Nikhil Bhat on Kill being dubbed as ‘India's most violent movie ever’: We are not glorifying violence in any way | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Nikhil Bhat on Kill being dubbed as ‘India's most violent movie ever’: We are not glorifying violence in any way

Jul 05, 2024 06:21 AM IST

In an interview, Nikhil Bhat talks about his film, Kill, which has been earning plaudits in the international circuit, and decision to release it in theatres.

Viewer discretion is advised: That’s how the first look of Karan Johar and Guneet Monga produced Kill is introduced to the audience. The film comes packed with bloodshed, nail-biting suspense, and intense action, with the makers proudly dubbing it as “the most violent film made out of India”. And that is something which has not gone down well with everyone, with a section of viewers criticising the team for promoting violence. However, the director Nikhil Bhat feels he is not glorifying violence, instead showing the harrowing pain associated with it. Also read: Kill gears up for release: From Animal to Mirzapur, 5 most violent Indian titles ahead of the Lakshya-led gorecore

Kill stars Lakshya, Raghav Juyal, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya and Tanya Maniktala in the lead roles.
Kill stars Lakshya, Raghav Juyal, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya and Tanya Maniktala in the lead roles.

The film tells the story of a soldier, played by Lakshya, who turns a train into a bloodbath as Raghav Juyal’s character kidnaps his girlfriend, played by Tanya Maniktala, on a train.

Kill began its journey by premiering in the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival in 2023. The film went on to earn a spot among the ten selected films for screening at the festival. Following that, the film travelled to different international circuits winning hearts.

It has also been picked up for an official Hollywood remake by John Wick franchise collaborators Lionsgate and 87Eleven Entertainment. Now, as the film nears its release date in India, Nikhil is brimming with excitement.

On personal experience inspiring the film

In the interview, Nikhil reveals that his personal experience inspired him to write the story. “It was back in 1994-95 when I was a student, and I used to travel sleeper class on the Bombay Janta Express from Patna to Pune. One night, I got up thinking we had reached Allahabad. But the train had stopped at a small station because AC coaches were robbed by 25-30 robbers. They had beaten and stabbed some passengers,” he recalls.

That incident stuck with him for years. “I wrote the story in 2016… The story is extremely personal to me. It's a journey of personal loss, pain, grief, rage, anger and fear. So I wanted it to be a visceral and raw action,” he asserts.

Nikhil is happy that he could bring his vision onto the camera with the help of Guneet Monga and Karan Johar.

“When we started, we had no idea how we're going to do it. It was a first of its kind for us. It was almost like discovering how to make an action film. We got into a class of making an action film,” he shares.

On India’s most violent film tag

With the film making all the right moves, the Kill also raised its share of eyebrows because of its heavy dose of action. But Nikhil brings into light a new side of the story.

“According to me, the consequences of violence are more horrifying than the reason for violence. When you watch this film, you will realise that I am not glorifying violence at all,” Nikhil tells us.

He continues, “Rather, violence if it is not for protecting people, if it is not justified. The film is about saving and protecting people. There is a sense of reason and a sense of justice which is very important for any violence to be there. When you watch the film, you will understand that it is the effect of violence that I have tried to portray”.

Asserting “violence is not anybody's friend”, Nikhil feels it brings a lot of pain, agony and loss. “I'm sending that message, and not glorifying violence. The film is an attempt to show the harrowing effect of the consequences of violence,” adds the filmmaker, who has been in the industry for over two decades.

He made his directorial debut with Salunn in 2009, which premiered at the Cairo Film Festival in 2009. Following that, he panned his camera to capture myriad emotions and stories through projects such as Brij Mohan Amar Rahe, Rasbhari, The Gone Game, Hurdang and Apurva.

On opting for a big screen release

The film will be opening an intense chapter packed with action on the big screen on July 5. The film has been produced by Karan Johar, Guneet Monga, Apoorva Mehta and Achin Jain. And Nikhil reveals the thought of ditching theatrical release for a digital premiere never crossed his mind. In fact, he is confident that the film will work at the box office.

“We always wanted to make it for the big screen. We did not want to make it for any platform. We were sure about this from the start. Off late, very different kind of cinema is working at the box office such as Animal, Munjya, 12th Fail and Shaitaan. They all were unconventional projects which came with an X-factor and a very strong story content,” he points out.

Talking about his film, Nikhil shares, “We have a compelling story. When it went to several international film festivals, we saw the reception over there and the response from the public. They really loved the film and started cheering for us. And that’s how we got validation and confidence that we should release in theatres, like what we had planned right in the beginning”.

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