Thank God it is Friday and with it there are some new releases to be watched and reviewed. So without wasting anytime lets get started. First up is the new Hindi film Love Hostel streaming on Zee5. Its trailer seemed dark and intense tackling a very important social issue of Honour Killing. And the film is directed by Shanker Raman who had earlier directed the prolific Gurgaon which has now become a cult of sorts. So you know that the director is ruthless and doesn’t shy away from going all out. That said is Love Hostel worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Love Hostel follows the story of a young couple belonging to different religions who elope and get married until the family of the bride hires a professional killer to track them down. The story is taut, dark and hard-hitting. There aren’t any sugar coated sequences to match your palate here. On the contrary, the drama is deliciously dark with keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The screenplay standing at just a 100 minutes is extremely tight and doesn’t allow you time to breathe. You are completed invested in the story from the first scene where the film opens with a chilling sequence featuring Bobby Deol. And that scene alone has the potential to give you nightmares. Almost shot as a neo-noir thriller with a tinge of dark humour, the focus then shifts to the protagonist as they follow the suite of eloping too. And here you know that you are in for a roller coaster ride, the seeds of which were sown right at the beginning. In between there are a few subplots which are interesting as the film tackles many social evils through its duration be it inter-religion marriages or homophobia or even that of drugs. The drawback though I felt was that some of the subplots could have been slightly more fleshed out. They were barely scratched on the surface which kind of minimalized the impact. But the brutal killings almost command your attention. The gore here is what nightmares are made of. Although the drama isn’t quite layered, it compensates the same with simply the intensity of the drama which ends in a shocking final act that made me go like ‘what the f***’, simply because it came out of nowhere. All in all a deliciously dark screenplay which is extremely fast paced.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues having the typical Haryanavi dialect is impactful and instantly represents the rustic lanes of North India, thereby lending authencity to the drama. The music is good but the BGM is exceptional although sparingly used. I loved the way there was no buildup before any killings that actually made it a chilling watch. The action sequences are brilliant and probably the highlight of the film. The cinematography is good and the editing is crisp. Director Shanker Raman is in a murderous mood here in probably his extension of form since his last outing Gurgaon. His direction is unapologetic, ruthless and quite brilliant.
The performances are exceptional. Aditi Vasudev as Nidhi and Simran Rawal as Babli have their moments to shine. In a surprise cameo, Akshay Oberoi is top notch and literally kills it with his expressions. Raj Arjun is effective as the cop. But the show belongs to the three protagonists – Vikrant Massey, Sanya Malhotra and Bobby Deol. Sanya Malhotra as Jyoti is a revelation. By now we all know that she is a fine actor but some part of me said that she was starting to get slightly repetitive. But come Love Hostel she completely shifts gears and she does a brilliant job. The ever reliable Vikrant Massey as Ashu puts forth a layered performance. His character is stuck between the rut of his duty, his family and his wife along with the social evils which are relevant even today and he is simply exceptional. But it is Bobby Deol as Dagar who steals the show. His character is intimidating, ruthless and sends a shiver down your spine every single time. He is simply outstanding here and the man deserves a spin off story of his own(makers are you listening?).
Love Hostel is deliciously dark and is sure to send a shiver down your spine. Only if it had been a little more fleshed out….Available on Zee5.