Love Hostel, a ZEE5 original film has been released on February 25. This thriller tells the tale of a hopeful couple seeking refuge from a relentless hitman.
Jyoti and Ashu are two individuals who fight for their love in a conservative society that invalidates and quells them due to religious differences. They face extreme pushback from family and even a threatening hitman, which depicts how far society can go to suppress diversity and inclusion.
Their situation seems hopeless, with despair being present all around them, with couples facing similar dire situations.
They encounter various setbacks along the way, such as misogyny, hatred and mistreatment, all the while being hunted by an unstoppable hitman, Dagar. Here, he seems almost ghost-like as he operates anonymously. He is the terrifying face behind the kingpin that operates behind the scenes, Jyoti’s grandmother, who wants nothing but to maintain socio-political status.
The involuntary non-existent support from Ashu’s family, paired with the wrath of Jyoti’s family, definitely makes the couple, as well as the audience, lose hope.
The shocking, yet inevitable detail included was that Jyoti’s younger brother falls into the trap of manipulation and brainwashing by his grandmother and societal norms. He transforms into a cold-blooded killer fuelled by his egoistic, patriarchal ideals.
The two protagonists, Jyoti and Ashu, played by Sanya Malhotra and Vikrant Massey respectively, convincingly portray star-crossed lovers willing to risk their lives for love.
Sanya Malhotra displays amazing confidence while playing the independent and outspoken Jyoti, a character trait often observed in her work. Vikrant Massey puts on a good portrayal of Ashu, showing submissiveness but also initiative when required.
The performance that takes the cake, however, is Bobby Deol’s depiction of the hitman, Dagar. His brutish, menacing looks, paired with an accurate regional accent are sufficient to remind the audience of a terrifying goon.
The movie touches upon the debilitating issue of honour killings, misogyny and ‘love jihad’ present in Indian society.
There are a lot of literary devices used to assist and enhance the viewing experience, with multiple metaphors, such as dogs being utilised to symbolise the connection between Dagar and his daughter, Sonu.
There is the use of splendid imagery that sets the tone of the scene. Dark tones are heavily present during most of the film, indicating threat and danger. While, occasionally, there is the use of lighter tones to depict a shift towards the safer side of the plot.
The issue of political supremacy by resorting to violence is a disturbing, yet realistic situation faced by many. This usually results in a decrease in progress and inclusivity.
There is a positive portrayal of LGBTQ+ relationships, without misrepresentation.
There is insufficient information about Dagar’s past. Audiences are not given the exact explanation of the reason behind his brother’s suicide.
There is also an awkwardly placed semi-musical scene in the final moments of the movie, which seems extremely out of place.
Dagar’s death seems somewhat anti-climactic, with the audience seeing his fate, no pun intended, coming from a mile away.
Love Hostel takes a unique route to represent multiple issues in Indian society and provides a mostly accurate depiction of the harsh reality some face.