Planet Bollywood
Kill Dil
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Director: Shaad Ali
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Parineeti Chopra, Ali Zafar and Govinda
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics: Gulzar
Genre: Action
Approximate Running Time: 128 minutes
Film Released on: 14 November 2014
Reviewed by: Anish Mohanty  - Rating: 4.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.09 / 10 (rated by 412 viewers)
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After delivering two hits in the form of ‘Saathiya’ and ‘Bunty Aur Babli’, Shaad Ali hit a roadblock with ‘Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom’, which turned out to be a huge commercial failure. Now after a seven year hiatus, Shaad is back with his new film Kill Dil. With this film, he seeks to pay a tribute to Spaghetti westerns and commercial Hindi potboilers from the yore. That sounds like a great combination, right? The film boasts of a stellar cast toplined by Govinda in a villainous role! Add brilliant music and rich production values to that and you expect nothing short of a spectacular entertainer to unfold on screen as you settle in your seat.

Bhaiyaji (Govinda), a dreaded gangster finds two infants in a dustbin. He picks them up, gives them shelter and trains them so that they could be some use to him when they grow up. Dev (Ranveer Singh) and Tutu (Ali Zafar) grow up to become killing machines, bumping off anybody at Bhaiyaji’s order. Dev saves Disha (Parineeti Chopra) from a gun toting pervert who misbehaves with her in a night club. One thing leads to another and love blossoms between them. Dev turns over a new leaf and pledges to stay away from any sort of criminal activity. He lands himself a job in an insurance company while Tutu does all the killings. Unfortunately, Bhaiyaji gets a whiff of this and goes to extreme lengths to get back Dev back in his gang. Meanwhile, Disha remains oblivious to Dev’s real identity.

As mentioned earlier, 'Kill Dil' is a tribute to the spaghetti westerns and Hindi potboilers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really succeed as either and comes across as a half baked effort. Why? Plenty of reasons! Even if a film’s sole aim is to entertain the viewers, it should have a screenplay that would provide a solid structure to the gigantic scale it is mounted on. Paying tribute to a particular genre does not mean you would borrow the clichés used in numerous films based on the same genre and put them all in one film which would make it look like a spoof rather than a tribute.

‘Kill Dil’ has a shoddy screenplay that not only fails to engage but has several loopholes that are hard to ignore. Disha falls in love with Dev without knowing much about him. Of course, he sings and dances at her birthday party and invites a minion at a roadside dhaba to join them for dinner. And the next thing you know, she is in love with him! Disha, we are told, is a MBBS drop out, who left her father’s sprawling business empire to rehabitate criminals. We get to see her doing that in just a couple of scenes that last for seconds. In the rest of the scenes, we see her wearing designer outfits, partying and driving a red convertible.

The film which has a runtime of 128 minutes boasts of as many as eight songs playing at regular intervals. While some of the songs (‘Bol Beliya’, ‘Baawra’) take the story forward, the rest don’t serve any such purpose. The songs (Shankar Ehsaan Loy) are tuneful and Ganesh Acharya’s choreography is very good. These two factors should help the viewer sail through.

The character played by Govinda, which one thought would be the brightest spot in the film, turns out to be badly written, caricaturish character. The actor does not get as much screen time as one would have hoped him to and the role he plays lacks depth. He does get some moments to shine though. His altercations with Ranveer are extremely engaging.

The biggest letdown is the convenient climax of the film which seems rushed up. The film ends abruptly and you are shocked when the end credits (with another song!) start rolling. The ease with which a hoodlum knocks off one of the main characters of the film induces laughs. That’s how bad it is.

The film works in parts, mainly due to Shaad’s direction. The film carries a glossy, sleek look throughout. The humour, though juvenile at times, works. There is a scene in which Dev and Tutu go to a library to figure out the meaning of ‘LOL’. They are equally clueless about the meaning of ‘ROFL’. The dialogues are very sharp. The scenes which feature Ranveer and Parineeti together are incredibly charming.

Govinda had excelled as an anti hero in ‘Shikari’ and was brilliant with his double role act in ‘Sandwich’, one of which had negative shades. ‘Kill Dil’ is, arguably, the first film where he plays the antagonist and well, has the actor ever disappointed? It’s impossible to take one’s eyes off him as he goes about his menacing act. It’s heartbreaking to see the talented actor saddled with a badly written role. Ranveer Singh’s character has many shades to it and he pulls them off very well. He plays a character who has been on a killing spree ever since he stepped into adulthood. It is to his credit that he lends vulnerability to his character in good measure which makes the viewers sympathize with him. Parineeti Chopra plays an ultra glamorous role for the first time and looks dazzlingly beautiful. Though she does not have as much to do as the men, she makes her presence felt in every frame she appears in. Ali Zafar’s affability works well for his character. From the supporting cast, Murad Ali who plays the role of Batuk, Govinda’s right-hand man, leaves a mark.

Kill Dil could have been an interesting cross between the sensibilities of a western cowboy flick and a commercial potboiler but the poor writing plays spoilsport. Shaad Ali does not compromise with the visuals and makes a film which is filled with stunning frames. Had he paid equal, if not more, attention to the script, we would not have much to complain about. If you must, watch it for the performances and the superlative soundtrack by Shankar Ehsaan Loy.

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