Snapshot from the film's teaser
Snapshot from the film's teaser

Kill review: Lakshya’s train thriller is packed with fantastic action sequences

Kill has the visual narrative of an action video game, with each level becoming more challenging, and promising an interesting episode.
Kill (Hindi)(3.5 / 5)

If you have longed for a John Wick-style action Indian film with brilliant set pieces, director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s Kill perfectly fits the bill. 

The film, starring actors Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Raghav Juyal, and Ashish Vidyarthi, among others, doesn’t meander before getting to the plot – a compartment in a moving train is hijacked by a few dreaded, violent dacoits. The hijacked compartment has two NSG commandos and a highly influential businessman’s family, and the dacoits plan to abduct the businessman’s family for ransom.  But, their plans go haywire after the NSG commandos enter the scene. Captain Amrit Rathore (played by Lakshya) is on the train to meet his girlfriend Tulika (Tanya Maniktala), along with a friend. As the dacoits hijack the train, it falls upon Amrit and his friend to save Tulika, and Amrit’s family, along with the other passengers. 

Like the fast-moving train, the screenplay also paces itself swiftly without boring the audience. The entire film is about this one episode, and action blocks are lined up in most scenes, coupled with a few montage sequences to elevate the emotions. The action choreography is brilliant and cinematographer Rafey Mehmood executes them seamlessly, and the set pieces deserve special mention. 

Kill has the visual narrative of an action video game, with each level becoming more challenging, and promising an interesting episode. The linear screenplay also helps in keeping the audience hooked on the plot.  The violence does escalate as the story progresses, staying true to its tagline of being the ‘most violent’ Indian film.

Kill also subverts several conventional Indian film narrative styles. For instance, though Amrit Rathore is an NSG commando, there are no ‘intro’ scenes of him involved in some mission that would exhibit his prowess to elevate his heroism or build stature. The audience has to travel with the character to find out about him. But, this also becomes the film’s undoing. 

While the scenes and the action episodes are creative and engaging, some background about the main characters would have helped the audience to really root for them. The use of the lead female character only as a plot device to further the story is another letdown in this otherwise wild ride of a film. Keanu Reeves’ John Wick, which seems to have influenced Kill, also suffered from the same drawback of having a simplistic story that restrictively uses the female character to redeem itself through highly stimulating action sequences.  But there is no use of sexual violence to fuel revenge or heighten the hero’s saviourship in Kill. This is a win, considering how most action films validate the hero’s revenge by subjecting a female character close to him to sexual assault.

The casting could have been better. While Lakshya has an impressive physique apt to perform action sequences with great ease, his acting is rather disappointing. This can also be attributed to the writing, which does not delve into the character's emotions. 

As the damsel in distress, Tanya does not have enough scope to perform, but she delivers a convincing performance. If there is anyone who stands out with his acting in this film, it is Raghav Juyal. Juyal delivers an exceptional performance, and each time he appears on the screen, he makes you quiver in fear. He also has the best dialogues in the film, which he expresses with absolute perfection – exhibiting how cheeky and cruel he is at the same time. Ashish Vidyarthi yet again proves his acting talent, selling his character as a bad but wise criminal well.

Despite its flaws, Kill is mostly an entertaining film for fans of the action genre.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film’s producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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