Ek Villain

A hero. A heroine. And a villain. That's the standard template Bollywood has been using for decades now. Very infrequently do you come across a film that creates undeniable curiosity for the antagonist. Mohit Suri's EK VILLAIN is one of those rare films.

The attention-grabbing trailers and the mesmerizing soundtrack have generated substantial curiosity for the film. So much so that the know-alls are drawing parallels with the Korean thriller I SAW THE DEVIL [2010]. The grapevine gains credibility because the two films -- the Korean as well as EK VILLAIN -- focus on the serial killer and how the male protagonist, whose life has overturned due to a distressing occurrence, courtesy the serial killer, gets even with the antagonist. The resemblance ends there.

The similarities apart, EK VILLAIN charters a novel route completely. The characters, the reason that compel a simpleton to slip into the robes of a serial killer, the clash between the good versus evil factions are dissimilar when compared to the Korean film. So, there!

Let's enlighten you about the premise, before we proceed further! Guru [Sidharth Malhotra] is a quiet, tough and ruthless guy working for a gangster [Remo Fernandes] in Goa. A dark past continues to haunt Guru, until he meets Aisha [Shraddha Kapoor]. He falls in love with her and subsequently marries her.

Guru quits his job and moves from Goa to Mumbai to make a new beginning with Aisha. Just when things seem perfect, she falls prey to an attack...

Devastated, Guru starts hunting the miscreant and is shocked to learn of his seemingly innocuous and unpretentious identity. Something is amiss and Guru is unable to place a finger on the precise problem. What is the assailant's motive?

Instead of narrating the tale in a linear fashion, Mohit Suri uses an altogether different mode this time -- reverse narration -- whereby the story unfolds after the catastrophe has occurred. The tender moments between the lovers, the upheaval in their lives caused by the antagonist, the twisted game of cat and mouse and the thrilling twist in the finale... Mohit has a knack of narrating stories with flourish and the tale he sets out to narrate in EK VILLAIN keeps you on your toes all through.

Mohit makes EK VILLAIN an enthralling experience, no two opinions on that. Although a number of movies have focused on serial killers, the talented raconteur along with screenplay writer Tushar Hiranandani [also the creative director of the film] makes sure they pack several remarkable twists that transcend the genre, making it a novel experience for the spectator. The undercurrent of tension and the violent crimes are intertwined skillfully with the affectionate moments between the lovers and the emotional turmoil that the protagonist goes through. The writing, in short, keeps you captivated right through the finale, which, again, is not of the run of the mill variety. As a matter of fact, the clash between the good and the evil towards the concluding stages is the icing on the cake.

Mohit's movies are intensely violent, most of the times, and EK VILLAIN follows the same format. Given the nature of the subject, Mohit keeps the proceedings dark, but not repulsive. At the same time, the ruthlessness of the antagonist is depicted minus blood, gore and explicit visuals.

One has come to expect a winning soundtrack from Mohit in film after film and the music of EK VILLAIN lives up to the gargantuan expectations. This being his first movie outside of Vishesh Films, a production house synonymous with chartbusters, it's imperative that Mohit scores on this front as well and score he does. 'Galliyan', 'Banjaara', 'Zaroorat' and 'Awari' -- each of the tracks is soulful and reverberate in your memory even after the screening has concluded.

Dialogue [Milap Milan Zaveri] is another highpoint of the enterprise, garnishing the well penned and well executed sequences with flourish. In fact, Milap, who is known for witty and double entendres, surprises you with punch-packed lines that decorate the sequences wonderfully. Cinematography [DoP: Vishnu Rao] captures the vision of the storyteller on celluloid to perfection. While the film is visually rich, the underwater sequences stay in your memory. The action sequences, thankfully, are not overdone and balanced neatly in the proceedings. Background music [Raju Singh] is superb.

After repeatedly being cast in fun-loving/naughty parts in film after film, Riteish Deshmukh gambles with a dark, intense, sadistic character in EK VILLAIN. It's a radical shift from what he has portrayed thus far and I must add, the actor carries off the unpretentious, sinister streak with brilliance. A middle class man who's fighting his inner demons, you take to the performance all the more because Riteish manages to keep it fine-drawn and plausible.

