Directed by Mohit Suri, “Ek Villain Returns” is the unwanted sequel to “Ek Villain” (2014). Mohit Suri has been in the industry for almost two decades, but his filmmaking style still seems like the worst nightmare. Filmmakers must build the characters, focus on the story, see whether the characters fit in the right places, and many other things. Filmmaking is a hard job, but what Mohit Suri did for the past 20 years was mostly nothing. “Awarapan” can be considered one of his best works. Apart from that, though “Murder 2” had a somewhat intriguing back story of an antagonist, the charcter of protagonist failed to captivate your attention. Filmmakers learn from their mistakes, but Mohit Suri took a different path. He made worse mistakes one after another in the hope it wouldn’t look like a mistake anymore.
Who Is The Actual “Villain”? What Is The Motive Behind All The Killings?
“Ek Villain” deserves a round of applause if you compare it with “Ek Villain Returns.” Here, Suri wanted to create a psychodrama, but throughout, he failed to develop anything out of it. So what happens in the film? Gautam Mehra (Arjun Kapoor) is a spoiled brat from a well known affluent family who fears no one and gets into fights with whomever he wants to. He goes to his ex’s marriage ceremony, creates a scene, kisses the girl, and then leaves her with the husband. Classic Bollywood drama, right? It gets even worse. Someone records this whole thing, and Aarvi Malhotra (Tara Sutaria) makes a reel out of it. The reel goes viral, and when Gautam finds out, he goes to a concert to meet with her. As it turns out, Aarvi is a fangirl of a pop singer named Qiran (Elena Roxana Maria Fernandes), who happens to be a friend of Gautam. Since Qiran is performing, Aarvi’s chances to let the audience know about her singing fades. Now, the Bollywood theme is more prominent than ever. Gautam puts up one of those smiley-faced masks and threatens Qiran; now, she leaves the concert, and Aarvi gets to perform. After sharing an intimate moment, Aarvi gets vulnerable and shows Gautam a picture of a renowned singer who happens to be her father. It was a family secret that became the news the following day. Soon we learned that Gautam leaked the photo, and whatever he did was to embarrass Aarvi, as she did with him in her reel. The trajectory of the masterpiece reaches the “interstellar” level indeed.
“Ek Villain Returns” starts when a man with a smiley face mask punches a bunch of young people who are partying. Aarvi Malhotra is at the party, and she goes missing. So now is the time we talk about the “villain.” ACP Ganeshan (J.D. Chakravarthi) is an expert on serial killers. He recollects all the data and describes the motive of Rakesh Mahadkar (Riteish Deshmukh) in a conference hall, the killer from “Ek Villain” (2014). Right after the disappearance of Aarvi, Bhairav Puroihit (John Abraham) comes to the police station and wants to file a report about an accident he caused. The police ignore the case as Aarvi is their only priority now. Bhairav is a part-time cab driver who works at a zoo. He is in love with Rasika Mapuskar (Disha Patani), who works in a shopping mall. Soon, Bhairav discovers his love is one-sided, and finally, he confronts her. She says that only villains can have the girls they love; heroes can only turn out to be Devdas. Bhairav is somehow triggered by this statement and says that if Rasika can’t be with him, she can’t be with anybody. So, the motive becomes loud and clear; patriarchy merges with toxic masculinity. Bhairav decides to punish women who mess with their relationships or, in his vision, hurt men.
Just like that, Aarvi was captured by Bhairav when he saw Gautam begging to talk to her, and she avoided him altogether. Bhairav connects the dots himself and finds her guilty. Bhairav is the “villain”; Gautam is in pursuit of him. The cringe doesn’t end here. They get into one of the worst fighting sequences, and somehow, Bhairav manages to escape. After an hour of baseless events, during the final face-off between the two alphas, Gautam tells Bhairav that Rasika doesn’t exist in reality. He hallucinates her presence all the time. A random flashback takes us to the night when Bhairav discovers Rasika having an intimate moment with her manager. Bhairav loves Rasika so much that he grabs her by the waist and begs her not to leave. Bhairav accidentally breaks her spine during this time and keeps her dead body in the freezer of the zoo. Since then, he thinks that Rasika is always there with him. Gautam learns about this as he sees Bhairav talking to someone who is not even there.
Well, the audience knew about this in the first half, though. The worst thrillers are always blamed for having the worst twists. So, Aarvi lives on and now sings the worst possible version of “Galliyan.” Bhairav kills ACP Ganeshan and makes himself available to a tiger at the zoo, who attacks him. We should be ashamed if we think a mere 8-foot (not sure due to the quality of the VFX) tiger can kill the muscular John Abraham. So, here comes the post-credit scene. There is this mental hospital where he is under medical care. A familiar face comes to visit him. Guess who? Rakesh Mahadkar! Logic? How dare you! I left my brain in the freezer of the zoo; you find a place of your own.
