Hindi war films are a rarity. Well-made ones even more so. Kya Dilli Kya Lahore is a welcome change just for that. To top it off it is a more-or-less two man act and yet, manages to engage you through the 100-minute run-time.
Both sides of a dusty, rugged section of the India-Pakistan border find themselves with one soldier each. Interestingly, both the soldiers belonged to the other side before partition. It is easy to understand why their allegiance is confused. You empathize that they are put in such a situation at all. You, in fact, find yourself changing sides for both seem like protagonists and you could take either side as the film moves from one mini-event to another.
Kya Dilli Kya Lahore doesn't move much. Not only in its physical space or the time (it is set over a period of about 24 hours), but also in terms of what actually happens in the film. The movement is in emotions rather than events. This gives the film fluidity which feels so different from the episodic nature of many a Hindi film.
Given these circumstances, the film does run the risk of becoming repetitive. After all, there are only so many ways in which an Indian and a Pakistani (even if they are newly so) can sling mud at each other. Unfortunately, Kya Dilli Kya Lahore does fall prey to that. But, the pace is such that it gets itself out soon enough.
Also, characters go through a back and forth in emotions which is believable but could have very easily gotten iterative, but for the brilliant performances by Vijay Raaz and Manu Rishi. From the word go their act seems so effortless and natural that you take it for granted. I caught myself thinking of it as a performance only when I deliberately focused on it. Till then and immediately after it was a given.
Kya Dilli Kya Lahore is not only well-shot, but is also almost background score less - which again is a rarity in Hindi cinema. With only frog croaks and the sound of the wind in the background at many times, when the songs blare (most likely to break monotony) it is jarring.
Other than that, the film brings about the vanity of war and the impact of macro level decisions made by politicians on the common man soldier just about well - with a tinge of dark comedy too. It could be called cliché too, but every once in a while cliché works.
The last Hindi war film we saw was, War Chhod Na Yaar and it was well, not too good. Kya Dilli Kya Lahore is not only well-intentioned it is well made too. Certainly worth the 100 minutes.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Suparna Sharma, Deccan Chronicle : ...This lilt, this delicate thread of past wrapped in a blank verse is very Gulzar-esque. He opens the film reciting a poem about lakerein (lines, borders). It sets the tone of the film and Raaz’s direction keeps it in that zone. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...Raaz’s and Rishi’s performances are fantastic. And Raaz’s direction too is sincere. Don’t mistake this for another No Man’s Land. It’s not as sweeping as the subject could’ve been. But it’s a straight from the heart satire. Well worth the watch.... full review
Thumbs up, by Suprateek Chatterjee, FirstPost : ...Kya Dilli… deserves to be watched, but the filmed version is still a gem that needed a little more polish. The producer, Karan Arora, would do well to think about backing a stage adaptation of the same story and touring the country with the same cast. All he needs to do is fire Shandilya.... full review
Thumbs up, by Saurabh Dwivedi, india today : ...Infact, when there aren't any dialogues in the movie, the scene just becomes even more effective. There's something about the film that reminds you of the Bosnian Oscar winner 'No Man's Land' ... full review
Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ...Well, this movie has plenty of heart touching moments with fantastic performances by its lead protagonist. It does seem a bit repetitive and slow in some portions and might not appeal to masala film loving audiences. Nevertheless, if you love simple feel good films, then you will not mind these minor hurdles in this heartfelt human tale of two warring countries.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rahul Desai, Mumbai Mirror : ...Raj Zutshi and Vishwajeet Pradhan are necessary instruments to bring across a universal message of humanity in a film that shouldn't have been structured around an interval or a jarring background score. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Subhash K. Jha, NDTV : ... Vijay Raaz seldom lets down a film. Here, he takes on the added responsibility of direction. He keeps the proceedings even-paced and free of techno-generated upheavals. The two actors are mostly left to their own devices. The end-result is a film of tremendous warmth and wisdom.... full review
Thumbs up, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, Now Running.com : ...And finally, the claps for Gulzar - his poetry sets the tone for the film even before it takes off. Lakeerein hai toh rehne do... Do yourself a favour. Buy a ticket for this one!... full review