Sidharth Malhotra is an absolute revelation, catching you with complete surprise as he handles several complicated moments with exceptional understanding. Recall the portions that portray him simmering with pent up anger. This must've been a challenging character to interpret, since the actor gets to portray varied shades and as he gets into the groove, you realize that the three-film-old actor has finally come of age.

Shraddha Kapoor, the catalyst who moves the story forward, looks dew-fresh and manages to add so much to every sequence she features in. Again, the part she gets to portray is not of the run-of-the-mill variety or ornamental in the scheme of things, for she has to move the story frontward. Post AASHIQUI-2, this is yet another performance that's sure to multiply her fan-following.

Mohit uses the supporting cast most appropriately. Aamna Shariff is in super form as the nagging wife. Her sequences with Riteish are first-rate. Shaad Randhawa is top notch. The coolness with which he carries off his part is sure to catch your eye. Kamaal R. Khan springs a pleasant surprise. He gets to reprise a character that's sure to be an instant hit with his fans. Remo Fernandes handles his part very well. Asif Basra is perfect. Prachi Desai sizzles in the song 'Awari'.

On the whole, EK VILLAIN is a stylish, spellbinding and terrifying edge-of-the-seat thriller. It's a step forward in this genre, without doubt. A sure-shot winner!

Humshakals

Seriously, it's damn difficult to poke fun at oneself. More so, if the film-maker has delivered an unmitigated disaster in the past. But Sajid Khan has learnt to laugh at himself.

Sample this: In an important sequence in HUMSHAKALS, Satish Shah -- who portrays the part of the warden in a mental asylum -- decides to teach Saif, Riteish and Ram Kapoor [who attempt to flee the mental asylum] a lesson they'd never forget. "I am going to inflict the biggest torture on you guys," he tells the trio, before proceeding to show them -- hold your breath -- Sajid's own HIMMATWALA. In the end [while showing the footage during the end credits], Satish Shah takes out the DVD of Sajid's sister Farah Khan's TEES MAAR KHAN to inflict torture on the trio.

You can't help but laugh at this genuinely funny jibe that Sajid cracks on himself and his sister. Unfortunately, the laughs are scattered and few and far between in HUMSHAKALS.

That Sajid Khan has a wacky sense of humour and makes zany, over the top entertainers is known to all and sundry. In his latest outing HUMSHAKALS, Sajid attempts a crazy entertainer yet again, but peppers it with inane, ridiculous episodes that makes you wonder, is this for real? I mean, there's a drug that would make you behave like a dog for a day... a sneeze that could make someone so infuriated that he bays for your blood; the only way to calm him down is by offering him a lollipop... a spray can transform men into sex-maniacs... a comatose patient can be alright when people start fidgeting with the medical apparatus, thinking it to be some sort of a video game... oh yes, there's a Prince Charles look-alike too, who breaks into Hindi in a bizarre climax.

Sure, we relish madcap entertainers, but what Sajid serves in HUMSHAKALS transcends all limits!

The story revolves around a greedy uncle [Ram Kapoor] of a tycoon, Ashok [Saif Ali Khan], who hatches a plot to usurp the riches unscrupulously. While the uncle connives with his doctor-friend [Nawwab Shah] to grab the fortune, complications arise when they discover the look-alikes of Ashok and his friend Kumar [Riteish Deshmukh].

Bollywood's obsession with double roles [many, many films], triple roles [recall Amitabh Bachchan's triple role in MAHAAN or Rajinikanth's triple role in JOHN JANI JANARDHAN], even multiple roles [Sanjeev Kumar reprised as many as nine roles in NAYA DIN NAI RAAT] is too well known. But Sajid Khan's HUMSHAKALS is, perhaps, the first Hindi movie that has each of the three male leads [Saif, Riteish and Ram Kapoor] reprising triple roles.

Like his cinema or not, Sajid's laughathons have regaled the spectators since his big screen debut [HEYY BABYY; 2007]. Over the years, the HOUSEFULL franchise -- HOUSEFULL and HOUSEFULL-2 -- have only cemented his status as an entertainer who endeavours to make the audience flex their facial muscles in those 2+ hours. The only sore point in his career has been HIMMATWALA, but one expects him to bounce back with renewed vigour with HUMSHAKALS.

