Bollywood Reviews, Features

Ek Villain Returns (2022): Every Love Story Has “The Villain”

When there is a hero, there is supposed to be a villain too. Everyone comes to know the story of the hero, but nobody is familiar with The Villain’s story. Whenever you read a love story, remember “The Villain” because there’s always one in every story. He is a serial killer. His symbol; the yellow smiley mask!

Starring Arjun Kapoor, John Abraham, Tara Sutaria and Disha Patani, “Ek Villian Returns” is a cult suspense-thriller which is a “spiritual successor” to Bollywood‘s 2014 action-thriller Ek Villain. The film has been written and directed by Mohit Suri, and produced by Ekta Kapoor and Bhushan Kumar.

Featuring John Abraham (Left) and Arjun Kapoor (Right)

Ek Villain Returns (2022): The Murderous Story Of “The Villain”

The Present Day:

The scene opens showing a tall building in the city of Mumbai where a party is on in full mode.  All of a sudden, a mysterious man wearing a yellow smiley mask breaks through the glass wall and starts a massacre. He starts injuring and killing the girls randomly at the party. One of the girls at the party who falls victim to the massacre is Aaravi (Tara Sutaria). The masked man brutally murders Aaravi.

Featuring Arjun Kapoor as Gautam and Tara Sutaria as Aaravi

The story moves to a conference where we see Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) V.K. Ganesan (J.D. Chakravarthy) addressing a crowd that “the villain” has returned after eight years. Behind Ganesan, a projector video is shown playing the clip of the psycho serial killer Rakesh Mahadkar (Ritesh Deshmukh) who was involved in the brutal murders of several women(Ek Villain 2014), and was himself killed by the gangster boyfriend (Sidharth Malhotra) of one of those women victims whose name was Aisha (Shraddha Kapoor) as an act of vengeance for her murder. ACP Ganesan warns the crowd that another serial killer, even more sinister than Rakesh Mahadkar, has emerged in the city after eight years.

Ek Villain Returns

Starring John Abraham (left) as Bhairav and Arjun Kapoor (right) as Gautam

The Flashback:

The scene moves back to a marriage ceremony, where a spoiled son of a rich businessman, Gautam Mehra (Arjun Kapoor), barges in and beats up the guests black and blue. There was a reason for this act. Actually, the marriage ceremony was of his ex-girlfriend Siya (Karishma Sharma) who was getting married to another guy, and out of frustration Gautam had started creating havoc in the ceremony.

Gautam and Aaravi knew each other, and shared a special bond. Aaravi was a budding stage singer, and Gautam used to support her work. He was a regular audience at her stage shows.

But Aaravi had a competitor named Keerti who was more popular than her. So, she requested Gautam to scare Keerti somehow so that she would never dare to compete with her, not even in her dreams. At night, Gautam wore a yellow smiley mask and went to Keerti’s house just to scare her. Keerti got so frightened by the disguised Gautam that she mistook him as some psycho murderer. She fled the city the very next day, never to be seen again.

With Keerti gone, the path was clear for Aaravi. She rose to fame, and was thankful to Gautam for helping her out. She even started loving him. However, Gautam and Aaravi were involved in regular tiffs and misunderstandings which were affecting their relationship. Aaravi was broken as Gautam left her.

Ek Villain Returns

Arjun Kapoor as Gautam and Tara Sutaria as Aaravi in a scene from Ek Villain Returns

The Present Day:

The police identify the psycho serial killer! According to them he is none other than Gautam, and they are frantically searching for him. The police tracks him when he is inside an apartment building. As the police almost catch him, he creates a massive bomb explosion inside the building, jumps straight out of the window, and escapes.

The police set to work calling all suspects of Aaravi’s murder to the police station. One of the suspects is a taxi driver named Bhairav Purohit (John Abraham). He used to pick up Aaravi on a daily basis, and her last phone call was on his number. The police interrogates Bhairav, and he starts narrating his past to them.

The Flashback:

The scene moves six months back, where we come across a beautiful woman named Rasika (Disha Patani) who was romantically involved with Bhairav. She was a daily passenger in Bhairav’s taxi, and with time they had become close.

The Present Day:

Bhairav tells the police that he is a cab driver and it is his job to carry passengers in his taxi. He has no involvement in Aaravi’s murder. The police have no other option other than to let him go.

However, Bhairav has darker plans in mind. He sends a reporter to a television news channel to accuse Gautam Mehra of murdering Aaravi. The reporter shouts out loud on the live television show that “Gautam Mehra is the psycho serial killer who is murdering women in the city”. He also accuses Gautam of committing murders out of frustration as he is unsuccessful with his love life.

Ek Villain Returns

John Abraham as Bhairav in a scene from Ek Villain Returns

The reporter comes back to Bhairav, who is wearing a yellow smiley mask. He tells Bhairav that he has done what he had asked him to do. As the reporter says this, the masked Bhairav looks behind and sees Gautam standing behind him, fuming with rage. The furious Gautam pounces on Bhairav and a tremendous fight endures between the two. As Bhairav has his face covered all the time with a smiley mask, Gautam is unable to make out who he actually is.

After a prolonged intense fight, Bhairav somehow escapes from Gautam’s wrath and goes to his love Rasika. Raskia asks Bhairav the reason for not killing Gautam. It is revealed that Bhairav was only doing what Rasika asked him to do. She was the one who was controlling him, and making him commit murders of women in the city!

The Flashback:

Ek Villain Returns

The scene from Ek Villain Returns: Aaravi leaves in a taxi

The story moves back to Aaravi and Gautam’s life. Gautam had the realization that he had wronged Aaravi by deserting her. One day, Gautam visits a party where he got involved in a fist fight, and suffered severe injuries. Aaravi was there too at the party. She saved the injured Gautam by taking him to the hospital. But as he recovered, this time Aaravi deserted him. She left in a taxi with Gautam banging the car’s window out of frustration.

