The Villain Review: Star power simmers in an effective potboiler
A formulaic potboiler, The Villain has all the elements: Crisp dialogues, songs aplenty, stylish looks, menacing action, and a powerful message of good and evil existing within oneself
The Villain is one of those films which reassert the fact that blending star power with a harmonious storyline sans arrogance can make for an engaging viewing. This film is easily one of director Prem’s most intellectual filmmaking outings. Although he has been unable to experiment too much, considering the casting of Shivarajkumar, whose audience look for a mass-appeal character, the director succeeds in telling a feel-good story that is well-disciplined in terms of not going overboard.
Cast: Shivarajkumar, Sudeep, Amy Jackson, Saranya Ponvannan
Opening with the song Kaiyalli Billina Kolu Maiyella Dharmada Shaalu, The Villain is a play on the Ramayana. But this is no historical story or a revenge drama. In the film, young Ram’s (Achintya) father (Sharath Lohithashwara) is a drama artiste, enacting the role of Ravana. Ram’s mother (Saranya Ponvannan), an ardent devotee of lord Rama is against her husband playing the role. This leads to the mother leaving the house, after which the father passes away. Ram is left an orphan and grows up to become Ram Kaizer (Sudeep), one of the most wanted criminals.
Another song, Naan Silent Agidre Raama Violent Aadno Raavana introduces Ramappa (Shivarajkumar). Though his name is revealed later, he is in search of Ram aka Kaizer Ram for which he collects the Aadhaar card details of every citizen in the area. A silver chain with a Rama pendant is his only clue to reach Ram Kaizer, and he takes the help of Janaki (Amy Jackson), whom he accidentally meets.
How does Ram become Ram Kaizer, who is living a don’s life in London? Why is Ramappa in search of him, and why does he take Janaki’s help? All of these are narrated through commercially-viable ingredients.
A formulaic potboiler, The Villain has all the elements: Crisp dialogues, songs aplenty, stylish looks, menacing action, and a powerful message of good and evil existing within oneself. But there are flaws too. This is a simple story stretched way too much with unnecessary scenes. Prem has stuck to the old method of filmmaking, including his signature portrayal of rediscovering a lost mother, and the sentiments between a mother and son. Maybe, it’s time for the director to experiment with a new method to convey the relationship.
Shivarajkumar and Sudeep have been faithful to Prem’s vision. Individually, the two have tried different characters from their norms and emerge successful. Both of them even share a good rapport. Amy Jackson just adds to the glam quotient, and nothing more. We also have Mithun Chakraborty in a blink-and-miss role and Telugu actor Srikanth in an extended cameo.
There’s not much comic relief, except for Shivarajkumar’s sidekick, Kuri Pratap. Unlike Prem’s other films, Saranya Ponvannan as the mother is not poignant enough. Arjun Janya’s music is a highlight with Prem’s touch in every track. Cinematography by Gire is a visual treat. A sincere attempt by the director, The Villain is sure to be a treat for fans of both the stars.