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Film Review: Kill (2023) by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Film Review: Kill (2023) by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Film Review: Kill (2023) by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

The Indian version of the Raid with a bit of The Snowpiercer in it

Although quite early, it seems as if we might see a trend of Indian actioners taking place within trains, with “Seven Seas Seven Hills” being another we saw earlier this year. And if Ram’s effort included some additional elements in order to enrich the context, in the case of Nikhil Nagesh Bhat, we have a genuine action movie, in a style that would definitely remind of Korean action movies. In order to achieve this effect, Indian action choreographer Parvez Shaikh joined hands with South Korean Se-Yeong Oh (Snowpiercer) in designing the sophisticated stunts, with the result being impressive. 

The story, expectedly, is as thin as paper, or as “The Raid” one could say, only this time the protagonists move horizontally instead of vertically. Army commando Amrit boards a New Delhi-bound train with his best buddy from the Force Viresh, in order to prevent the arranged marriage of Tulika, the woman he loves. However, it seems a group of armed bandits has also boarded the train for their own reasons, and as they start mishandling passengers left and right, the clash between them and the two commandos is inevitable. 

One could say that there is a comment here about the blights of arranged marriage and triumph of love, but even if these contextual elements are actually here, they are drowned in the essentially non-stop action. Granted, these types of films always take certain logical liberties, especially with characters who never die and have endless reserves of energy and the rather accurately named “Kill” is definitely not an exception. This is not the point either, though. 

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What is? The fact that “Kill” fosters such brutal and impressive action, even more so since it happens in the cramped setting of the wagons, makes it difficult for fans of the particular type of action, to think of anything else, or even to turn their eyes from the screen. That every time the protagonist is ‘resurrected’ the quality and intricacy of the action increases, and the same applies to the amount of violence and brutality, is a true treat to watch. 

Particularly the last part, when Amrit decides to truly let himself go and go for the jugular, both literally and metaphorically, it is truly astonishing to watch, in some of the best sequences we have seen lately, in a style that definitely reminds, once more, of “The Raid”. The fact that the protagonists also get their share of punishment, even dying on occasion, adds a sense of drama and agony that definitely works in favor of the action.

That the villains are as despicable as they can be, with Raghav Juyal doing a great job as their leader Fani, and that they are two truly huge guys that are among the most formidable opponents, emerges as another point of greatness here. Lastly, the ending one of them receives is probably one of the most memorable and rewarding scenes in the whole movie. DP Rafey Mehmood captures the action and the claustrophobic setting of the train in outstanding fashion, while Shivkumar V Panicker’s frantic editing results in a very fitting thunderous pace.

Lakshya Lalwani as Amrit is a true force to be reckoned with, with the prowess in battle being impressive, and the same applying to Abhishek Chauhan as Viresh. 

Not much more to say, if you want to see a genuine ultra violent actioner without any kind of straying away for contextual pretense, “Kill” is definitely the film for you.