Yash Raj Films’ Kill/Dil (UA) is the story of two friends who work as sharpshooters for an underworld don. Bhaiyyaji (Govinda) is an underworld don who picks up two new-born babies abandoned in the dust-bin. He raises them as his own children. Grown up in the atmosphere of guns and bullets, the two boys, Dev (Ranveer Singh) and Tutu (Ali Zafar), become sharpshooters. They work for Bhaiyyaji whose word is final for them. Bhaiyyaji is also very fond of them and trusts them with the most difficult of murders as their record is spotless. Bhaiyyaji is happy that he has two trusted lieutenants, and Dev and Tutu are having fun doing what they are doing.

One day, Disha (Parineeti Chopra) enters their life quite by chance. Dev falls in love with her and as time passes by, Disha also starts loving Dev. Of course, Disha is not aware of the criminal activities of Dev. As Dev gets more serious about Disha, Bhaiyyaji gets wind of the fact that a girl has entered his life. Bhaiyyaji is angry about this fact because he realises that Dev has started neglecting his work. He makes his displeasure known to Dev.

Soon, Dev decides to turn over a new leaf, in spite of his mentor’s warnings, and give up the world of crime because he wants to lead a peaceful life with Disha. Tutu tries to persuade him to rethink because he fears Bhaiyyaji but Dev is adamant. To help his dear friend, Tutu asks him to reform but not reveal this fact to Bhaiyyaji who would continue to think that the murders were being carried out by both, Dev and Tutu, as things would remain the same on the face of it.

Dev soon takes up a job in an insurance company, and his romance with Disha keeps blossoming. One day, Bhaiyyaji’s assistant, Batuk (Murad Ali), spills the beans about Dev’s job before Bhaiyyaji who is now livid. He asks Batuk to kill Dev. Simultaneously, he gives enough hints to Disha about Dev’s criminal activities.

What happens thereafter? Does Batuk kill Dev? Or is Dev saved? Does Disha get to know the truth about Dev’s criminal background? If so, does she forgive him or walk out on him? Do Dev and Disha marry and live happily ever after? Or does Dev rejoin the world of crime? What happens to Dev and Tutu’s seemingly unbreakable bond of friendship? Does Bhaiyyaji have a change of heart?

Aditya Chopra’s story is quite routine as one has seen dramas about making a choice between good and evil in a number of films. The screenplay, written by Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Mehrotra, is good in parts only. The first half is fresh and light, making the drama interesting as well as engaging and enjoyable. However, even in the pre-interval portion, the romantic angle is a bit weak as the scenes of romance fail to gladden the heart. A number of scenes in the first part are enjoyable because of the witty dialogues, written by Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Mehrotra.

The second half deteriorates once the focus shifts to the romantic track which, in any case, is weak even in the first half. The audience is left wondering how Disha had fallen so in love with Dev and had not even bothered to check his antecedents. Further, Bhaiyyaji’s opposition to Dev’s love life looks a bit too harsh if only because the foundation for the scenes of opposition is not strong enough. Agreed, Bhaiyyaji is afraid that he would lose Dev to the latter’s girlfriend, but had there been more scenes to establish Bhaiyyaji’s dependence on Dev and also to establish the latter’s indispensability, the impact of the opposition would’ve been very different. The audience also resents the relegation of Bhaiyyaji to the sidelines after interval as more footage is given to Dev and Disha. The worst part of the screenplay is the hurried climax which looks far from convincing and, in fact, ridiculous. Even the punch-packed and fun-filled dialog­ ues of the first half are missing in many portions post-interval.

Ranveer Singh is absolutely lovable as Dev. He does a supremely fine job and is fantastic in light scenes as well as emotional and dramatic ones. His dances are very graceful. Ali Zafar complements Ranveer Singh well. He plays Tutu with the right amount of feelings. Parineeti Chopra is fairly good in the role of Disha. But, having said that, it must be added that she isn’t the best choice for the character. Govinda shines as Bhaiyyaji. If he spits venom in the scenes showing his power and influence, he also evokes laughter in the light scenes. While watching him dance in the ‘Bol beliya’ song, one is convinced that he is one of the best dancers of Bollywood even today. Murad Ali (as Batuk) makes a lasting impression even though he has very few dialogues to mouth. Brijendra Kala (as the jeweller) and Alok Nath (as the boss of the insurance company) lend able support. Daljit Singh (as Babban), Jas Bhatia (as Chimsy), Manvi Gagroo (as Jenny), Qasim Khallow (as Pratty), Rajeev Gupta (as the police inspector investigating Batuk’s killing), Lushin Dubey (as Disha’s mother), master Bhavesh, master Jayraj Dalwani and master Joy Chugh (all three as young Tutu), master Aviral Upadhyay, master Atif Shaikh and master Pranav (all three as young Dev) are adequate. Others do as desired.

Shaad Ali’s direction is good in the first half but he loses grip over the drama after interval. His narration keeps the audience engaged and entertained at intervals. Music (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) is very good. The title track, ‘Bol beliya’, ‘Sweeta’ and ‘Sajde’ are appealing songs. Other songs are quite nice. Gulzar’s lyrics are very good. Choreography (Ganesh Acharya) of some of the songs is appealing but that of the others could’ve been better. Background music (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Jim Satya) is quite nice. Avik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography is very good. Sham Kaushal’s action and stunts are engaging. Sharmishtha Roy’s production designing is of a good standard. Editing, by Ritesh Soni, is reasonably sharp.

On the whole, Kill/Dil has an enjoyable first half but a dull second half. At the box-office, it will not be able to do much and will exhaust its run quite fast. If, in spite of its ordinary fate at the ticket windows, it still manages to sail safe, it would be because of the revenues it has generated and/or will generate from other sources.

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