Director Unnikrishnan B has adopted a convincing terrain in his new film, Villain , abating the common traits of a superstar movie. He has conceived it as a visually arresting and perfectly stylish emotional thriller, supported by a delicately pruned screenplay. Indeed, the mind-blowing performance of Mohanlal as Mathew. K. Manjooran IPS, is the backbone of the movie.
Unnikrishnan has diligently exploited the salt-and-pepper mien of the actor and his succinct dialogues find a new realm of expression and impact through the performance of Mohanlal. Borrowing quotes from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”and its brilliant blending in the tale make the film impressive.
Manjooran faces the dilemma of defining justice in his hot pursuit of serial killers. He is a shattered man, who lost his wife and daughter in a tragedy. A voluntary retirement does not give him the sought-after relief, as he is on a mission now. The serial murders in the story rev up the excitement befitting a thriller.
The face-off between the guilty consciousness of the protagonist and the self-defined justice of the antagonist evoke interesting moments. It’s not the heroic action that vanquishes the vice; instead the victor emerges from the conflict between personal notions. The filmmaker’s smartness lies in synthesizing the emotional quotient of the predator and the victim.
Invigorated by the opulence in the making, the director manages a balancing act in narrating the conflict of the hero and other characters in the murder mystery. Even though he could shun run-of-the-mill situations, the room for predictability is there for an astute viewer. It might be the distribution possibilities that made the director to cast actors from other languages. Their presence only generates curiosity about their characters, but the film fails to drum up their support through a remarkable performance.
A self-imposed rigorous homework by a director is palpable in “Villain,” though there are compromises regarding the ‘intuitions’of the protagonist in his hunt for the perpetrators. Besides, a character’s description of a woman’s nail polish after watching her from a distance is largely far-fetched.
Manju Warrier as Neelima Mathew is a vital character in the flick. But she may not offer you startling moments of her acting prowess. While Vishal, who makes his debut in Malayalam, as Sakthivel Palaniswamy, springs a surprise. Hansika Motwani in the role of Shriya Venkatesh hardly provides any excitement. Tollywood actor Meka Srikanth’s character Felix D. Vincent could have been done by any actor and his maiden appearance in Malayalam is not noteworthy. Meanwhile, Raashi Khanna as police officer Harshita Chopra has shown justice to her character.
Top-notch technical aspects are the highlights of “Villain” and they raise the benchmark of the narration.
Cinematographers Manoj Paramahamsa and N.K. Ekambaram specifically deserve applause for their captivating visuals that immensely lift the movie to a thrilling landscape.
The background score by Sushin Shyam lends the required momentum for this thriller.
There is a villain in every hero, and there is a hero in every villain. It’s a watchable emotional thriller that would satiate your expectations from a Mohanlal movie.
Verdict: Fairly good