'The Villain' movie review: An epic misfire

Last Updated 02 November 2018, 10:26 IST

Film: The Villain

Kannada (U/A)

Director: Prem

Cast: Shivarajkumar, Sudeep, Amy Jackson

Stars: 2 stars (out of 5)

Change is inevitable, they say. But Prem has remained obstinate. Pressing the pause button with all his might, Prem has blocked his creativity. The director is still stuck with the ideas that first made him, and then crushed him.

There is a process on how he decides his next. He does a quick recollection of his previous works and the story, more or less, is ready for the new film.

You know it’s a Prem film when characters are thrilled by rowdysim, when there is a needless fight sequence in a prison, when the lead actress struggles to say lines in Kannada and when the hero is lucky to get a song with six heroines. And even if the universe conspires against it, Prem will succeed in incorporating this one aspect: the mother sentiment.

The after-effect of the film is no different from the one we feel after oversleeping and missing a dream interview. In utter bewilderment and shock at what Prem has done with Shivarajkumar and Sudeep, two brilliant actors at his disposal, the first question that comes to mind is: are you serious?

Inspiration from the Ramayana isn’t a new phenomenon in Indian cinema. Prem, too, decides to show the ten-headed Ravana’s cunning in all its glory. And like it’s believed, we see in The Villain that Ravana isn’t entirely an evil person. An underworld don Ram (Sudeep) is chased by Ramanna (Shivarajkumar) for a reason that is only revealed in the final 30 minutes of the movie.

For a masala flick, there is no harm in the story. But in the director's mantle, Prem appears like a student who has blanked out in the examination hall. The narration is confusing. Characters get introduced and forgotten in no time. There is no end to silly twists here, and for once, we crave for predictability in a film.

The action in The Villain seems like an ode to Rohit Shetty as cars keep getting tossed and flown about in the air. The VFX is much too video-game like.

Shivarajkumar, expectedly, doesn’t disappoint but he is let down by a weak role. Sudeep shines like gold among the dross. One of the finest actors in the country, he delivers a flawless performance.

Someone must tell Malavalli Saikrishna to stop writing old-fashioned dialogues for films set in this era. It’s disappointing that there are no mouth-watering face-offs between the two leads. One star is for Arjun Janya’s music.

Prem and team called it a ‘big’ film. They focused on the funky hair-styles for the leads. They have indeed hunted for some beautiful locations. Sadly, they forgot the main element: the script.

(Published 19 October 2018, 11:07 IST)

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