Bhairav (John Abraham), deeply enamoured, struggles to cope with Rasika’s (Disha Patani) rejection, the woman he loves. Aarvi (Tara Sutaria), an aspiring singer, vanishes under enigmatic and ominous circumstances from her home. In his quest to find her, Gautam (Arjun Kapoor), her lover, becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. His path intersects with Bhairav’s, leading to a series of dramatic and action-packed events.
“Ek Villain Returns” offers a straightforward storyline interwoven with numerous twists that keep the audience engaged until the final moments. However, the film faces challenges in maintaining a cohesive balance between its non-linear narrative, impacting the pacing and continuity, particularly between its two halves. While injecting momentum and flair into the screenplay and dialogues, the character development falls short, leaving the central figures lacking depth and relatability. Despite their human flaws, the characters struggle to evoke empathy or genuine connection.
The film could have benefited from a more positive portrayal of women, avoiding the toxic elements that undermine its exploration of love, loss, rejection, and heartache. Certain roles, like those played by Shaad Randhawa and J D Chakravarty, required more thoughtful development, as did the depiction of police procedures, which could have enhanced the overall narrative support.
The recurring version of “Galliyan” in the background serves as a calming presence amid the intense proceedings. Yet, the rest of the album lacks the same hummable and memorable quality, failing to match the enchantment of the original “Ek Villain” soundtrack.
While the performances in the film do not particularly stand out, most of the actors feel constrained by their roles. Enhanced character depth could have provided more opportunities for individual performances to shine. “Ek Villain Returns” offers a plethora of plot twists but fails to incite emotional investment in the characters or their story, leaving a desire for a more impactful viewing experience.