Shaad Ali’s Kill/Dil takes place in a vacuum. The story moves without any logical propellers—shooters shoot at traffic signals and bars and zoom off without anyone ever suspecting them, forget chasing them, an ignorant man gets a job as an insurance seller on the basis of a realization that life is precious, a girlfriend does not know what her boyfriend does for a living.

If you keep the logic aside, which we Indian movie goers are anyway good at, the emotions on display are stale. The characters are mere sketches. Ali and his team, including cinematographer Aveek Mukhopadhyay and production designer Sharmishta Roy, try some stunts—but all tried-and-tested ones, not rescuing even a single scene from the film’s dull cosmetics and the jadedness of the screenplay by Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Mehrotra.

Govinda in Kill/Dil

While Chopra seems to be in a mental stupor throughout the film, just making it through with some mild, mindless hysteria, the lead male actors try hard to hammer in their own brands of histrionics. Singh, a combination of raunchy, spontaneous and overwrought in body language and dialogue delivery, and Zafar, the epitome of stylized theatrics. Riding the Bullet, on the prowl for their target, or pulling the trigger with abandon, all of it mostly in slow motion, the two boys don’t look even a wee bit intimidating.

Dev is slightly more convincing as the love-stricken puppy, all tears and sighs, in the second half of the film. The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, firmly entrenched in the mainstream space, has some interesting tunes and layers, and Singh is evidently having fun dancing alone as well as with Govinda. But what’s a little dance sequence got to do with a film?

Playing the role of villain in Dev and Disha’s love story, Govinda has some vintage moments, although this is far from the goofy Govinda characters we know. An unmarried man, fathering two boys and unwittingly turning cruel when they seem to go out of his control, is an interesting blueprint for a villain. And although the character is not fleshed out, Govinda is the only actor who drums up some amount of menace. His trademark dance grooves remain as nimble and ridiculous as ever.

Kill/Dil is an amalgam of Hindi film clichés, the most obvious being the orphans, set to uninspired gimmicks. A waste of a Govinda comeback.

Kill/Dil released in theatres on Friday.

The four other releases of the week

Boyhood

John Wick

David Leitch and Chad Stahelski direct an assassin-genre action thriller about an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters who took everything from him. It is set in New York City, and Keanu Reeves plays the lead role.

Beauty And The Beast

Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux and André Dussollier star in a Franco-German romantic fantasy based on the novel of the same name, directed by Christophe Gans.

With Balraj Sahni in an unforgettable lead role, M.S. Sathyu’s Garm Hava, which first released in 1974, gets a re-release as part of the PVR Director’s Rare series. The film is about the plight of a north Indian Muslim family in the years following Partition. Sahni’s Salim deals with the dilemma of whether to move to Pakistan or stay back.

Boyhood, John Wick, Beauty And The Beast and Garm Hava released in theatres on Friday.

Close