Meanwhile, Bhairav and Rasika’s romance was on its full bloom. Bhairav had planned to marry Rasika, and had gone to the jewelry store to purchase her favorite diamond ring. As he was returning with the ring, he got attacked by some robbers who started snatching his belongings. When they pulled out Rasika’s ring from him, he got furious and beat up the entire gang of robbers to pulp. After turning the robbers to mincemeat, Bhairav reached Rasika’s residence only to find her making out with another man, who happened to be her office boss!

Featuring John Abraham as Bhairav and Disha Patani as Rasika

The next day, Rasika got into Bhairav’s cab. She was aware that Bhairav knows about her affair as she had seen him watching her and her boss from the window. So, she told him everything about her affair with her boss. As Bhairav drove with Rasika beside him, they happened to see a couple quarreling in the middle of the street. The girl wanted a breakup but the boy loved her, and was unable to imagine a life without her. Seeing this, Rasika looked at Bhairav and said, “Who do you think is the culprit here? It’s obviously the girl! If you spare her today, she will move on to hook up and cheat other men”. Hearing this, Bhairav got down from his taxi caught hold of the girl, and murdered her brutally in front of her boyfriend. From then onwards, Bhairav decided to murder every woman who would cheat on her man. His victims were even those women who had one-sided lovers they did not care about.

Situations had taken turn for the worse that day too! As Aaravi was leaving in a taxi cab with Gautam banging the taxi’s window furiously; guess who the taxi driver was? It was none other than Bhairav himself! He saw how Aaravi had wronged Gautam buy deserting him and thus, she became his next victim. That was the reason Bhairav had barged into the party wearing a yellow smiley mask, and murdered Aaravi.

Disha Patani as Rasika and John Abraham as Bhairav in Ek Villain Returns

The Present Day:

ACP Ganesan comes to know that Aaravi is alive. Bhairav hadn’t killed her but had kept her locked up in a zoo! Ganesan knew that it was not Gautam who was behind the serial killings of women in the city. He calls Gautam and tells him that Aaravi is alive, and also gives him the details of the spot where Bhairav had kept her. Gautam rushes to the zoo in search of Aaravi. As Gautam leaves, Bhairav barges into Ganesan’s house, and brutally murders him.

Gautam enters the zoo, and Aaravi sees him approaching. But unfortunately, she gets caught by Bhairav before he can reach her. Bhairav carries her and locks her in the basement. Bhairav’s friend, present at the venue with his son, tries to stop him but gets killed in the process as Bhairav is extremely agitated.

Meanwhile, the police comes and catches the two snarling men (Gautam and Bhairav) who are ready to pounce on each other. Bhairav uses his friend’s son to testify that it was his friend, now dead, who was the actual serial killer.

Gautam vs Bhairav: Scene from Ek Villain Returns

The police releases Bhairav and Gautam. Bhairav immediately runs to the zoo along with Rasika as they both wanted to murder Aaravi. Just as Bhairav is about to kill Aaravi, Gautam arrives and pounces on him. They engage in a ferocious hand-to-hand combat. When they both get exhausted fighting each other, Gautam reveals to Bhairav that Rasika is not with him. She is dead! In fact, Rasika was dead three months back and there was no Rasika with Bhairav all this while. He was simply hallucinating thinking that Rasika was with him and helping him commit the murders.

The Flashback:

The scene moves on to the taxi cab where Rasika was confessing about her affair with her boss to Bhairav. She told Bhairav that she can’t be with him anymore. She got out of the car, and tried to leave. As she was leaving, Bhairav embraced her. He embraced her so hard that her fragile rib cage broke, and she died on the spot.

When Bhairav came back to his senses, he saw Rasika dead in his arms. He carried her dead body, and kept it in a freezer. From then onwards, Bhairav developed a tendency to hallucinate thinking that Rasika was with him. The imaginary Rasika he used to hallucinate, guided him to commit the murders of women for her sake. In fact, Bhairav was nothing but a schizophrenic psycho killer!

The Present Day:

In the climax, Gautam tells Bhairav after their fight that his love for Rasika was fake. Just imagining a deceased person does not prove the essence of love. In fact, Bhairav’s love for Rasika had turned into hatred, and that’s why he had killed her. Gautam further told Bhairav that he was the one who truly loved Aaravi. His love for Aaravi was unconditional, even if she didn’t love him back. And that’s the reason he was ready to go up to any extent to save her from Bhairav’s clutches.

Ritesh Deshmukh as the psycho serial killer Rakesh Mahadkar from Ek Villian (2014)

Hearing Gautam’s words, Bhairav has a self-realization. He becomes aware about the crimes he has committed towards humanity. The tiger’s cage was just beside them, as they were fighting inside the zoo. The guilty Bhairav opens the cage, and the tiger pounces on him. Gautam rescues Aaravi, and leaves with her. Aaravi continues her singing profession with the support of Gautam and her fans.

The Post-Credit Scene:

Bhairav is shown lying on the hospital bed. He is all bandaged up, and has lost an eye from the tiger’s attack. A visitor arrives and sits beside his bed. The visitor is none other than serial killer Rakesh Mahadkar who is still alive! He was supposed to be dead in the prequel but had actually suffered a serious brain injury which had left him paraplegic. He stares at the injured Bhairav with cold eyes and utters the same sentences which he used to say to his victims before murdering them, “Don’t worry my friend. From now on I won’t give you a chance to complain!”

Ek Villian Returns (2022) Official Trailer:

Stay Tuned For My Electrifying Review Of This Cult Suspense-Thriller, COMING SOON!

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