‘Ek Villain Returns’ Ending Explained: Will There Be Another Sequel? Is It Going To Be A “Villainverse”?
Bhairav is suffering from some sort of chemical imbalance in his brain as he sees the ghost of Rasika everywhere. He convinces himself that it was Rasika who made him a killer. With each killing, he seeks her validation. As Rasika once told him that only a villain could have whatever they wanted, Bhairav goes rogue. Well, if the makers had given enough effort to establish a more powerful motive than putting the word “villain” in every other sequence, maybe there would have been the slightest chance for the audience to return to their homes with something. The ending is bizarre, and there is only one spoiler: don’t waste your money; wait for it to come to Netflix and remove it from your list. Everything is terrible about its ending and post-credit scenes. There is nothing more to explain than a mad man obsessed with a non-existing woman who is on a spree of killing women, who wronged men.
So, in “Ek Villain,” we see a demanding housewife who thinks less of her husband. Here, in “Ek Villain Returns,” there is a woman who says “Maaro ya Maro” (Kill or be killed). Understandably, Mohit Suri has established a notion that the female characters in his films always need saving. He introduces them as strong, independent women, but when defending themselves, they act like the most vulnerable creatures in the world. It is pretty fascinating how sequels these days don’t require the audience to see the first film all over again. Just a mere subtext is enough for someone who hasn’t even seen the first part. “Ek Villain Returns” doesn’t have anything to do with the first chapter of this villain-verse. The police learn nothing from the past and fail to capture the killer. There is no investigation in the film, only the face-off between Gautam and Bhairav. There were three parts where it contained the essence of Suri’s 2014 ridicule. First, in the beginning, ACP Ganeshan talks about Rakesh Mahadkar, then the smiley face mask, and later, in the post-credit scene, the introduction of Rakesh Mahadkar himself. Remove all three settings, and “Ek Villain Returns” is still the same bad movie.
So, yes, there will be a part 3 to this “Villainverse” from one of the most disappointing directors in Bollywood. There is no possible logic to how the two timelines of the killers are related and why the smiley face mask is used again. There is no reason why Mohit Suri won’t find a producer to fund his big, dull, brilliantly idiotic movies. The future of Bollywood is quite settled with all the upcoming “verses.” Well, one thing is for sure, Bollywood has no future, if they tread on the similar path and pay no focus whatsoever to character development and the story.
The Academy Awards should consider giving the “Best Editor” award to Devendra Murdeshwar. There is this guy named Lee Smith, known for his great strategies for jumbling the storyline. Mr. Devendra went even further. He creates three timelines for the story and then becomes confused about what to do with the timelines. The story was simple and could have been told at a linear timeline without bringing the plots back and forth time and again. The cuts were so irritating that, at one point, it became exhausting. Vikas Sivaraman’s frames are good enough for a movie of such quality. He was very ordinary in his movements, let alone being creative. There were some unnecessary close-ups and tilted shots. Mohit Suri always has one good thing about his films: his taste in music. The music in “Ek Villain Returns” is needlessly loud. The remake of “Galliyan” is so absurd that, at one point, it becomes unbearable. If you expect that we will suggest anything good about the movie, at least technically, then we are sorry to say that there is nothing we can offer. We can assure you that this is one of the worst movies of recent times. For example, Arjun Kapoor gets punched on the left side, but the band-aid is on the right side. Disha Patani is a ghost; no one can see her except John Abraham, yet Tara Sutaria sees her while hiding under the bed when John pulls her out.
This is an extraordinarily bad movie directed by a director who has almost 20 years of experience in filmmaking. Bollywood should stop making movies, or at least they should only do it for OTT. Netflix kindly allows you to play a movie at 1.5x speed. Arjun Kapoor is only suitable for contemporary roles, where he doesn’t have to show his alpha male personality or, in layman’s terms, his physique. The directors’ obsession with Disha Patani exposing her sexuality is becoming more cringe-worthy than the gossip of the B-Town. John Abraham has had the same look for almost over a year now. Maybe he still follows a superstitious belief from his “Madras Cafe” days. Someone needs to make him sit down and ask what went wrong in his career. Tara Sutaria isn’t worth mentioning. If we are to rate the film, “Ek Villain Returns” can have a 2-star rating out of 10.
P.S.-If you exploit an actor like J.D. Chakravarthi, at least give him some decent screen time. Yes, Bollywood has decreased this much. If you want to watch “Ek Villain Returns,” don’t go to the theaters; wait for it to come to Netflix and then proudly ignore it.