FC at TIFF 2023: Karan Johar talks about Lakshya starrer KILL and secretly loving blood and gore

KILL was screened in the Midnight Madness section at the Toronto International Film Festival
Raghav Juyal, Karan Johar, Guneet Monga, Apoorva Mehta, Achin Jain and Lakshya at TIFF
Raghav Juyal, Karan Johar, Guneet Monga, Apoorva Mehta, Achin Jain and Lakshya at TIFF

Karan Johar and Guneet Monga’s co-production KILL, starring debutant Lakshya, Raghav Juyal and Tanya Maniktala, had its world premiere in the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival. Johar spoke to Film Companion’s Sneha Menon Desai about KILL, the birth of a new star- Lakshya, and producing films entirely different to what Dharma is associated with.

Johar admitted in the interview that it was a strategic decision to keep KILL under wraps. The filmmaker said, “People didn’t know anything about KILL. We strategically kept KILL under wraps, We didn’t want people to know that it is the film that it is. It's a non-stop action film, it’s a bloodathon on steroids, it’s relentless, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. So watch it at your own risk and on an empty stomach. It’s going to shake you up in many ways, but that’s the magic of that genre.”

Johar gave credit to co-producer Monga for bringing the film to him and being the creative backbone of the project. “I love the fact that Guneet had the vision to bring this film to me. She has really been the spine through the film. Apoorva (Apoorva Mehta) and I were completely convinced when she came with Nikhil Bhat (the director of KILL). What a talent! How amazingly he’s constructed a film on a moving train for one hour and forty minutes with new actors,” Johar shared. 

KILL marks the debut of Dharma Cornerstone Agency talent Lakshya and also features Juyal as the antagonist. Speaking about Lakshya’s performance in the film Johar said, “I am saying this unabashedly and unapologetically that with Lakshya, I know a star is born because he just had that body language to hold the frame.”

Johar also complimented Juyal and said that no one would believe that someone with a pleasing demeanour like his could be an antagonist. The filmmaker said, “Raghav Juyal, how fantastic is he as an antagonist? I have seen him on the reality shows that he has hosted, and I have seen him dance, he is a terrific dancer. But no one will believe that this sweet smiling Raghav can be so menacing. So this film is a total ride that I’ve never been on that Indian cinema’s never been on because we have never made a genre film like this.”

KILL is directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat and co-produced by Johar and Monga under the Dharma Productions and Sikhya Entertainment banners.

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