Hit Review & Rating
HIT Review: A Tightly Woven Crime Thriller With Authentic Procedural
Thriller is still a niche genre in Telugu. The target audience is lesser compared to other universally accepted genres. With this, there are certain obvious constraints for the filmmakers. They have to compromise on the budget. Or go the action thriller route to target a wider audience. But this gives a different opportunity. To concentrate more on what is essential for the cinematic experience - intriguing story, innovative narration, top-notch performances, et al.
Natural Star Nani is a strong advocate of innovative cinema and has already delivered a film like Awe as a producer. As his second production venture, he has joined hands with young and happening hero Vishwaksen. He again came up with a thriller. But has chosen a traditional thriller rather than an experimental one like he did with Awe. What's more interesting about this film is its a hardcore thriller with police procedural at its base.
HIT. Homicide Investigation Department.
Vikram is the go-to man for the team HIT. He is a sharp observer and is shrewd when it comes to his job. The movie begins by showing his working style and his prowess in nabbing the criminals. Then the scene shifts to why he is given an off time. He is suffering from the post-traumatic stress disorder. He is often hit with panic attacks. He badly needs recovery time. But crimes don't stop happening because our hero is in trouble. But heroes are not always the only one in the department. Right?
The scene again shifts to the most intriguing and identifiable part of the film. That of a kidnapping of a young lady. Just like the one which shook all of us. Disha incident. Whether this element is added post-Disha incident or this has already been in the script we cannot say. But both are eerily similar. A young lady stuck up on the highway. Shamshabad! And she disappears.
The panicked parents obviously run from Piller to post and finally approach the police. A young and dynamic lady officer is assigned for the job alongside a few experienced hands. Clues deny them and to add more heat to the issue at hands, the lady investigative officer also goes missing. Kidnap!!! With no other option but to bring Vikram back on board, the chief of the department approaches him. Unrecovered, he nevertheless joins the team to investigate. Just when he is about to get a breakthrough, he's stricken with a panic attack and passes out.
Shock! Horror! How and if Vikram recovers in time and investigate the multiple but similar crimes, and bring to justice the criminal mastermind behind all this form the rest of the story. His fight against the personal demons is also documented.
Writing and direction
Heard about Scandinavian crime thrillers? Films like The Snowman, novels like The Snowman, The Sandman, etc. that are popular among the aficionados of international crime fiction (read: bookworms). Harry Hole is one of the most popular detectives of this bunch. Created by football player turned novelist Jo Nesbø, Harry Hole is a brilliant crime investigator in the Olso Police department. But he suffers from trauma from childhood, alcoholism, and troubles in personal life.
This detective under stress/going through personal tragedy is an intriguing option for thriller writers and filmmakers these days. This adds to the thrill factor and brings an ever-present danger to the protagonists. Director Sailesh Kolanu followed the exact same format for HIT. The hero is a sharp mind. He's the best in the business. But due to personal demons, he's unreliable. In this way, the director brought vulnerability to the character of our hero Vikram. The interval scene is all the more shocking and intriguing because of this.
The narration follows the format of the popular hardboiled crime fiction. The police procedurals involve DNA tests, and other investigation techniques like clue identification, and finding of evidence from the crime scenes, etc. Everything is presented as naturally as possible. This brings the required authenticity to the film. But the proceedings are not in the top gear until the interval. But none of the scenes are boring. It all feels like a documentary. But an interesting and eye-catching one at that.
It is in the second half that the audience are shaken. The back story of the hero's trauma is presented very well. The investigation scenes move quickly and the pacey narration adds to the movie-watching experience. The screenplay and narration are original, to begin with, and are grounded in reality. But it is evident that it has similarities to Scandinavian crime fiction.
The final 40-minute block in the film is at the next level. Once the criminal is unmasked the intrigue factor multiplies by 10 points. The climax is presented in an impressive manner. The direction is brilliant. Sailesh has done his homework very well before handling this film. He is so confident about the subject that he has left enough scope for a sequel. As the film is well made and on a shoestring budget, HIT may well spawn a lot of sequels.
Vishwaksen is in top form as Vikram. He suited the role both on physical and psychological levels. And he never goes overboard. He has shown just enough emotions to make the scenes tick and his performance is good in every area including dialogue delivery. He even has pouches under his eyes and appeared like a hardened crime investigator. Tollywood's own Harry Hole.
Ruhani Sharma is given a role that is limited in scope but she impresses nevertheless. She also looked like a crime investigator. But in general portions of the film, her styling could have been better. Murali Sharma once again steals the show with his masterful performance in a comparatively smaller role. Brahmani did well as usual. Bhanuchandar played the role of the chief of the department and is decent. Hari Teja gets a different role. She has shown good acting chops. The rest of the actors did well.
The music of the film by Vivek Sagar is top-notch. The background score is first-rate. The cinematography is superb. It is one of the best works for a smaller film in recent times. The atmosphere is brooding pertaining to the genre. And the visuals are equally good. The camera angles are novel in certain portions. The editing work is sharp as required by the genre. The production design is superb despite budgetary constraints. The production values deserve double thumbs up. Well done Nani!
With a hardboiled narration and a realistic setting, HIT is a must-watch for genre lovers. And a refreshing watch for the others. A certainly novel attempt in Telugu and the hero character is etched out like a master detective from well-acclaimed Scandinavian crime thrillers. The F word is used liberally. But that doesn't offend the users as it's not done fashionably. It's all part of the world the film is set in. Realistic dialogues are needed for realistic films. No? Well, highly recommended. With a few reservations.
- Authentic procedural
- Tightly woven screenplay
- Brilliant Vishwaksen
- Climactic block
- Excellent score and cinematography
- Production values
- Lengthy police procedural work may not be the cup of tea of the mass audience
- End suspence related issues may make the film a tedious watch for a section of the audience who want instant entertainment
Khelo Rating: 3 out of 5
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
Hit Critic Reviews
Hit User Reviews
Very well made thriller with realistic showing of investigation work