With his ‘KILL’ emerging a speedy-hit, will romantic-family-genre 'showman' Karan Johar deviate into more violent, bloody movies ? by Chaitanya Padukone

Entertainment: In the past, showman Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, traditionally known mostly for its romantic dramas and family-oriented musical entertainer films,

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With his ‘KILL’ emerging a speedy-hit, will romantic-family-genre 'showman' Karan Johar  deviate into more violent, bloody movies  by Chaitanya Padukone
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In the past, showman Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, traditionally known mostly for its romantic dramas and family-oriented musical entertainer films, right from  ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ (1998)  up to recent Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (2023) has now taken a very bold step by producing a 99-minute plus violence-theme thriller . Which is a striking departure-deviation from their usual musical social-family romantic genre. This new film KILL is characterised by intense graphic action, violence and bloodshed, Which also showcases banner Dharma's versatility and bold willingness to explore different forms of storytelling. Already the train-ride-robbery movie KILL on its fifth day of release has reportedly grossed total over Rs 7.55 crores at the box-office tracks.  Expected to be hurtling with top-speed towards the Rs 15 crore  rail-junction by this upcoming weekend.

“It's the first of its kind. We traditionally make mostly romantic musical love stories and dramas. This KILL  is a violent blood bath. It's a genre film, which is like 99 minutes of bloodshed,” says Karan Johar.” Our films are  extremely non-violent. The maximum you'll see is probably a slap or a push. So this KILL is really a 360-degree turn. We have done everything possible that we have ‘not’ done all these years with this film”, says Apoorva Mehta, CEO of Dharma Productions.

KILL is also co-produced by (Oscar Award 2023 winner) Guneet Monga Kapoor's Sikhya Entertainment and it's even her first foray into violence-action as well. She says “This is my first-time insane action film. It's probably India's most violent and goriest film Karan says it very well, films are made with blood, sweat and tears…and this film is some 140 litres of fake-blood”

KILL  a nonstop action train-ride and possibly among India’s first genre films of world-class calibre, had its world premiere at the Toronto (Canada) International Film Festival (TIFF) last week, in the Midnight Madness section. Peter Kuplowsky, long-time programmer of Midnight Madness at TIFF, said he was “floating in his chair” when he first heard about the film from Guneet.

All of this action takes place aboard the Patna to Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express in India when a gang of robbers-dacoits  enters the train and what might have been a mildly violent mass robbery quickly spirals into a full-fledged psychopathic violent confrontation.

Talented writer-director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat said his story-screenplay was inspired by a real-life experience of a train robbery during his university days, although one that was nowhere near as violent, and in fact, bypassed his compartment as he slept. The psycho twist in Kill, he says, came due to COVID, “I started writing during the lockdown, it was so claustrophobic, and I wanted to break somebody’s head. So I was actually consumed by those emotions.”

The realistic violence and physical combat in Kill  are relentless and visually eye-popping. South Korean action choreographer Se-Yeong Oh (of Snowpiercer movie fame ) was roped in for the film. “It was essentially for the gripping action-packed artistry that was required,” says Karan. “You have to hold the action in a completely confined compact space. There is nowhere else to go. You are either fighting from the aisle into the bunks and beyond or going from one compartment to the other. It’s very difficult to design those shots, execute them and perform them.  Yeong Oh and his team from Korea, in hand-to-hand combat, is one of the best global talents you know.”

A viewer could easily lose count of the two-hour-long film’s "42 unique killings” as Guneet describes it. The crew not only had to keep track of continuity but also a stupendous level of detail demanded by Nikhil. “Each robber-attacker  has a specific knife,” he said. “And if this knife has to go in somebody’s face, then that wound has to be only that thick. The wounds needed to look real, so a lot of prosthetics were involved. We had to start work on the prosthetics some four months earlier.”

The film introduces macho actor Lakshya as Amrit, an NSG commando who happens to be a passenger on the targeted train, while Raghav Juyal plays the psychotic robber Fani, charming  Tanya Maniktala as Tulsi is Amrit’s love interest and provides the emotional anchor to his character. While both Lakshya and Raghav throw countless punches and various other weapons, their fighting styles had to be kept distinct. As Lakshya says, “Amrit is a well-trained commando, so everything he does is a textbook play. On the other hand you see Fani, who is not trained, so you never know he might just take out a knife from behind his pocket and just shove it anywhere, a  loose cannon who might explode in any direction.”

kill movie special screening vicky kaushal janhvi kapoor ananya pandey  other bollywood celebs attend movie screening see photos | Kill Movie  Screening: विक्की कौशल ब्लैक में लगे डैपर तो जाह्नवी ने रेड

Nikhil adds, “We didn’t want a typical martial arts film, because the goons-dacoits  are very raw, and historically India is a wrestling country and there’s a lot of arm-to-arm fights. So my brief to action-master  Mr Oh was that it should be a very intimate, intense action where the audience should feel the punches.”

Karan is already thinking ahead, declaring he proposes to make  franchise-sequels Kill-2 and Kill-3. But for the film that just released  he has some words of caution for viewers. “I’m going to say that it’s not the family audiences that will be able to consume this film. It is an exceptionally violent film and it’s bloody overdose to say the least and if you have the appetite, then just come on an empty stomach and watch.”

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