Now coming to Villa, the story looking as a whole looks good. The story begins with Jebin (Ashok Selvan), a writer who is trying hard to publish his first book. His love-interest is played by Sanchita Shetty (of Soodhu Kavvum fame) as Aarthi who is an art student. Jebin is short of confidence as he loses his father and nothing positive seems to happen in his life. He needs money so decides to sell his father’s property, a Villa in Puduchery. He goes to East-facing Villa situated on the Lighthouse road and is blown away seeing the architecture and paintings in the house. He begins writing his second novel in the Villa and meanwhile his lover Aarthi is impressed with the house seeing it’s architecture and asks him not to sell this property. Till here, there were no instance of scary elements and story movies at a decent pace. Then, Jebin uncovers the mystery that lies hidden in one of the paintings.That’s where Villa starts and within few minutes first half ends. The rest of the story which moves at a brisk pace has black magic, haunted elements and an interesting concept which is the suspense element.
The shortcomings in Villa is it’s predictability. It’s very evident from the first frame that the house is haunted and hence the sequences where the director tries to show the house is haunted looks unnecessary. Apart from the concept of future prediction through paintings as a result of black magic (the suspense element in this movie), there are no ghosts or scary elements which are needed for thrillers. The frame darkens and the audience wait to see something haunted pop up but nothing seems to be coming and the wait continues. And the most frustrating part was the 15 minute sequence where a black magic expert talks about negative energy and quotes “Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed!”. Following this was a reference from “JJ Thompson effect” and a tuning fork experiment to neutralize the negative energy. I appreciate when people bring science into pictures but here this was totally unwarranted for. It hugely hampers the pace of the movie and I saw people laughing in the theater for these dialogues. My friend said ,”Probably, a 12th standard student would have got two 2 mark questions right if he had seen Villa :P.”
Coming to the positives, I loved the technical elements in Villa. The art direction, the music by Santhosh Narayanan, Cinematography by Deepak Kumar Padhy and editing by Leo John Paul. Every department has done an excellent job and especially the music and cinematography was superlative. A minute sequence before the interval was mind-blowing. And finally, the thing I loved the most was the length of the movie and a small cast. I’m happy that new directors have changed the cliched 2.5 hour movie with five songs.An hour and 45 minute was an ideal time and had the director increased this, Villa would have been a disaster. For a debut director, Villa is good but not impressive. The screenplay could have been better and some parts of the movie are left ambiguous. Summarizing, Villa is definitely a watchable suspense-thriller movie but don’t go for it with expectations of Pizza. I wanted to give a 2.75 on 5 for this movie but for it’s impressive music and cinematography, I would settle for 3 on 5.
On a scale of 5, I would give Villa 3.0/5.