamna Sharif
Storyline: A reformed goon consumed by revenge after the death of his wife, hunts down the killer and promises to neither let him live or die.
Bottomline: They… Saw The Devil but couldn’t even copy the Korean film well