Villain: The Review.

An ensemble of familiar tropes and then some more.That was Villain for me.B.Unnikrishnan, to whom the mantle of the master of suspense in the Malayalam film industry has passed on from the likes of K.Madhu and Shaji Kailas for lack of a better contender has always tried to show a sophisticated ,suave Mohanlal in his movies.Mohanlal has looked his best in recent times in B.Unnikrishnan movies but there’s always something missing in those films that leaves you dissatisfied as a viewer at the end of the day, they’re like a Venkatesh Prasad spell so to speak, there’s the run up, there’s intent, there’s attitude but lacks the most important deliverable, pace and ultimately gets hit down the park in utter disdain.

Here too B.Unnikrishnan loads his movie with attitude and an urbanity which is totally detached from the reality of our social and political infrastructure in an attempt to emulate the refined cop movies from Hollywood that we have grown up to, over the years.To be fair, the movie tries earnestly to hang on to its tagline, which is basically about the shades of grey in every one of us.Except for Manju Warrier’s , every other significant character in the movie has a twist to their persona which unravels as the movie progresses and in a way justifies the makers claim that there’s a villain in every hero and vice versa.But the movie chooses to deal with this theme superficially and if B.Unnikrishnan was inspired here by Nolan’s Dark Knight and Vishal’s role is intended as a loose take on Legder’s Joker, he misses the mark here by a mile.Getting his actors to break into dialogues that would be more at home in Hollywood than in a Malayalam film doesn’t necessarily make the film suave if thats the intention.And B.Unnikrishnan needs to get over his fascination with crony digital interfaces which again look like an unimaginative rethinking of the gesture interfaces from the Iron Man movies.He had a field day with those in Mr.Fraud, just for the record.Do away with those spinning progress bars and the beeps in the cyber cell please, 2.0 is to hit the screens soon too by the way.The director tells us he’s as up to date as any of us as a viewer of the thriller movies and shows from abroad when he throws in the term “black site” randomly during an interrogation scene.

Emotional thriller,is the phrase thats been doing rounds ever since this movie was released and if you ask me i honestly do not know what that is, psychological thrillers i know but emotional, that’s new to me.If those are movies where the sequences cut rapidly from forced melodrama and action back to back then maybe this is indeed the genre that the Villain belongs to.Yes,Mohanlal emotes the hell out of himself in a most restrained performance of his in recent times here but please do not invent a new genre just because you feel obliged to justify ever outing of his.Now, that the phrase has been coined, the only Malayalam movie that fits the label that comes to my mind is Kouravar from yesteryear.But thats another time, another era, another film entirely.To me this movie would rank behind Grandmaster and Mr.Fraud amongst Unnikrishnan’s works with Mohanlal.

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