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'Kill' Review: Despite Its Flaws, Lakshya Starrer Makes For A Gripping Watch

Cast: Lakshya, Raghav Juyal, Harsh Chayya Director: Nikhil Bhat Rating: 3/5 ‘Kill’, starring newcomer Lakshya, is an intense action-thriller that makes a decent impact with its brutal and realistic action scenes. It, however, fails to hit the bullseye as the screenplay is not up to the mark. The Karan Johar-backed flick centres on Amrit, a […]

Cast: Lakshya, Raghav Juyal, Harsh Chayya

Director: Nikhil Bhat

Rating: 3/5

‘Kill’, starring newcomer Lakshya, is an intense action-thriller that makes a decent impact with its brutal and realistic action scenes. It, however, fails to hit the bullseye as the screenplay is not up to the mark. The Karan Johar-backed flick centres on Amrit, a commando who boards a train to save his love interest Tulika (Tanya Maniktala) from being married off against her will. Things, however, take an unexpected turn when a gang of knife-wielding dacoits hijack the train and unleash terror on the passengers. The plot has tremendous potential but lacks depth.

Slick fight sequences and well-fleshed-out characters are the hallmarks of a compelling action-thriller. ‘Kill’ delivers on the first front but falls flat on the second one. The action sequences, which are the backbone of the film, have been executed with a fair degree of competence and are quite gory. In an unnerving sequence, Amrit stabs a foe in the eye. In another one, an angry woman beats a goon to death with a stick. These scenes are clearly not meant for the fainted-hearted. However, none of them feel forced. Much like in Salaar, the violence here is pretty justified within the film’s framework. As such, there is no attempt to shock or scandalise viewers.

That said, ‘Kill’ could have made a much stronger impact the world-building and character development packed a punch. The makers do not attempt to explore Amrit’s personal life or his relationship with Tulika. This makes it difficult for viewers to empathise with him, resulting in a bland first half. The screenplay also relies a bit too much on ‘telling’ than ‘showing’, which further dilutes its appeal and makes most characters feel one-dimensional. This is particularly true for Baldev Singh Thakur (Harsh Chayya), Tulika’s father. There are a few scenes where the audience is told that he is a ‘powerful’ man but there are no scenes, barring the rushed wedding sequence, that highlight this claim.

The second half is equally as intense and gory as the pre-interval portions. It also has some emotional depth, which makes it better than the first half. The scene where Tullika runs into trouble with the gangsters is one of the big highlights of the film. Sadly, even these aspects aren’t enough to compensate for the bare-bones story. Additionally, the final fight sequence though well-presented feels a bit too predictable.

Coming to the performances, Lakshya impresses in the fight scenes but struggles in the emotional ones. He also doesn’t emote too well in the ill-fitting romantic scenes. Abhishek Chauhan too hits the right notes in the action scenes and also manages to capture the character’s vulnerability when he is wounded in a fight. Aashish Vidhyarthi adds depth to his role despite limited scope, Raghav Juyal holds his own in the fight scenes and does justice to an inherently unhinged character. Tanya Maniktala has potential but doesn’t get enough scope in ‘Kill’. The rest of the cast serves its purpose. The production values are top-notch and give the film a distinct Hollywood feel. There is no scope for music and the makers, to their credit, don’t stuff the narrative with unnecessary songs.

To sum up, ‘Kill’ isn’t a game-changer for the action genre as many had claimed prior to its release. It clearly needed a better screenplay to earn that honour. However, ‘Kill’ is a good one-time watch for those fond of realistic and unhinged reel action.

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