Handling a complicated screenplay is indeed demanding -- an arduous task, frankly -- but Sajid has, in the past, handled multiple characters in most of his films. Nonetheless, the script of HUMSHAKALS falls into a new terrain completely and the going can be slippery if it lacks the grip. Of course, the intent -- providing laughs and offering entertainment -- remains the same, but the triple roles have to ensure abundant entertainment for you to relish the ride. While Sajid keeps the storytelling simple and uncomplicated, the fun quotient is missing for most parts, appearing in bits and spurts only.

While HUMSHAKALS begins on a promising note -- it's a premise ripe with comic potential -- the graph only spirals southwards barely fifteen minutes into the film. It's not sacrilege to attempt a no-brainer -- the audience loves it -- but the smiles/guffaw/laughter should never be in short supply. With a run time of approx. 2.30 hours, HUMSHAKALS drains you at the end of it, despite the actors putting their best foot forward and trying so so so hard to make you giggle even when the gags are weak. The banal jokes and the lame PJs coupled with the muddled screenplay are clearly responsible for the royal mess.

It's sad to see Sajid going wrong yet again. HEYY BABYY, HOUSEFULL and HOUSEFULL-2 weren't path-breaking films, but they entertained. Period. HUMSHAKALS doesn't.

The soundtrack is pleasant, with the composer belting out a couple of hummable tunes. The plush locales of London and the grandiose production design gives the film the required scale.

HUMSHAKALS belongs to Riteish, who proves, yet again, that he has an incredible timing for comedy. Watch him in all three roles and you'd agree, he adds so much to the sequences. Saif steps into a new territory with this one, but there are times when he looks out of place completely. Ram Kapoor too gets to portray parts that demand him to go over the top and the actor does complete justice to them. The leading ladies -- Bipasha, Tamannaah and Esha Gupta -- are pure eye candies. They don't get much screen time actually. Satish Shah is hilarious and brings the house down. Nawwab Shah is efficient, as always. Chunkey Pandey is wasted. Ditto for Aakash Khurana and Suresh Menon. Darshan Jariwala is alright.

On the whole, HUMSHAKALS tries too hard to make you laugh, but fails miserably.

Humshakals Movie Review - Ham-Specials

Expectations:

William Shakespeare's 'The Comedy Of Errors' was among his shortest, farce and popular plays which he had penned down in his initial phase of writing. This play about mistaken identity was adapted by many writers, including our own Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's 'Bhranti Bilas' (1963), which was later adapted into a full length feature film. Five years later, our Hindi filmmaker Bimal Roy produced it in Hindi in the form of 'Do Dooni Char', which starred Kishore Kumar in the lead role. This movie was written by none other than Gulzar who, after a gap of fourteen year made it with more detailing in the form of 'Angoor' starring Sanjeev Kumar in the lead role. 'Angoor' turned out to be one among India's finest adaptation of 'The Comedy Of Errors' and joined the elite list of the best comedies from our Hindi cinema. Almost three decades later, director Sajid Khan comes up with his new film 'Humshakals' which seems to be weakly inspired by 'The Comedy Of Errors', but instead of two main protagonists Sajid gives us three main protagonists and that too in triple role instead of the double roles. So let's find out whether 'Humshakals' is a modern day adaptation of the classic comedy or totally different and original on its own.

Humshakals Movie Review

Story:

'Humshakals' is the story of a rich millionaire Ashok (Saif Ali Khan), who dreams of becoming a stand up comedian and is supported by his best friend Kumar (Ritesh Deshmukh) in pursuing his passion. Enters Mamaji (Ram Kapoor), who wants to get hold of Ashok's property and thus tries to declare them mentally unstable. Ashok and Kumar are locked inside a mental asylum, where in an another section, are locked Ashok (Saif Ali Khan) and Kumar (Ritesh Deshmukh) who are actually mentally unstable. One thing leads to another and Mamaji catch holds of the lookalike's of Ashok and Kumar and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.

