Love Hostel, Zee5’s latest Hindi tragic romantic drama, is now streaming. Directed and written by Shanker Raman, the film stars Vikrant Massey as Ashu, Sanya Malhotra as Jyoti, Bobby Deol as Dagar. The rest of the cast includes Raj Arjun, Simran Rawal, Yogesh Tiwari, Swaroopa Ghosh, Yudhvir Ahlawat, and others. The film is a Red Chillies Entertainment presentation produced by Drishyam Films.
The synopsis reads, “Love Hostel is a of survival and hope in a world where power, money, and principles lead to mayhem and bloodshed. With their families against them and with a ruthless mercenary after their life, will love kill the spirit of this young couple or will they find their fairy-tale ending?”
Zee5’s Love Hostel Review Contains No Spoilers (Trigger Warning: Suicide, Violence, Bloodshed)
The opening scene of Love Hostel will send chills down the spine. Dagar kills a young couple who went against their families and got married. The entire scene was enough to hint that what’s coming next will be more cruel and hard-hitting. Just like the young couple, Jyoti elopes with Ashu on her wedding day. The duo gets secretly married, and with the court’s permission, they’re sent to a safe house called ‘Love Hostel’.
Love Hostel has many young couples like Jyoti and Ashu waiting for their families to accept them. The hostel seems to be the only place they think is “safe”. But are people in love really safe? In a country where people are killed for their religion and food, will love to have any chance to win? Religion and class differences play a crucial role for most Indians regarding marriages. That’s also a big “issue” for Jyoti’s family. Will they accept the couple’s love or make them suffer till they can’t feel pain anymore?
The Hindi film industry, among other film industries, have made brilliant love stories. They’ve shown love is pure and doesn’t abide by the world’s rulebook. The lovers often get a happy ending. But the reality is far different. We still live in times where love is seen as a crime. Many couples fight for months and years to be with their partner. Some win, some lose and some die. When different religion is involved, not just the family but many around take offence. Lovers are seen as criminals who deserve the worst death penalty out there.
In Raman’s Love Hostel, Dagar is the man who believes he’s doing “social work” by killing people in love. There are plenty of people like Dagar in the world who are severe and proud of their actions. But many people enable the actions of individuals like him. The person handling the gun to kill is equally horrible as the one pulling the trigger.
Shanker Raman’s Love Hostel on Zee5 immediately grabs your attention in the first 15 minutes. You’re constantly worried for Jyoti-Ashu. Even if the duo poses for their cute wedding pics, you’re concerned for them. The opening scene strikes as a reminder every time there’s something positive happening on screen. The movie has lots of bloodshed, violence, gunshots and death.
From brutality again intercaste marriages to ill-treatment of Muslims, Love Hostel touches upon many relevant issues. Not even once it gets preachy or overdramatic. I personally found the film 90% disturbing to watch. But that’s just the reality we live in.
Sadly, the screenplay gets jumbled up in between. A lot that happened with Ashu’s life is hastily shown. Several times, a cop’s traumatic past is highlighted, which doesn’t add much to the story. The film is packed with many action scenes. One of the chasing scenes is dragged quite a bit. But what happens next saves the plot from losing its grip.
I wanted to know why Dagar is the way he is – so gruesome and sadist. When the reason was revealed, I didn’t sympathise with him. I believe that’s what was intended. After all, who would feel sad about what happened to a person who kills people like they’re in a video game?
Vikrant Massey has given a phenomenal performance as Ashu. His character has to go through many emotions – joy, anger, loss, pain, and betrayal. You empathise and worry for his character in every scene. There’s a scene where the actor breaks down in front of a mirror. That’s one of the best ones from the film. Sanya Malhotra is brilliant as Jyoti, a fierce girl who knows how to fight back. You admire Jyoti because of her personality and no-nonsense nature.
Bobby Deol’s Dagar kills people for a living. Deol’s Dagar is full of hate, and seeing him, you as a viewer experience hate. The credit goes to the excellent writing, execution and Bobby’s portrayal of such a ruthless character. The rest of the cast also plays their part well.
Love Hostel Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, Love Hostel shows the gut-wrenching reality where love has no place. Many people still see it as crime, and lovers are criminals. The chilling climax stays with you for a long time. Despite not being a horror, it is packed with jump-scare moments. Shanker Raman’s film gives us a reality check, especially to those who stay in denial that all is well. It’s a must-watch.
The film is now streaming on Zee5.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.