Thumbs up, by Somdatta Sen, Star Blockbuster : ... Mandir masjid girja ghar ne baat diyan bhagwan ko, dharti baanti, sagar baanta kya baant sake insane ko? I stayed with this thought. if you wish to share the same give it a watch.... full review
Thumbs up, by Madhureeta Mukherjee, Times of India : ...One of the finest things about 'KDKL' is Gulzar's poetic prologue. Without the usual trappings of filmi fanfare, this story has its heart in the right place - pure and undivided. Like pre-partition brotherhood.... full review
So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...Anyway those forgettable times are now history and the borders are still there, consolidating our mutual existence as two neighboring countries only……………….and that's what makes a blessed poet write, ... full review
So-So, by Divya Pal, IBN Live : ... At close to two hours, 'Kya Dilli Kya Lahore' is slow paced and might not interest those who want lots of action and love roller coaster ride through the story. ... full review
So-So, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...Kya Dilli Kya Lahore portrays quite an emphatic picture of how war and hostility doesn’t benefit anyone. Human beings pitted against each other, brainwashed by ‘nationalistic’ sentiments are afterall people facing similar dilemmas and issues. Raaz and Rishi play a fantastic duo whose affinity remains the film’s best part. As a filmmaker, Raaz doesn’t quite do justice to the tapestry of the film he had in mind but creates a decent watch... full review
So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ...Amongst performers, both Vijay Raaz and Manu Rishi are excellent and complement each other really well. Within first 10 minutes of the film itself, you see them as a Pakistani and Indian soldier with their varied background. - See more at: http://www.movietalkies.com/movies/reviews/20824/kya-dilli-kya-lahore#sthash.EuJzm5cj.dpuf... full review
So-So, by Sukanya Verma., Rediff : ...At close to two hours, 'Kya Dilli Kya Lahore' is slow paced and might not interest those who want lots of action and love roller coaster ride through the story. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...The anti-war theme, the short runtime, the stagey enactment of convenient brotherhood makes for a febrile enchantment. But the lack of depth and tension, poor exposition and development leave you disappointed as well!... full review
Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...Vijay Raaz makes his directorial debut with this movie and while his intent of getting behind the steering wheel of an off-beat film needs to be applauded, his content and execution needs questioning... full review
Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Zutshi and Pradhan are ciphers but they are on briefly. Most of the screen time is split between Raaz and Rishi. They are both watchable, but single-tone. And that’s because the plot is so thin. This film could have been more.... full review
Thumbs down, by ANUJ KUMAR, The Hindu : ...Vijay is honest in his effort as an actor and with Manu manages to hit some right notes but as a director it turns out to be a laboured attempt. ... full review
vinaybaldev: Kya Dilli Kya Lahore must watch film of 2014.
TheFraudMallu: Kya Dilli. Kya Lahore. #MustWatch
snehavachhaney: MUST watch Kya Dilli Kya Lahore. Beautiful performances by Vijay Raaz and Raj Zutshi and a very well made movie. Great cinema.
seoanushka: Kya Dilli Kya Lahore Movie Review: Poetic And Heart Touching | @scoopit http://www.scoop.it/t/bollywood-movies-news/p/4020622816/2014/05/02/kya-dilli-kya-lahore-movie-review-poetic-and-heart-touching
SanjivaSahai: Latest Movie in Town: KYA DILLI KYA LAHORE ★★★★ No evaluation, no critique on this labour of love. I loved it. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=720705091315463
nikhiljain_09: kya dilli kya lahore.. what a movie! respect. best ive seen in recent times!
manusmriti: Watched Kya Dilli Kya Lahore. Loved it!!
KaranKaila: Kya Dilli Kya Lahore is a great movie! The common man's plight during the 1948 Indo-Pak war but completely unconventional than the usual!
Inglorious_Blue: Kya dilli Kya Lahore an absolute gem of a movie , Definitely worth a watch. #kyadillikyalahore
hnavlakha: Kya dilli kya lahore movie review 2014 Rating 3.5/5 There's something to be said about a film that takes so... https://www.facebook.com/worldofcinemas1/posts/233911013464419
dinesh_diwakar: hum to muskara rahe the unhe dekhkar, do ashq kambakht raaz beparda kar gaye. kya dilli kya lahore is so emotionl n heart touchg film
bksamrat: All a movie is supposed to do is to hold on to attention of audience entirely.. kya dilli kya lahore does it perfecty..#kdkl #bollywood
sanjaynigamKIT: Actor Vijay Raaz makes debut as Director with Kya Dilli Kya Lahore Small Budget, Good Subject film is worth seen 3/5 http://twitter.com/sanjaynigamKIT/status/461925666242297857/photo/1
LokmatAnuj: #kya dilli kya Lahore. A serious film about very serious viewers. #Vijay raaz good as an actor. Not good as director
SandeepPpatel1: follows the above template and almost singlehandedly ruins Vijay Raaz's directorial debut Kya Dilli Kya Lahore.
No readers have rated this movie yet.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.