Movie Review: Kill Dil (2014)

Kill_Dil3.5 Stars (out of 4)

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With a vibe that combines the wild west with rock ‘n’ roll and Indian gangsters, Kill Dil (“Kill Heart“) has a unique, appealing aesthetic style. That style — plus a briskly paced story and a hypnotic performance by Ranveer Singh — make Kill Dil worth watching.

Singh plays Dev, one of two orphans raised by Bhaiyaji (Govinda), a gangster. The other orphan, Tutu (Ali Zafar), is Dev’s best friend and partner in crime. Together, they serve as Bhaiyaji’s chief assassins.

While Tutu looks every bit the part — black leather jacket, sunglasses, mustache — Dev’s goofy energy and bowl haircut seem at odds with his profession. Yet Dev’s spirited demeanor is what makes him Bhaiyaji’s favorite.

Predictably, everything falls apart when Dev falls in love with Disha (Parineeti Chopra). She works finding jobs for reformed criminals, but Tutu points out that she probably doesn’t want to date one. Dev has to decide whether a normal life with Disha is worth leaving Bhaiyaji and incurring his wrath.

Though the plot is a bit familiar, the presentation is not. The vibrant colors — especially during Bhaiyaji’s Diwali party — and framing make every shot captivating. The terrific rock soundtrack makes every song feel necessary in an otherwise very fast movie. Before you know it, an hour has passed and the word “Intermission” appears on screen.

Zafar, who normally plays nice guys, is very cool as an assassin, taking his cues from the Marlboro Man on the billboard above the apartment Tutu and Dev share. Govinda likewise sheds his usual comic image and makes an imposing tough guy.

Singh is a boundless source of energy, practically vibrating in every scene, even when his character isn’t the focus. He’s at his most “on” during dance numbers. It’s impossible not to watch him. He’s charisma personified.

Yet Singh’s best moment comes during a tearful discussion with Tutu, the moment when Dev must commit to his future. Singh’s earnestness is moving as he channels all that energy into a plea for understanding.

Chopra plays her character well, but she and Singh are somewhat lacking in chemistry (despite Chopra playing her most overtly sexy character to date). Disha seems a mismatch for Dev. It’s not just that he flunked out of fifth grade, it’s that their cultural tastes don’t seem to match. It’s not enough that Dev’s a nice guy.

There’s a moment that hints at a subplot about Dev finding in Disha’s family the parents he never had, but it doesn’t go anywhere. Plus, it’s a little hard to believe that neither Disha nor her family wouldn’t be suspicious of Dev’s evasiveness about his past.

What flaws Kill Dil has are masked by an undeniable cool factor. This is a doggone stylish movie that combines a bunch of elements to make something unique and interesting. In an industry awash in gangster movies, Kill Dil really stands out.

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22 thoughts on “Movie Review: Kill Dil (2014)

  1. Shah Shahid

    Yes!!!! I hope the BO collections reflect the awesomeness of the movie. This looked like Ranveer’s weakest performance. He looked like a goof. But glad to see he stole the show.

    Can’t wait to watch.

    Reply
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  13. Deepak C.

    I’m a huge Ranveer fan but weak reviews from friends, so-so soundtrack and Parineeti Chopra kept me away from this til I watched it on Netflix today. Enjoyed it quite a bit. Ranveer is great as always but Parineeti was surprisingly tolerable (toned down her excessive bubbly shtick) and I forgot how good Ali Zafar is. Even the songs work better in context. It’s a silly movie but hey, it’s better than Gunday and Kick turned out to be, and I was actually looking forward to those haha

    Reply
    1. Kathy Post author

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Deepak! It’s got some very different performances by all four of the leads. Govinda and Ali Zafar were the biggest surprises for me.

      Reply
      1. Deepak C.

        Yeah it really does, I hope Ali Zafar gets more work. Shoutout for the subtitles, too; my Hindi is decent enough that I don’t always need them, but I like to have them, and these were nice since they didn’t do a literal word-for-word translation but rather tried to rephrase the dialog with idioms and words and people actually use. Good job all around.

        Reply
        1. Kathy Post author

          Thanks for pointing out the quality of the subtitles, Deepak. I like studios and production houses that prioritize accessibility for the international audience.

          Reply
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