Friday Streaming - While Zee5's Love Hostel delves into India's ridiculously bleak reality of honor killings, major chunks of the film feel underdeveloped!

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Shachi Lavingia
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Love Hostel


What's essentially a film about honor killings in North India, Love Hostel goes rogue towards the end, leaving you with so many unanswered questions.

Love above everything else sounds so simple, no? Living in a metropolitan city, we don't quite realize the privilege we carry when we have basic everyday arguments with mom and dad about wanting to date someone who doesn't belong to the same caste as us. Because not once during any of those arguments do we have to worry about violent opposition from family and society. Directed by Shanker Raman, Love Hostel is a thought-provoking film that talks about bigotry and its after-effects in Haryana mixed with dirty politics in the name of upholding tradition.

Cast - Sanya Malhotra is seen as Jyoti 'Billo' Dilawar, the granddaughter of an MLA who is hell-bent on killing her with her bare hands. Vikrant Massey plays Ahmed 'Ashu' Shokeen, whose father was wrongfully imprisoned and branded a terrorist and this defines Ashu's life going forward. Bobby Deol plays Viraj Singh Dagar, an emotionless self-proclaimed hitman.

Storyline - Love Hostel begins by playing a video of a newly married couple who takes the help of the police for protection against honor killings and is found dead within the first 2 minutes of the film. Enter Dugar, a self-appointed guardian of morality who acts as a hitman and goes around killing any interfaith couples in sight. Fuelled by false righteousness, Dagar kills anybody in his sight and some without motive, right until the end.

Watch the trailer here!

What I liked - Vikrant Massey does a fabulous job as Ashu by showing us so many different shades of masculinity with his emotional vulnerability being at the front and center of it all. Love Hostel isn't afraid to show Jyoti as a woman who wipes her husband's tears instead of falling apart and waiting for his protection.

What I didn't quite like - For a 90-minute thriller about interfaith marriages and their repercussions in North India, Love Hostel falls flat on its face because the movie literally makes no point. Bobby Deol's Dugar deserved a chilling backstory to explain the absolute psychopath that he is and without it, his character makes zero sense. Why does he kill literally everyone in sight, including a police constable and a dog? Who knows! While it's directed rather well, this movie is written so poorly. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around how the police made no effort to catch Dugar red-handed.

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