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 Telugu 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. Some well-honed actors in the supporting role include Milind Gunaji, a very dependable actor from the 1990s, back 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 the image so convincingly?
The script constantly searches for ways to keep us invested, and it does quite a satisfactory job. There are too many red herrings and deadends 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 immense 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 am slightly unhappy with 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.
Rating: *** ½ (3 ½ / 5)
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