Screenplay & Technicalities:

The story has basic inspiration from 'The Comedy Of Errors' but with lots of restructuring done to it. The first half starts on a very slow note and the movie picks up only post interval. Many funny one-liners make you smile instantly over its wittiness along with some stupidity. There are some good, enjoyable scenes like Ritesh-Bipasha Bengali talks, Saif's one-liner jokes, Ritesh trying to control his urination, Saif-Ritesh-Ram dressing up as females, the whole board meeting and few more. However, they are done in typical Sajid Khan style. On the flip side, the first half takes lots of time in establishing its main plot line and the climax turns out to be bit disappointment. The board room scene built up the expectation level and with the entry of the third look-alikes the climax part has to be triple the fun, but sadly, is a weak version of 'Housefull' movie's climax scene. There is a brilliant scene where the director mocks about his own and later his sister Farah Khan's flop film, which sadly is again copied from Ritesh Deshmuk-Aftab Shivdasani's film 'De Taali'. The writers run out of the interesting screenplay due to which the movie tends to drag in many parts and seems super lengthy. The camera work is strictly average and the European locations have been seen in many earlier films.

Humshakals Movie Wallpaper

Music & Direction:

Music by Himesh Reshammiya is peppy and goes well with the flow of the film. 'Caller Tune', 'Khol De Dil Ki Khidki' and 'Hum Pagal Nahin Hai' are entertaining. 'Piya Ke Bazaar Mein' is inspired by Laxmikant Pyarelal's hit song from the 70's (We at Moviezadda had recently exposed it in our popular segment - Chori Mera Kaam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paGTzzNPsd0). 'Barbaad Raat' could have been omitted. Background music is funny, especially the paratha track and few more.

Sajid Khan loves to make films that are full of one liner jokes and loads of slapstick comedy in it. 'Housefull' and 'Housefull 2' were among his wittiest work till date along with 'Heyy Babyy' in terms of his style of comedies. Though I personally feel 'Darna Zaroori Hai' was his best work till date and we unanimously will agree that 'Himmatwala' was his worst. Here in 'Humshakals', he comes up with a brilliant idea which eventually works only in parts and at rest places struggles to find its right path. The actors are made to ham to their best with lots and lots of loud humour attached to it. He once again tributes in his way to Hindi cinema by making his actors imitate legends like Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, Rajesh Khanna, Pran, Rajendra Nath, Dilip Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Randhir Kapoor, Ranjeet and few more. It's good to see that Sajid has got his funny bone back after the debacle of 'Himmatwala' but is not as strong as his few earlier good comical films were.

Humshakals Movie Still

Performances:

Saif Ali Khan hams to the fullest and seems a total misfit for these roles. He performs very badly in almost every scene and adds as a big negative point to the film. He looked out of place and lacked the conviction factor. Whenever he and Ritesh were in the scene, the later performed that same scene with total conviction, where as Saif overacted to his worst. Ritesh Deshmukh is outstanding in all the scenes. He is a master of this genre and it's due to him the movie seems worth a watch. You can see his hard work and sincere efforts in all of his four different avatars. Ram Kapoor is average in his main character, but shines out in the mentally unstable character along with his female version. It's a hilarious treat to see all three guys dressed up as females. The girls (Tamannaah Bhatia, Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta) have hardly anything to offer in this movie except for a few scenes and songs. Satish Shah is hilarious and does his part with total grace. Chunky Pandey, Darshan Jhariwala, Suresh Menon and Aakash Khurana fail to impress.

So bol meri 'Filmi Khopdi' iss film mein kitna hain Dum?

Dum? Well, if you love Sajid Khan style of comedies, then there is a good amount of dum for you along with comical performances by Ritesh Deshmukh and few witty one-liners attached to the film. The movie has lots of flaws and stupid scenes that might not appeal at all to the intellectual crowd and the ones expecting it to be even at par with Sajid's earlier comedies. 'Humshakal's might be like a 'Ham-Specials' for many, but for the ones who enjoy this genre, it's a time-pass masala entertainer that sadly ends up as a three ring circus.

Ratings: 2/5

Fugly Movie Review - Uglier Version Of Rang De Basanti...

Expectations:Superstar Akshay Kumar officially started producing films starring him in the lead role. Besides these films, there were few small films like 'Speedy Singhs' and 'Breakaway' where he experimented by making films with newcomers. Despite of not having encouraging results, he still kept producing films under his banner with newcomers in the lead role. The latest to come from this production house is 'Fugly', Which again has plenty of newcomer actors associated with it along with a curiosity about the title of the film (Yeh Fugly Fugly Kya Hain?). So let's find out, what lies beneath this unusual named film - 'Fugly'.

