Review: Kill Is a Thrilling, Impressive Action Movie on a Train, Not Your Typical Bollywood Fare

Shorter than most films we see from India (by about an hour), the blood-soaked actioner Kill concerns two army commandos taking time off after a big mission. One of them, Amrit (Lakshya), discovers that the woman he loves, Tulika (Tanya Maniktala) has been engaged against her will, and the two make a plan to derail the marriage by eloping against her family’s wishes. Tulika and her family (including her father, who owns the transportation company that operates the rail lines) board a train for New Delhi en route to the wedding, when a gang of something like 60 bandits takes over the train, makes their presence known and begins looting the pockets of all the passengers. But when the criminals discover that Tulika’s father is on board, they decide to turn their mission into a kidnapping. Little do they know that Amrit is also aboard this train, and he plans to take down the knife-wielding thieves no matter how much blood he loses in the process.

I can’t emphasize enough how much Kill is not your typical Bollywood movie—there’s no singing and dancing, and the blood flows freely and frequently. The action is nonstop, and since the entirety of the film takes place on this train, the close-quarters fighting is brutal, claustrophobic, and loud. Aside from punching and kicking, the weapon of choice is knives, and in most cases, folks aren’t getting stabbed as much as they’re having chunks of flesh cut from their body. It’s difficult to conceive that Indian films can’t show two unmarried people kissing on screen, but the level of violence in this movie is acceptable—not a judgment, but it does seem somewhat bizarre.

From writer/director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat (Hurdang), Kill moves up and down the train as the heroes and villains gain and lose power, wounding and killing one another in one of the most impressively made action films I’ve seen in ages. The fighting includes a whole lot of heads hitting metal objects, and some characters have more holes punched in them than you can count and yet they still keep fighting, covered in blood. Lakshya is a natural leading man, and his fighting skills are devastating and eminently cinematic. My only regret about this film is that I didn’t get to see it with an audience, getting blown away by each escalating fight scene and deeper puncture wound, so don’t miss the opportunity to do so.

The film is now playing in theaters.

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Steve Prokopy

Steve Prokopy is chief film critic for the Chicago-based arts outlet Third Coast Review. For nearly 20 years, he was the Chicago editor for Ain’t It Cool News, where he contributed film reviews and filmmaker/actor interviews under the name “Capone.” Currently, he’s a frequent contributor at /Film (SlashFilm.com) and Backstory Magazine. He is also the public relations director for Chicago's independently owned Music Box Theatre, and holds the position of Vice President for the Chicago Film Critics Association. In addition, he is a programmer for the Chicago Critics Film Festival, which has been one of the city's most anticipated festivals since 2013.