'Hostel' is one of the recent releases from Bollywood, not to be confused with the horror classic by Eli Roth, and it deals with sensitive subject of ragging in college hostels that is still rampant in many parts of the country, despite major outcry against the barbaric psycho-sexual abuses that the freshers are subjected to, by their sadistic seniors.
The film stars Vatsal Seth, Tulip Joshi, Mukesh Tiwari and several others, and is directed by Manish Gupta. We have had several real-life cases in colleges of India, where students have been brutally tortured and harassed in the name of ragging, which used to be just another name for initiation rite for the newcomers. Some of the victims committed suicide, some have succumbed to deaths which have often glossed over as accidents, and some have been maimed or psychologically scarred for life.
Yet, there was much hue and cry over the profanity content, the nudity and the sexual abuse filmed in 'Hostel' and the makers had to battle it out with the censors to retain the gritty content and get the film released. There was an apprehension that the film might never see the light of day and languish in the cans forever. Thankfully, the film has finally been released after a prolonged ordeal. However, it has only had a limited release till now; many of the cities are yet to screen it.
After having seen the film, I have to say that I was not really ecstatic with the execution and the screenplay seemed to suffer from naivete. Yet, the grim reality of the torture, the humiliation and the stigma hit me hard. The scene where Vatsal is stripped and paraded was really quite unnerving. I hope it strikes the viewers with the desired effect, and not titillate them.