Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

‘Love Hostel’ Movie Review: Bobby Deol Kills It As The Poker-Faced Assassin In A Badly-Written Thriller

Outlook rating
2 / 5

Here’s the movie review of ‘Love Hostel’. Starring actors Bobby Deol, Vikrant Massey and Sanya Malhotra, this film shows the reality of Love Jihad and the rampant honour killings in rural India.

Bobby Deol In 'Love Hostel'
Bobby Deol In 'Love Hostel' Instagram

Shanker Raman

Bobby Deol, Sanya Malhotra, Vikrant Massey, Raj Arjun

What’s It About
Jyoti (Sanya Malhotra) flees her home, where she is due to be married off to someone else, to elope with Ashu (Vikrant Massey), a boy from a different religion. The court certifies their marriage and provides them temporary shelter in a safe house, but that is meaningless when Jyoti's politically powerful grandmother unleashes the merciless assassin Dagar (Bobby Deol) on them. Will the two be able to remain safe in the government-approved safe house? Will the assassin have a change of heart? Will the lovebirds be able to survive in a society that doesn’t accept inter-religious marriage? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie for all that.

Watch Trailer

What’s Hot
Bobby Deol as the poker-faced assassin is too good. Throughout his career, Deol has been accused of not being able to express emotions that well on his face. The makers utilised this aspect itself and cast Deol in a role that didn’t require him to emote anything apart from a brooding killer look. And by god, he excelled in it. Every time Deol is there onscreen, you feel like he would kill someone just with his bare hands (even though he does it with a silencer-attached gun). Fantastic!

The direction by Shanker Raman is spot on. He may have had a loose script at hand, but he ensured that you’re thrilled to bits in pretty much every frame. You might be watching a very simple scene of two friends talking normally, yet at the back of your mind, there is always a sense of a flying bullet coming in from anywhere out of the blue. That’s the magic Raman has been able to create and instil in the minds of the audience, and that’s commendable!

The concept of Love Jihad has been picked up perfectly. How the lives of young boys and girls are ruined just because they fell in love with someone from a different religious background, has been shown really well. Audiences in the rural parts of India do know about the rampant honour killings happening every now and then, but for the urban crowd, this is something that not many would be aware of the severity of it. It’s a good eye-opener for society in general.

What’s Not
The biggest letdown of the movie is the casting of Vikrant Massey and Sanya Malhotra. Trust me, they both are fantastic actors, and you get to see that in every frame. However, there is no depth to their characters. It’s not a trademark Vikrant Massey or Sanya Malhotra character. These two characters are running throughout the movie, and there are barely a few scenes where you get to see the two of them showcase their acting prowess, for which they’re usually known.

There is no justification for casting a talented actor like Akshay Oberoi in a role that was barely a few minutes of screen time. It could have been that Oberoi did it out of friendship for the director or the makers of the movie, but still, there should have been something in the character to work upon for him, and for the audiences to look forward to.

Even the police officer character, played by Raj Arjun, didn’t have anything to offer. It seems like the police were just there to clean up the corpses after a crime was committed. A better portrayal of the men in uniform would have gone a long way.

The writing by Shanker Raman, Mehak Jamal and Yogi Singha is very loose. There are so many doubts created in your mind about why this is happening or that is happening, and you’re hoping that at the end of the movie, these doubts will get cleared. But sadly, they don’t. Things like who was Massey working for? What illegal activities was he involved in? Why does he have fleeting visions of his father? Then, what led to the police officer becoming so angry against Deol’s character? It’s showing in the passing a bit, but why not explore that a bit further so that the audience gets a clear picture? There are numerous plots that are left unanswered throughout, and that’s probably the place where even good acting and good direction couldn’t save the project.

Lastly, the name 'Love Hostel' makes you feel like the story would be set in the safe house or rather the 'hostel'. But only a minuscule part of the story is set in the hostel, and therefore there is hardly any reason to call the movie that. The expectations set by a title like 'Love Hostel' along with what the trailers showed, it seemed like the entire running, chasing and killing would be happening inside the one hostel. Sadly, that was not the case, and therefore the name was completely unjustified. 

The main topic of the movie has been discussed in many films before. The only thing that could have saved this movie and set it apart was a great script. Sadly, there were too many loose ends for that to happen. The acting was good, indeed. Watch it once just for Bobby Deol. The rest is just passe. I am going with 2 stars.