Love Hostel unfolds with a short video of a Haryanvi girl declaring that her marriage post eloping is finally official and she pleads for safety. This is followed by a terrifying shot of the couple being killed by a Dagar, a hitman played by Bobby Deol. The one hour and forty-minute long movie is based on another such couple played by Sanya Malhotra and Vikrant Massey, who have eloped from their homes and the lawless aftermath that prevails.

Vikrant is playing Ahmad or Ashu, a protagonist who gets involved with bad guys and is running with a bag of money. When asked about what his father does, he pauses before he can say “meat shop”, fully aware of the hostile looks he will receive. Sanya Malhotra is fierce as Jyoti.

This visually gruesome series of a hitman chasing a couple, leaving a trail of a bloodbath on his way to achieve his goals is what makes Love Hostel eerie, difficult to digest and utterly thrilling. Writer-Director Shanker Raman has made a horrifying movie with abusive language, haunting cinematography, and outstanding performances by each and every actor in the film. Vikrant Massey and Bobby Deol have swallowed the whole of their character and presented a masterpiece.

The cinematography is amazing. Never has Haryana’s vibe been so well settled on a camera. For the audience that craves thrill, horror and a story grounded in reality, Love Hostel is an exemplary piece of art. There is a scene where we see Dagar and a police officer’s encounter which is shot in the dimmest light and it is executed phenomenally. Shanker’s frames have always been good but Love Hostel takes a step up.

The only drawback of love hostel is its writing. The name is blatant, the storyline is very lazily written. There are a few easy coincidences in the story and loose ends when it comes to side stories. Even the character development could have given the viewers more to understand the characters better but I believe it may be a forceful decision in order to make the storytelling thrilling as well. The story will always remain the core of a movie and this drawback does hinder the experience a little.

Regardless, the chase sequences are well shot, and the usage of children in the storytelling is clever indeed. Love Hostel has been titled terribly as well. It seems to be an oxymoron to the actual story but still seems meh. It is a movie for the strong-hearted but still is less scary than the likes of NH 10.

Love Hostel is now streaming on Zee5.


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