Director: Sailesh Kolanu
Cast: Vishwak Sen, Ruhani Sharma, Murli Sharma.
There’s no greater pain for a film buff than a disappointing thriller. Sure, there are hundreds of genres and thousands of moviemakers, but thrillers are different. Your journey begins as soon as the film dives into the case and there, along the dark alleys, you try to find the missing pieces of the puzzle. And if it’s a murder mystery, the action – unfolding on the screen and in your mind – becomes all the more important since there’s a clock running and a murderer to be caught (in case of a whodunit).
HIT (an acronym for Homicide Intervention Team) doesn’t disappoint anywhere. It’s a pretty neat thriller that keeps you on the edge of the seat for nearly two hours. Even the character introductions written by director Sailesh Kolanu are interesting. His lead detective Vikram (Vishwak Sen), is an angry young man who doesn’t appreciate lies and stupidity.
Vikram solves two cases in less than five minutes each. In the first one, he helps a couple of low-ranking cops find the exact spot that needs to be dug up to recover a corpse. And, in the second, he shows his colleague that he’s better just by throwing some light on the tiny bits of evidence he’s gathered. These aren’t related to the actual case in any manner, but I still didn’t mind watching them because the treatment is quite enjoyable. You learn something about Vikram here – he has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and gets panic attacks on seeing a ball of fire. If you take a look at his lighter, there’s no flame – he uses an electric one.
The mystery related to this particular incident haunts him through the movie, but the director doesn’t take you on a flashback trip at once. There’s a dog, too, in the background whose story you’d like to learn more about. But, again, you get only brief flashes from the past. This narrative device was used in last week’s Kannada release Shivaji Surathkal as well. There, Shivaji (Ramesh Aravind) struggles to get closure in a case that involves his wife. His erratic behavior is a product of his helplessness.
Perhaps, that’s what’s affecting Vikram too. He acts even before he thinks. His hot-headed nature must stem from the inability to confront his fears. While these issues aren’t highlighted, they help in building the world of HIT.
Vikram is far from a desi Sherlock Holmes. And Rohith (Chaitanya Sagiraju), his right-hand man, is not exactly filling the shoes of Dr. Watson. However, their symbiotic relationship states otherwise. Vikram gives out orders at the speed of a motorboat and Rohith follows them without ever talking back. Also, they play the game of good cop-bad cop quite well. Of course, Rohith is the good cop. He tells the suspects that Vikram doesn’t hesitate to torture people to get the truth out of them. Some of these individual scenes are so well-done that they make you look for finer details even in the larger framework.
The one scene that stayed with me the most takes place inside Vishwanath’s (Vikram’s boss, played by Bhanu Chander) chamber. Here, Vikram goes ahead with a procedure (that’s not typically above board) to extract information from a suspect. And when Vishwanath hears about it, there’s a showdown in which the camera stays put outside the chamber, but you hear everything about the warnings anyway. Vishwanath’s anger, even though he’s not seen, is palpable, and, as Vikram walks out of the room, you sense that the young man is still not worried.
Cops aren’t usually assigned cases involving their close friends or family members, but HIT takes a few liberties in this aspect. The reasons are also stated, and so, the director seems to have covered all his tracks. He introduces all the major characters in the first half, which is what a good thriller does. This gives you room to ponder about the accidents. While you may be able to put your finger on the perpetrator, you’ll never be able to guess the reason for the kidnapping of a college student from a highway. It’s not a twist exactly, but so out-of-the-box it takes you by surprise.
Maybe, if the film had put Neha (Ruhani Sharma), who works in the Department of Forensics, in the protagonist’s position, HIT would have ended up looking different. She’s also a person who solves cases, albeit from a room. But does that make her any less of a detective? Nope! Her scenes with Vikram, her boyfriend, also appear in flashes. You definitely get a picture of the time they’ve spent together.
With Vivek Sagar underlining each emotion with his terrific score, you get a spicy thriller that joins the club of Goodachari and Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya. All these three films have nothing in common but for the broad family of the genre they belong to. However, this is a welcome change in an industry otherwise riddled with action dramas.