Mayank Shekhar's Review: Hostel

The film’s director is evidently a Ram Gopal Varma protégé. Clearly this one is less Varma’s stunning Shiva; more Madhur Bhandarkar’s Jail, writes Mayank Shekhar.
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Updated on Jan 22, 2011 05:14 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByMayank Shekhar, New Delhi


Director: Manish Gupta

Actors: Vatsal Sheth, Mukesh Tiwari

Rating: *1/2

He’s tied to a bed by a collar -- made to lick food dry from a bowl. Sharp objects are once in a while stuck up his backside, when a human being isn’t buggering him, of course. There’s incentive of a free prostitute for a night, or a smooth hash joint if he’s lucky. For dinner or drinks otherwise, he could be served piss or saliva, depending on the mood of his masters.

That’s the state of the dog in his first year at the engineering campus of Jaigarh University, Satara district. Note that down. Just in case you know someone appearing for a joint entrance test for one of these courses. Actually the dogs here probably have better life.

These boys must battle against senselessly sadistic 30-year-old “seniors” who torment them. They parade them naked on campus while girls giggle. It’s a trap. There’s conspiracy of silence. Hostel warden (terrible over-actor) is a grizzly goon himself. College principal calls it a matter between students. A dad one of the boys in this hostel could call and confide in complains about his mom sleeping with her boss instead!

Ragging, that start out in colleges as humour, could descend into serious physical torture and humiliation of young students. This is certainly an issue. Campuses are also fertile grounds for recruitments for political parties. Hence old students hang around. None of this is really explored in this film. The script has no layers whatsoever.

It’s just dark in here. This place could do with a hero. Given massive heap of male hormones, a heroine would do as well.

Heroine looks at hero, says, “By the way you got really nice eyes.” By second year, she wants to marry him. But then, she figures, “If you can’t protect yourself, how will I feel safe with you.” You know this fellow will flex his muscles soon. Don’t wait for what he does. Seriously.

The film’s director is evidently a Ram Gopal Varma protégé. Clearly this one is less Varma’s stunning Shiva; more Madhur Bhandarkar’s Jail.

Random, freaky blood and pornographic gore is legitimate American genre of low-budget independent films. Audiences get thrills out of these terrifying flicks. Eli Roth’s Hostel (2005) by the way is a popular B film in that league. This film could've just been that. Hoax. It's not even.

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