Kill Movie Review

Runtime – 1hr 55 min
Genere – Action/Thriller
Release date – July 5, 2024
Cast – Lakshya, Raghav Juyal, Tanya Maniktala, Adrija Sinha, Abhishek Chauhan, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya
Director – Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Producers – Karan Johar, Guneet Monga, Apoorva Mehta, Achint Jain
Banner (s) – Dharma Productions, Sikhya Entertainment
Music – Vikram Montrose, Shashwat Sachdev, Haroon-Gavin

Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions pulled a surprising feat this week in the theatres with Kill, their latest production. The pacey action thriller, produced by Dharma in collaboration with Oscar-winning producer Guneet Monga Kapoor, travelled to Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last year, where it premiered in the Midnight Madness section. The film made news this week before its release when Hollywood filmmaker Chad Stahelski, the director of the John Wick movies, purchased the English remake rights of Kill. Does the film match up to its hype? Let’s find out!


Amrit Rathod (Lakshya Lalwani) is a special ops commando from the National Security Guard (NSG). When his girlfriend Tulika (Tanya Maniktala) is getting engaged to a man of her father’s choosing in Ranchi, Amrit crashes the engagement to elope with Tulika. Tulika refuses to elope with Amrit but accepts his proposal to marry later. While Tulika and Amrit are travelling to Delhi from Ranchi in a train, a group of bandits loot the train, terrorising the passengers and jeopardising their lives along the way. What happens to Tulika, Amrit, the passengers and the bandits forms the crux of the film.


Debutant Lakshya carries the film on his shoulders and excels, particularly with the film’s action. Much like the film trying to balance its killer action with its simmering emotion, Lakshya’s lithe yet muscular physique is offset by his tiny, childlike eyes that convey sadness and urgency.

Dancer-turned-actor Raghav Juyal as the film’s key antagonist Fani gives a fiery, committed performance. His character is dark, scary and creepy at the same time. Not one to give up, Fani is driving the film and taking all decisions that twist the film’s story in multiple directions. 

Raghav and Lakshya looking a little similar might be an intentional casting choice, as the film constantly shuttles between their motivation and choices. The film’s key conflict rests between both these actors, and this is reaffirmed during the interval and climax portions. 

Tanya Maniktala does not have much to do in the film, but nevertheless, provides a screen presence that is both pleasing and inspiring at the same time. Seasoned character actor Ashish Vidyarthi plays a role that defies expectations at both the casting and writing stage. His presence in the film is not only reliable, but also does its bit in humanizing the band of antagonists in the film. 


The film’s biggest highlight is its action. In most action films we see in India, action serves as a tool to elevate a particular hero. Kill takes a refreshing detour, by elevating action itself. The heroes of the film are not stars, so the focus is purely on their performances, especially action. The action scenes of Kill are raw but also extremely stylish, resulting in storytelling that is extremely effective as well as cinematic. 

What helps the film massively is the use of extensive hand-to-hand combat and gruesome violence guaranteed to satisfy action fans. Instead of stitching shots of multiple kinds (mid, wide, close-ups) to display a single showdown or an attack, the film opts for continuous, intense and straightforward attacks that leave the audience gasping for breath, especially in the second half. 

Kill’s action also works under a set of constraints. Every sequence happens inside the cramped compartments of a train or occasionally, above it, which leads to an atmosphere full of tension, urgency and novelty. The good guys and the bad guys, for most of the film, are either fighting with their hands or knives. Sometimes, you see a fire extinguisher, a deodorant or a hammer turn into a weapon but never a gun. In fact, we only see guns in the film emerge at the second half of the second half. This shows the difficulties the director went to conceive and achieve his film. It is certainly admirable that the director did not take the easy path with its depiction of violence. The violence you see in the film is extremely raw and therefore, satisfying. Creative choices like these have resulted in Kill turning into an incredibly watchable and engaging experience. Needless to say, the cinematography, editing, production design and VFX departments worked in perfect tandem with the director to ensure the action takes off to a satisfying effect.

 The sound design of the film deserves a special mention as it plays a major role in making the audience feel the film intensely, instead of just watching it. For instance, if a guy is punching somebody five times, every time he punches it sounds different because the guy’s face is getting increasingly damaged, which means the same punch is going to sound differently every single time. The sound design reflects the goriest aspects of the film’s action – bones cracking, jaws splitting, necks twisting and brains and guts spilling out – every sound is painstakingly recreated to build an atmosphere of frenzy. 

Thumbs up

Sound design

Thumbs down

Predictable drama
Lag in first half
Gore (will only appeal to a niche audience)


Kill is inspired by a real life incident that happened to director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat. The director was once travelling from Patna to Pune in the 90s and his train got robbed by a group of bandits. He combined this real-life story with a set of filmy tropes to write Kill. 

The story is very straightforward and simple. There are no grand explanations or backstories and the film does not waste any time to get to its core portions. Why Amrit decides to go from just fighting off the bandits to brutally killing them is a tale as old as time, but what saves this film and elevates it to a cinematic masterpiece is its treatment. 

The villains of the film and the heroes are neither too invincible nor too stupid. We see the bad guys cry at a point and wonder in confusion whether they should stop fighting. The good guys are also not spared, constantly getting stabbed and kicked. If one guy is able to outsmart and decimate the other, it is purely because of the mental and physical effort they put in bringing them down. To have a kind of writing that displays every aspect of its characters with a crystal clear, sharp and forensic lens is admirable. 

The story is also strong because it rests on emotions that are as simple and pure as they are fundamental. Every death invokes anger in us and the grief, fear and helplessness felt by the passengers in the train is extremely relatable, to the point where we, as the audience, begin to feel secondhand anxiety and stress.

The technicalities of the film are so strong we leave the theatre with the film beating, tossing and bouncing inside us. This is the mark of cinema achieving its goals to perfection. Kill is extremely gory and it is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea. But for those people who like drinking this brand of tea, it might just be the best kind of tea they will get to drink for a long time. Kill is a memorable, audacious ode to action cinema and must be watched at the theatres. 

Bottomline – ‘Kill’ing Experience