Review Reviews

‘HIT’ movie review: This Vishwak Sen-starrer hits close to the bull’s eye

Vishwak Sen in the film

Vishwak Sen in the film   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Director Sailesh Kolanu debuts with a riveting thriller, and signals the beginning of a new franchise

The mark of a well-made thriller lies in its ability to grab our attention and keep us invested throughout, and more importantly make us care for the key characters. Writer and debut director Dr Sailesh Kolanu does that skilfully with HIT (Homicide Intervention Team), building a taut thriller that doesn’t lose momentum.

HIT has a strong screenplay and complementing Sailesh’s vision is a bravura team — cinematographer S Manikandan who creates an atmosphere of intrigue with a largely brown-green-yellow tinted colour palette, art director Avinash Kolla, editor Garry B H who ensures that the pace doesn’t dip, and above all, composer Vivek Sagar whose brilliant background score knows when to ebb and flow. The score adds to the narrative beautifully without overshadowing the proceedings.

Vikram Rudraraju (Vishwak Sen) is an intelligent and committed officer who’s also battling post traumatic stress, haunted by tragic incidents from the past. The gruesome things he witnesses during crime solving become triggers for panic attacks.

But Vikram won’t walk away from the police force and believes that his work keeps him sane. Fire is a leitmotif of sorts in his story and each time he faces it, the trauma resurfaces. These bits are constructed effectively and Vishwak Sen performs without one false note.

HIT
  • Cast: Vishwak Sen, Ruhani Sharma
  • Direction: Sailesh Konalu
  • Music: Vivek Sagar

HIT explores why Vikram takes up the case of a missing girl, Preethi, and what it has to do with his own personal story. Vikram is advised against dealing with a case where someone close to him is at stake, as he might let emotions overrule intelligence, but it’s inevitable that Vikram gets to the bottom of the mystery.

In some of the recent thrillers where the plots are built around cases of missing women, the focus is on crime inflicted on women. HIT deviates from this trope and builds a complex web of incidents. At one point when Vikram says in frustration that though there are a handful of clues and suspects, nothing adds up, the tension is palpable.

In this non-linear narrative where Vikram’s past is revealed in flashes, Sailesh leaves it to you to interpret a few things and doesn’t spoon feed. He also makes you subconsciously piece together the puzzle along with Vikram and his aides, which in itself is the success of the thriller.

Vikram’s character sketch is also an intriguing one. Small incidents, presented with a dash of humour, establish what kind of a person he is — like the scene where a child who sells tea is counting money (probably to pay school fees) while his employer has been slapped, and the portion where Vikram rebukes a professor who comments about the degrading culture among students. The smaller sub plot of Vikram’s clash with a jealous colleague also fits in well.

The thriller is dotted with actors who are aptly cast for their different parts. Vishwak performs with a lot of conviction and this is his best so far. Ruhani is impressive in her limited portions. The role she’s given, at least in part one (oh yes, there’s HIT - case two coming up in 2021), is not an author backed one like in her debut film Chi La Sow, but she’s good as the forensic officer and as Vikram’s lady love, Neha. Newcomer Chaitanya as officer Rohit is apt too. Brahmaji, Bhanuchander, Hari Teja and Murali Sharma do their portions well.

The only grouse is with the big revelation in the climax. It could have been even better. The backstory of the culprit is believable and there are no obvious loopholes, and yet, it felt a little underwhelming. A well-constructed thriller such as this one had the potential to end on a high note, with a climax that can knock your socks off.

HIT deserves a thumbs up. It hasn’t revealed all its cards, so here’s looking forward to part two.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 3:35:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/hit-review-this-vishwak-sen-starrer-directed-by-debutant-sailesh-kolanu-is-a-riveting-thriller/article30941352.ece

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