Fugly Movie Review

Story:'Fugly' is a story of four friends - Dev (Mohit Marwah), Devi (Kiara Advani), Gaurav (Vijendra Singh) and Aditya (Arfi Lamba), who lives a carefree life in the capital of India. Everyone has their own individual dreams to fulfil, but sadly get trapped in a net created by a police inspector Chautala (Jimmy Shergil). Chautala makes their life miserable and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:The story is a combination of films like 'Fukrey' and 'Rang De Basanti', but presented very shabbily. The first half takes lot of time in establishing the plot and after that the second half keeps dragging with super weak and uninteresting screenplay. Except for a couple of good visual locations of Leh-Laddak and a couple of scenes, including Jimmy Shergil, there is nothing exciting or impressive about this super dragging film. The dialogs are worse and has lots of usage of bad Delhi slang along with many double meaning words in the film. Delhi city is not as bad as it has been portrayed in the film with visuals of people cheaply eve teasing or molesting females in a normal market or shops or any other public places. There are back to back loads of bad scenes which dilutes the film to the fullest. Some scenes like Vijendra insulting American flag or the suicide scene of Mohit followed by Kiara in the supermarket getting molested, TV journalist even after knowing the whole scenario behaves as if she just got the breaking news and the final portions of the film are terrible and indigestible. The camera work is good. Editing is weak and needs to trimmed down the film by around 20-25 minutes.

Fugly Movie Wallpaper

Music & Direction:The title track of 'Fugly' has been in charts for quite a long time and is a hit score. But, the audience will feel cheated as the video of the title song featuring Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar was nowhere to be seen in the film. Rest all songs are avoidable and does not go with the flow of the film.Director Kabir Sadanand debuted with 'Popcorn Khao! Mast Ho Jao' which had a different concept, but failed to see its end results at the box office. Even in 'Fugly', he tries to recreate the magic of 'Rang De Basanti' but fails miserably as with every passing scene the movie tends to be unbearable with illogical scenes happening around in the film. The whole concept on an overall basis seemed kiddish and confusing at times.Performances:Mohit Marwah looks cool, but wished the same could have been said about his performance. Kaira Advani looks great but fails to act. It's shameful to see national champion Vijendra Singh doing such terrible role. Arfi Lamba is the worst among all. Jimmy Shergill is good in his part, but wished his character was well arched and should've been shown with more detailing. Anshuman Jha lends good support. Rj Prince's cameo was welcomed.

Fugly Movie Still

So bol meri 'Filmi Khopdi' iss film mein kitna hain Dum?Dum?, Except for few good visuals, Jimmy Shergill's performance and decent one liner plot, there is absolutely nothing exciting in this film. The movie has worst performances, terrible screenplay and horrible direction. In case you are still wondering what does 'Fugly' means, then would apologize saying that even after watching and tolerating this crap film one fails to understand or decode the unusual name. Akshay Kumar should focus only on his films and stop giving us such films, which could be termed as an uglier version of 'Fukrey' and 'Rang De Basanti'.Ratings : 1/5

Chal Bhaag

It's not rocket science to gauge how much the film industry is obsessed with gangster movies. Some survive the test, most bite the dust. This week's CHAL BHAAG brings together the essences of power and politics.

Majorly shot in Delhi and Mumbai, the film starts with a politician and his aides being bumped off in his car by a dreaded don's three shooters, thus giving the cops a reason to be on their toes. Around the same time, Munna Supari [Deepak Dobriyal], Bunty [Tarun Bajaj] and Daler Singh [Varun Mehra] also get arrested for petty crimes. Due to the pressure of the don demanding the release of his three men, the police inspector frees the don's men and replaces them with Munna, Bunty and Daler. The real story unfolds when this trio find themselves embroiled in a fake encounter plot.

CHAL BHAAG goes haywire right from the word go. The film has an interesting premise, but the director doesn't have the grip on the plot and it shows in the film. The same goes for the film's music. The songs are forced in the narrative to get the film going. The sole saving grace is its background score. The flaws could have been covered had the editing been razor-sharp.

Of the cast, it's the versatile Deepak Dobriyal that steals the show. The same cannot be said for others including Varun Mehra and Tarun Bajaj, who have a long way to go in acting. Keeya Khanna hardly gets her place in the sun. Sanjay Mishra, Yashpal Sharma, Mukesh Tiwari and Manish Khanna deliver what's expected from them.

On the whole, CHAL BHAAG is a dull fare.

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