In my college, ragging used to be an innocuous activity. In fact, our very own professors would ask our seniors to rag us. We were made to sing songs and dance on benches. And everyone (including our professors) used to have a merry time! This was basically done to break the ice between the seniors and us.
Even in our films, ragging is portrayed in a very humorous way. MUNNABHAI M.B.B.S and 3 IDIOTS didn't depict ragging as a very grim issue. But there is a flip to this, and Manish Gupta (THE STONEMAN MURDERS) attempts to address the issue as a menace.
It's the story of Karan (Vatsal Sheth) who takes admission in an engineering college in the interiors of Maharashtra. He stays in the college hostel, where he's subjected to unimagined torture in the name of ragging. Some people from the college administration are also involved, but the spineless principal refuses to take any action. Karan's only support in this turmoil is his girlfriend (Tulip Joshi).
Manish Gupta's narrative stars promisingly with some hard-hitting moments. But it soon fizzles out as it becomes humdrum. You just have Karan being tortured in different ways, which doesn't take the story ahead. Some of the cheesy dialogues are cringe worthy. The romantic track intended to provide some relief, in the otherwise gloomy film, lacks spunk. Even the climax, doesn't provide any solution to the issue of ragging, making you wonder why this film was actually made in the first place.
Srikant Naroj's cinematography is decent. Virag Mishra's music is uninspiring. The editing by Sanjib Datta is good.
Vatsal Sheth delivers a good performance, but the role doesn't allow him to go beyond a selected set of expressions. Tulip Joshi is passable. Mukesh Tiwari is very good as the bad guy. All the other actors perform well.
A feeble script makes the stay in this HOSTEL far from being a good one.