Years ago, Anushka Sharma’s NH 10 said it far more effectively.
That too dealt with honour killing and had a woman (Deepti Naval) spearheading the family that spills blood to avenge a perceived stain on its reputation.
Director Shanker Raman, along with co-writers Mehak Jamal and Yogi Singha, treads the same path but without making the same impact.
Politics, power and families that frown upon a Hindu-Muslim marriage have been cinematic subjects for so long that you gasp for freshness. Try this dialogue as a sample: “She chose Eid over Diwali.”
So when Jyoti Dilawar (Sanya Malhotra) weds Ahmed Shokeen alias Ashu (Vikrant Massey), they go to court to stay alive. The judge sends them to Love Hostel which has the ambience of a sleazy brothel. Run by a dodgy manager, there are couples thrown together in a crowded dorm that resembles a prison of yore.
“Go celebrate your first night behind that curtain,” says one girl to Jyoti, pointing to something like a saree hanging across a niche.
But there’s Dagar (Bobby Deol), a mercenary on their trail. Wearing a blotched patch on his face to look menacing, Dagar guns down Jyoti-Ashu’s lawyer’s family, the entire dorm full of couples and anybody else he sees en route. But his heart beats for a puppy that he picks up and nurtures.
With a gunman on the loose, you have Jyoti demanding loudly, “Where have you been?” when Ashu joins her to make their escape.
Suddenly, there’s the favourite cliché of Ashu’s father, a kind-hearted butcher, who’s been framed and is behind bars.
And there’s one couple that goes out of its way to help Jyoti-Ashu. Guess who? A gay couple, of course.
For some reason, Akshay Oberoi who’s a likeable actor, makes a fleeting appearance as a shady driver.
Of course, he’s gunned down too.
Somewhere in-between all the corruption and killings, Jyoti’s family decides to give her younger sister to the groom she ditched to marry Ashu.
But Ashu’s the hero, he turns up in the nick of time to save the younger sis.
After all this, is there a happy ending for the runaway couple? You’ll be surprised where this goes. Surprised because Shanker Raman had made a watchable film called Gurgaon sometime back. But Love Hostel which does no justice to Sanya, Vikrant, Bobby or Akshay, is not a place you’d enjoy stepping into.
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