Movie: Hit List

Direction: Bala

Cast: Bala, Sandhya, Aishwarya Devan

‘Hit List’ opens with a two-minute-long shot of a serene beach with Mohanlal uttering a few words from the Bible as the voice-over.

One gets a sense of déjà vu with every passing word. And then it hits you.It is just a translation of the legendary Samuel Jackson monologue from ‘Pulp Fiction,’ a part of which goes ‘I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.’

Thankfully, the movie has got nothing to do with ‘Pulp Fiction.’

But it does have a lot to do with ‘Blitz,’ a British production starring Jason Statham released in 2011.

The reason that a movie like ‘Hit List’ was made is possibly because Bala, who is the director, producer, and protagonist of the film, wanted to do all the macho things that Statham does in the original and set out to make a film with himself as the hero.

It adds to the illustrious list of faithful frame-by-frame ‘adaptations’ from other languages.

Bala plays a ‘tough cop’ who believes in settling things out of the court, with hockey sticks and fists.

A serial killer is on the loose, the speciality here being that he targets only policemen. The killer strings along a journalist (Tini Tom), giving him inside information of his plans. Bala, who is on suspension for beating up a bunch of goons, is brought back to pursue him. As you guessed, he is the only brilliant officer in the entire force.

When the action shifts from the London of ‘Blitz’ to the Kochi of ‘Hit List,’ nothing much changes except for a few unnecessary side stories, some added melodrama and of course, song sequences.

Even the number of cops that the maniac wants to kill has not been changed.

They could have at least applied the latest conversion rates, when the journalist pays Rs.50,000 (in place of 50,000 pounds in the original) to get a scoop on the killer.

To make it look different from the original, one of the contributions from the makers is the introduction of some romance – not one, but two.

Bala’s violent streak is explained away as caused by the death of his wife (Sandhya). One is but left unconvinced by the connection of this death to his anger.

The second heroine (Aishwarya Devan) is someone who mouths occasional dialogues about love and loss to Bala.

A set of goondas totally unconnected to the main plot are also introduced as an excuse for some muscle flexing for the protagonist.

In the end, one is confused as to why anyone would want to copy a bad movie.

It is much like that foolish student copying from the worst student in the class, injecting his own mistakes, and failing in the exam.

S.R. Praveen