Interfaith marriages were never easy in India. Of late, however, they have become next to impossible, especially in small towns that don’t attract the attention of national news outlets. With derogatory terms like ‘love jihad’ just thrown about, it has become more and more difficult for couples of two separate religions to live peacefully together. And this is the reality portrayed in Zee5’s latest film. Directed by Shanker Raman, Love Hostel stars Sanya Malhotra, Bobby Deol, and Vikrant Massey.
This is a highly relevant film in an environment of divisive politics. The discrimination that Muslims face, especially in the ignored parts of India, is highlighted here in the context of interfaith marriages. We see it in the news regularly when couples of different faiths are killed by their families and community members for trying to choose their partners.
Set in Haryana, where family-ordered killings are not uncommon, this is the story of Jyoti Dilawar and Ashu Shokeen, a couple who are on the run to escape from her politically powerful family. With no one except a lawyer and a friend on their side, they are ordered to stay in a safe house that is run on the whims and fancies of the cops in charge. Meanwhile, Ashu is trying to get his father out of jail who was framed as a terrorist and safeguard his family from Jyoti’s ruthless grandmother. Making things even tougher for the couple, a contract killer, who calls himself a social worker, is hunting the couple down.
Bobby Deol plays Dagar, an emotionless killer who is hired to murder couples who marry against their family’s wishes. In this dark, twisted character, Bobby Deol doesn’t say much but his expressions are enough to strike terror in your heart. His presence on the screen is commanding, proving that this Deol’s second innings will be one to remember.
Vikrant Massey and Sanya Malhotra play Ashu and Jyoti, two people who want to be together but are not blissfully unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. They are not hopeless lovers who keep making vows of being together no matter what. They snap at each other, they crack under the pressure of trying to stay alive, and they pick each other up at the toughest of times.
Love Hostel is not an entertainer, it is a grim, dark portrayal of a horrific reality in our country. If you have the stomach for a disturbing film that is far too close to reality for comfort, watch Love Hostel.
Streaming now on Zee5.
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