Rajkummar Rao hits the right notes in HIT
One can always depend on Rajkummar Rao to carry a film to its finish even if the material tends to stumble at crucial points, as it does in thriller 'HIT: The First Case', a remake of the Telugu film
One can always depend on Rajkummar Rao to carry a film to its finish even if the material tends to stumble at crucial points, as it does in this thriller, a remake of the Telugu film of the same title where Vishwak Sen played the troubled cop looking for two missing girls, one of them his life partner.
The set-up is intriguing and skilled cinematographer S Manikandan who also shot the original Telegu film, uses the Udaipur locales to create the visual equivalent of a calm ocean with rumbles within. The director uses extraneous props such as the background score to create a sense of distant foreboding.
The film’s biggest USP is some of the talented cast. There are some well-honed actors in the supporting role including Milind Gunaji, a very dependable actor from the 1990ack as a cop who LOOKS corrupt (untucked shirt, smoking, etc). But looks, as we all know, can be deceptive. How else do we explain Rajkummar Rao doing such a flipflop of image and so convincingly?
The script constantly searches for ways to keep us invested, and doesn’t always succeed. There are too many red herrings and dead ends in the thriller. Many times, I caught the script trying to be too clever for its own good when in fact it’s just lazy writing masquerading as speed-dial suspense. However, there is some amount of dramatic potential in Rao’s internal rivalry with his colleague played with snarling misanthropy by Jatin Goswami. Akhil Iyer as Rao’s faithful buddy has a gentle presence which reminds us of the lull before a storm.
I was not convinced by the unravelling of the mystery. But Rao’s raw energy always keeps us involved. The title HIT, by the way, is not a sign of wishful thinking. It stands for Homicide Intervention Team. And a sequel is on the way. I wish the team didn’t move into so many tangents to solve a case. I understand that the audience loves a long-winded hyper-fidgety whodunit. But in the bid to stay ahead of the audience, the suspense is diluted.