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Hostel Movie Review: This campus horror comedy fails to evoke laughter

A young woman gets stuck inside a men’s hostel. Why does she enter the hostel and does she get out it?

  • P Sangeetha

Last Updated: 02.08 PM, Apr 28, 2022

Hostel Movie Review: This campus horror comedy fails to evoke laughter
A still from Hostel

Story: A young woman voluntarily enters a men's hostel and but is unable to get out it. A bunch of students come to her rescue but the arrival of a ghost puts a roadblock on their mission

Review: What happens to a young woman after she gets trapped inside a men’s hostel? The film has an interesting premise that could have unfolded into myriad possibilities of outcomes. But director Sumanth Radhakrishnan’s Hostel, opts for a mindless one.

The film, which is a remake of the Malayalam film Adi Kapyare Kootamani, disappoints right from the outset and seems to be completely lost in translation. The hostel, which is in the thick of action resembles a run-down lodge, and reeks of filth. It seems like none of the authorities ever bothered to inspect the premises.

The wards, on the other hand, hardly come across as engineering students. All we see them do is smoke, down alcohol, watch, read and talk porn, crack crass jokes and double entendres, and aimlessly wander around in contiguous rooms. Not once do we see them going to the class, making an attempt to study or even have an ambition in life. Imagine this bunch of students passing out of a college!

The film’s protagonist Kathir (Ashokselvan), too, is seen ogling at a woman working out in the park. At a time, when the clamour against women being treated as mere sexual objects is on the rise, here comes yet another film where female objectification and body shaming is rampant.

The hostel is run by a strict disciplinarian Father Kuriakose (Nasser), who is a retired Colonel. What’s unbelievable is that the man who reiterates throughout the film that discipline is everything, has right under his nose, a pack of unruly students and he has absolutely no clue about it. Sathappan (Munishkanth) plays his sidekick and the hostel warden, who is constantly at loggerheads with the students and tries to win brownie points from Father Kuriakose. The scenes between the duo manage to evoke some laughter.

The antagonist of the plot is Interest Indiran (Ravi Mariya), who is a moneylender, armed with a bunch of sidekicks, who change their names in a jiffy just because their boss addressed them as so. And there are oodles of gross ‘jokes’ on flatulence, too.

It is in this set-up that Adirshtalakshmi (Priya Bhavani Shankar) enters the plot. The actress seems to be at ease with her character. She befriends Kathir in a park and asks him to take her to a boy’s hostel, in exchange for money. Why she wants to stay in a boy’s hostel and how she ends up trapped there form the rest of the story.

The second half, which is partly engaging, has a parallel story of a ghost played by Aranthangi Nisha, who is neither funny nor scary and eventually turns out to be a major distraction from the prime plot. Most of the scenes in Hostel are quite predictable and have been done to death. The characters don’t really strike a chord. The background score passes muster, but is jarring at times. The songs are pretty average, too. With a faltered screenplay and heaps of mindless jokes, this campus horror comedy falls completely flat on its face!

Verdict: A mindless comedy caper that barely evokes laughter