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Most college students are at the receiving end of harmless ragging. In this film, we have Karan (Vatsal Seth), who becomes a victim of ragging in an engineering college hostel. Senior student and college bully Mukesh Tiwari is shown torturing Seth endlessly. Sadly, the film also shows the college principal being indifferent towards the student’s plight. Vatsal’s only support is his girlfriend (Tulip Joshi), who has nothing much to do in the film.

Used as a practice to break the ice between collegemates, ragging has often snowballed into a serious problem and is now a punishable offence in India. Hostel is based on a real-life incident of the evils of ragging. A sensitive issue like this could have been handled with much more grace and humility. But the director’s over-the-top and an exaggerated view of the issue mars the subject completely.

Manish Gupta fails to put across a solution to ragging. He is preoccupied with showing gruesome and nonsensical acts of violence and sexual abuse. Unfortunately, the director has used these as the film’s USP. Right from the opening scene till the climax, the film is depressing. After that, it meanders aimlessly without offering any solutions.

The cinematography is average. Editing is good, though. But the close-up shots make you squirm in your seat. The music is nothing to hum about.

As far as performances are concerned, Mukesh Tiwari emerges as the winner. Playing a bad guy to the hilt, the actor stands out. In fact, he is the only one who salvages this shoddy film. Vatsal Seth fails to convey his vulnerability. He is confused about whether to play a macho man or an innocent victim. Tulip Joshi is lifeless.

Verdict: Taking admission in this Hostel is best avoided. DUD.

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