Villian movie cast: Mohanlal, Vishal, Manju Warrier, Hansika Motwani, Raashi Khanna
Villian director: B Unnikrishnan
Villian rating: 2.5 stars
Director B Unnikrishnan’s new film Villain, starring Mohanlal as the protagonist, has some well written and well-shot scenes that establish the mood of the character and give the audience a fair idea as to what could have happened to him or her in a particular scene with the minimal use of words. The director has let the visuals speak for themselves mostly, which sets a serious tone and texture for the film.
IPS officer Mathew Manjooran (Mohanlal) is introduced standing quietly at a police scrapyard starring at a mangled car and he turns around to see a damaged lorry, staring blankly at it with an appearance of a defeated man. The unshaven face and the long coat covering his sloped shoulders suggest a traumatic experience. And when two cops salute him after bumping into him unexpectedly, it tells the audience that he is a top officer of the law. And the film is tiptoeing around a terrible tragedy that struck Mathew. The screenplay is intriguing and sets in an element of suspense.
Mathew loses his family, wife Neelima (Maju Warrier) and his teenage daughter in a freak accident. While his daughter is killed on the spot, Neelima left in some sort of coma, where she regains consciousness for a short period of time, only to re-experience and re-suffer her tragedy and pain.
With a dead daughter and the endlessly suffering wife, Mathew is pushed to make some hard choices. When he is on the verge of quitting his police work for good, he crosses paths with Dr Shaktivel Palanisamy (Vishal).
Shaktivel is a doctor and a vigilante, who serves justice to those who escape the law. It is now up to Mathew to stop the killing spree of Shaktivel and face the moral consequences of his own actions in the past.
Villain discusses the existential question that was first popularly raised in director Mani Ratnam’s classic Nayakan. Neenga Nallavara Kettavara? (Are you a good man or bad man?) Velu Naicker, was unable to answer his daughter’s question until the end. But, Unnikrishnan does with nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes narrative in Villian.
Mohanlal is convincing as a dejected cop, who is stuck in the past and looking for a reason to continue living. While for Vishal, it is the best part ever written for him so far. As a violent vigilante, Vishal fits the bill aptly and has delivered a good performance. He should try doing more anti-hero films.
Watch Villain movie trailer here:
Hansika Motwani as Shreya plays Shaktivel’s girlfriend, gets a song and a few scenes to brandish her handgun. Her character doesn’t have much depth, unlike others. Srikanth plays a straight-up villain in the story and Raashi Khanna a cop assisting Mohanlal’s investigation.
The basic premise of the film is to establish that every person has a grey area and their choices either make them a villain or a hero. So according to the director, there is no permanent villain or permanent hero. This philosophical discussion takes the toll on the narration, killing the thriller element. After a point of time, it becomes easy for the audience to guess what will happen next. There the suspense goes out of the window.
The promise of a thriller that was made in the beginning of the film soon fades away as Unnikrishnan gets into a philosophical mood with the rest of the narration. The film begins to lose suspense when Mathew quotes Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth.