‘HIT’, starring Vishwak Sen in the lead, hit the screens this Friday. Here is our review of the cop thriller.
Vikram Rudraraju (Vishwak Sen), a cop, is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a dear one was brutally set on fire a few years ago by some savage men. Panic attacks visit him whenever he is at a crime scene or is stressed out. To make the matters worse, his colleague and girlfriend Neha (Ruhani Sharma) is kidnapped by a mysterious person.
An enraged Vikram tries to crack the case through a parallel investigation by going against his superior (played by Bhanuchander). But before he can trace Neha, whom he doesn’t know whether she is alive or dead, Vikram has to solve the kidnap case of a college-goer named Preethi. How does he do that? What is the villain’s motive? Answers to these and other questions are the crux of the story.
In one of the initial scenes of the movie, Vikram is seen recklessly using emojis to communicate with his superior on WhatsApp. This irks the latter, who tells him to behave. Vikram doubles down on irreverence and sends one more emoji. The short moment, which is not even a verbalized scene, establishes the male lead’s character thoroughly without wasting screen time. That’s talented writing for you.
Debutant writer-director Dr. Sailesh Kolanu knows that his story is not so strong. He, therefore, intrigues the audience in other ways. In the film’s one fun scene, Vikram sheds his rigidity to take potshots at a conservative college lecturer who doubles up as Preethi’s moral police at college. This scene shouldn’t lead you into believing that comedy is going to visit you again and again. The film religiously sticks to the serious nature of its genre for 99 percent of the time.
Thanks to the superb production design (by Avinash Kolla) and the background score (by Vivek Sagar, who is not cent percent original here but never mind), the atmospherics are proper.
The hero’s characterization is another highpoint. Vikram has a strong sense of smell and looks down upon a colleague who he thinks is a moron. “I didn’t know you are this stupid,” Vikram condescendingly mocks Abhilash, making sure that he can’t brook incompetence. When it comes to cracking high-profile cases, he wears his maverick ways and rare competence on his sleeves.
While glorifying Vikram’s ways (which are not always law-bound), the film doesn’t go overboard or resort to mass-masala tropes. For example, when the hero gets Narco done on a female character without procedures, his boss literally gets physical with him. That must have been humiliating to him. But since Vikram is wallowing in pain (because Neha is missing) and is hell-bent on cracking the case, he is indifferent to the reprimand.
The film doesn’t take the audience for granted and it’s evident in the way the polygraph test is shown. Murli Sharma’s character losing his patience with a middle-aged couple whose daughter has gone missing is another cleverly-written stretch.
For a film that sympathizes with its male lead’s mental plight (he suffers from recurring panic attacks whenever he sees fire), ‘HIT’ deals with his past in a shoddy manner. In an era of sequels and franchises, the hero’s past is reserved for the second chapter of ‘HIT’, which we are told will release next year.
This would have been another ‘Evaru’ had the climax been impeccable. It’s far from it. The motive of an unlikely character in committing the crimes comes off as somewhat implausible. Humans don’t take to extreme crimes so unconsciously unless they are demented. Also, you can take only so much of mental illness in a single film. The hero is already mentally disturbed.
The performances are apt. Ruhani of ‘Chi La Sow’ fame, the artistes cast as cops, the familiar and unfamiliar faces – they are all good. S Manikandan’s cinematography is nimble.