Home Entertainment Indie Films Opening July 5: Hindi ‘Kill’, ‘Mother Couch’

Indie Films Opening July 5: Hindi ‘Kill’, ‘Mother Couch’


Gory Hindi action film Kill opens on 827 screens via Roadside Attractions this weekend. It’s the distributor’s first foray into Indian film, which is having another moment after two pics hit the top 10 in North America last week. This is a crowded theatrical market with wide releases piling in and some high-profile indie holdovers. New indie debuts include Mother Couch and The Nature of Love in NYC.

Kill isn’t traditional Bollywood, shorter at just over two hours and without song and dance numbers in between the action. It debuted at the Toronto Film Festival’s Midnight Madness section, also screening at Fantastic Fest, Beyond Fest and last month at Tribeca.

The R-rated film is being marketed to the reliable Indian diaspora — Roadside marketed the film heavily at the Cricket T20 World Cup held in the U.S. for first time in June, and won by India — but also to the genre audience for action thrillers.

It’s generated all kinds of interest with Lionsgate (a part owner of Roadside) and John Wick franchise production company 87Eleven Entertainment planning an English-language remake.

Kill opened Thursday in the U.S. with great reviews (it’s 91% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes) and debuts in India today. The response there, where it may be off to a lukewarm start, often infuses box office here.

The tale of star-crossed lovers is directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat. When army commando Amrit (Lakshya) finds out his true love Tulika (Tanya Maniktala) is engaged against her will, he boards a New Delhi-bound train in a daring quest to derail the arranged marriage. But when a gang of knife-wielding thieves led by the ruthless Fani (Raghav Juyal) begin to terrorize innocent passengers on his train, Amrit takes them on himself in a death-defying kill-spree to save those around him — turning what should have been a typical commute into an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride.

Surreal family drama Mother Couch from Film Movement, the feature film debut of Swedish writer-director Niclas Larsson, opens at the Angelika Film Center in New York today, expanding next Friday. A starry cast of Ewan McGregor, Rhys Ifans, Taylor Russell, Ellen Burstyn and Lara Flynn Boyle was buzzy following its TIFF debut. Larsson, who is based in New York, is known for his 2013 short film and directorial debut Vatten, which earned him the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Gothenburg International Film Festival. His short film series Magic Diner featuring Alicia Vikander garnered millions of online views.

McGregor, Ifans and Boyle play the befuddled adult children of a eccentric mother (Burstyn) who plants herself on a couch at a furniture store and won’t leave. The place is the anti-Ikea (a Swedish export), creepy, crowded and ugly — the only similarity being that all the furniture is set up in rooms like small stages, something the director, who has a background in theater, said came easily to him. “It’s the Ikea you don’t want to enter,” he joked. He said the cast loved the script and vision of the characters. “I couldn’t pay them much. It couldn’t compare to Star Wars,” he tells Deadline, referring to McGregor’s Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy.

Deadline quite liked it, see review, but the overall reception has been mixed. “It’s not for everyone,” acknowledges Larsson, who sees the film as exploring “the way we understand reality when we go through trauma.” He pushed back on what he sees as an obsession “that everything should be real. We all dream at night, and we all consider that very real.”

“You can let the audience think that it’s reality, but slowly bend it.”

It’s also funny. “Jack Nicholson in The Shining is also funny from time to time,” he said.

Music Box Films opens The Nature of Love at IFC Center (100% with RT critics). The French-Canadian erotic rom-com directed by and starring Monia Chokri (A Brother’s Love, The Babysitter) debuted at Cannes in 2023 in Un Certain Regard and won the Centerpiece award in Toronto. It also took France’s César Award for Best Foreign Language Film 2024 (beating out Oppenheimer – accepting the award, Chokri said “I’m so sorry Mr. Nolan.”)

The film stars Magalie Lépine-Blondeau as a married, fortysomething philosophy professor who questions her long-held values after starting a passionate affair with a contractor, played by Pierre-Yves Cardinal, hired to fix up the couple’s country home. The film’s distinct visual style — grainy texture, zoom effects and telephoto lenses — lends a nostalgic, tongue-in-cheek feeling reminiscent of American film in the 1970s and ’80s.

Adds the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles on July 12 followed by a national expansion.

Holdovers: Kinds of Kindness from Searchlight Pictures, by Yorgos Lanthimos, starring Emma Stone, jumps to over 900 screens; Magnolia Pictures’ Thelma by Josh Margolin starring June Squibb dips to 629; June Zero by Jake Paltrow from Cohen Media Group adds L.A. and top 10 markets.

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