LOVE HOSTEL is a disappointing fare due to the weak script and execution

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Love Hostel Review {2.0/5} & Review Rating

LOVE HOSTEL is the story of a couple on the run. Ahmed Shokeen aka Ashu (Vikrant Massey) and Jyoti Dilawar (Sanya Malhotra) reside in a town in Haryana. Both love each other and decide to marry, against the wishes of their parents as Ashu is a Muslim. His father is currently in prison after an AK-47 gun was planted in his meat shop. Hence, he is alleged to be a terrorist. Jyoti’s grandmother, meanwhile, is Kamala Dilawar (Swaroopa Ghosh), an MLA. She and Jyoti’s family have forcefully fixed her marriage with a man from their community. Days before her marriage, Jyoti runs away with Ashu. Both approach court and get married. The judge asks them to shift to a safe house and the parents of both are told to come for the next hearing, a week later. The safe house is also called a ‘love hostel’ as all the runaway couples reside there. It is managed by a corrupt cop, Chaudhary (Sidharth Bharadwaj). On their first night at the safe house, Ashu is urgently called by Chaudhary. The cop informs him that he needs to finish his job of illegally delivering beef, which he has been doing for a certain Devi Singh. Ashu makes it clear that he wishes to leave the job. However, Chaudhary and Devi Singh insist and hence, he goes out to do the delivery. Jyoti, on the other hand, had posted a video on social media declaring that she has married Ashu and that if anything happens to her, Kamala Dilawar would be responsible. An enraged Kamala then summons Viraj Singh Dagar (Bobby Deol) to find them and bring them to her residence. Dagar is a mysterious killer who has been eliminating runaway couples successfully. As per government records, he died 7 years ago. While Ashu is away, Dagar arrives at the ‘love hostel’ and starts killing couples randomly while trying to search for Jyoti. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Love Hostel

Kunal Sharma’s concept is interesting. The idea of a safe home for couples because of a regressive mindset in the society can make for a great film. Mehak Jamal and Yogi Singha’s story, however, is poor and fails to do justice to this fine concept. Shanker Raman’s screenplay is not tight. The biggest problem with the writing is that the subplots are weak and are not properly explained. Also, the finale is a disappointment. Yogi Singha’s dialogues are average. A film like this should have had hard-hitting dialogues.

Shanker Raman’s direction is okay. He was in much better form in his previous film, GURGAON [2017]. Here, he has been aided by a weak script and hence, he is not able to do much to salvage the product. He deserves praise for the realism and for giving the film a NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN type of treatment. A few scenes are well executed like Sanya’s confrontation with Chaudhary and Sanya’s reaction when she sees the ‘love hostel’ for the first time. In fact, till a point, the film is engaging and one looks forward to what happens next. Ideally, the film should have been chiefly about Ashu and Jyoti on the run while trying to save themselves from the wrath of Dagar. Unfortunately, the sub-plots gain prominence in the second half. And the backstories are never properly explained. Hence, one fails to understand certain developments. Moreover, a crucial character is forgotten completely in the climax. The film ends on a disappointing note.

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Bobby Deol is decent but plays a unidimensional character. Hence, the impact is minimal though his character is menacing. Vikrant Massey is not in top form. Sanya Malhotra is quite good and tries to rise above the substandard script. Swaroopa Ghosh is nothing special. Raj Arjun (Sushil Rathi) is great but his character gets a raw deal. Sidharth Bharadwaj is memorable. Simran Rawal (Babli Dilawar) and Aditi Vasudev (Nidhi Dahiya) leave a mark. Sonal Jha (Sushil Rathi’s wife) is wasted. Seema Raja (Ashu’s mother) does well in a small role. Akshay Oberoi (Diler) is just okay. One wonders why he opted to play such a random character. Yogesh Tiwari (Randhir Dilawar; Jyoti’s father), Yudhvir Ahlawat (Rakesh Dilawar), Vishal Om Prakash (Advocate Ashok Khanna), Manoj Bakshi, Ramesh Kundu (Suraj Bhan), Navneet Malik (Param) and Suman Kumar Jha (Sajid) are fine.

Shor Police’s music is forgettable. The film should have been a song-less fare. Clinton Cerejo’s background score has a cinematic feel.

Vivek Shah’s cinematography is neat. Mausam Aggarwal’s production design is realistic. Amritpal Singh’s action is full of bloodshed and is a bit disturbing. Utpala Barve’s costumes are straight out of life. Nitin Baid and Shan Mohammed’s editing is appropriate.

On the whole, LOVE HOSTEL is a disappointing fare due to the weak script and execution.



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