Kill and Dil. A perfect contrast of two opposing forces. Kill, often associated with violence, murder, evil, and the like. Dil, on the other hand, is more personal and involves passion, romance, and compassion. What would happen if these juxtaposing elements were mixed together? Shaad Ali attempts to show us this concoction in his latest Bollywood flick Kill/Dil.
Dev (Ranveer Singh) and Tutu (Ali Zafar) are professional shooters under the guidance of Bhaiyyaji (Govinda), a father-figure who has trained them as his protégés. After a long day of killing and threatening, Dev and Tutu go to a club for a post-work “happy hour”, if you will. Enter Disha (Parineeti Chopra), a beautiful, bold, bindaas girl who is not afraid to stand up for herself. At the club, Dev saves Disha’s life and thus begins the romance between the two. As Dev starts to fall in love with Disha, he must remember to keep his life as a professional shooter a secret from her so as to not damage their relationship. The rest of the film centers around the characters’ internal conflicts involving the search for money, love, and friendship.
Upon first glance, this film has an 80s feel and a vibe similar to films like “Gunday” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, especially with the cowboy-esque background score and set design for some scenes. The first half of the film is a laugh riot. The scenes where Dev tries to woo Disha are absolutely hilarious, as are the corny jokes told by Dev and Bhaiyyaji. There are quite a few silly moments in the film but the underlying innate humanness in them is what makes them adorable instead of annoying. The plot itself is not very complicated; the title of the film essentially sums it up. There is a stereotypical good vs. evil theme, where the heroine inadvertently reforms the criminal nature of the hero. However clichéd the plot may be, Shaad Ali does a decent job with the direction and maintains a good pace throughout, with no feeling of rushing or dragging at any point.
In terms of characterization, Ranveer Singh and Ali Zafar have amazing chemistry as best friends. In stark contrast to Tutu, who is a typical angry young man, Dev is an honest, innocent, happy-go-lucky, and generally chirpy guy. Interestingly enough, as the relationship between Dev and Disha further develops, we begin to realize that Dev is actually a very emotional and sensitive person, personality traits that are in stark contrast to his job as a professional killer. The juxtaposition in his personality and profession are indicative of a reversal in gender roles by portraying a male character as more sentimental than the heroine. This irony in Dev’s life also reflects some of the internal dilemmas he experiences while pursuing a relationship with Disha.
When I realized that Govinda would be playing the villain in this film, I immediately got excited to see what he would have to offer as a character in a negative role. Unfortunately, his performance did not quite match the expectations, and Bhaiyyaji came across more as harsh and strict rather than the strategically evil that was expected. At the same time, since Bhaiyyaji is a father-like figure for Tutu and Dev, the tendency to be strict rather than evil in a conniving way (like Don, for example) is perhaps an appropriate portrayal of his character because at the end of the day, he still cares about Tutu and Dev as if they are his children. The ending of the film was also rather abrupt but provided the necessary closure for the plot.
The main highlight of this film is the music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy. This trio has been out of the Bollywood film music scene for a while but this soundtrack was a fantastic entry for them back into the film industry! From party songs, like “Bol Beliya” and “Nakhriley”, to melodious numbers, such as “Sajde” and “Baawra”, the songs in this film were enchanting and uplifted the overall quality of the film. There are more songs than usual so the film resembles a musical. To complement the music, the choreography has Ganesh Acharya’s stamp on it, especially with Govinda’s signature moves, Ranveer and Ali’s pelvic thrusts, and Parineeti’s thumkas.
Final Verdict: Kill/Dil has got its fair share of weapons, whether it’s guns and bullets or cupid’s arrow. While the Kill sections are elaborated upon with some violence, there’s enough romance and charm to go around in the Dil portions, with sizzling chemistry between Ranveer and Parineeti. Overall, this film has the complete package of action, comedy, romance, and drama and promises musical entertainment and lots of laughter!