The first case is a return to form for Rajkummar Rao

OWe’ve seen movie cops like Vikram Jaisingh – protagonist of HIT: The First Case – earlier. Those who suffer from post-traumatic stress from a past personal experience; those who face it by being intensely engaged in their complex day (and night) tasks. Usually these characters also play fast and loose with protocol, mostly getting away with it because they get the desired results. Vikram Jaisingh is all of that, but he’s set apart by the man who plays him. Liam Neeson produced law enforcement with PTSD with industrial frequency. Even a few Bachchans have portrayed a similar kind of cop. But Rajkummar Rao makes this man feel fresh, real (as far as movies go) and worth cheering for.

We are told about Vikram’s PTSD at the very top. Or rather, a psychiatrist friend of his told him, with a terrible warning – his trauma is so severe that the anxiety it causes could kill him. There are only glimpses of the reasons for his mental affliction depicted in this film. Perhaps the depths of this one will be explored in future films – the intention of making a sequel called “The Second Case” is the last thought this one leaves you with. The solution to the crime in this film may seem rather underwhelming, but the idea of ​​watching Vikram Jaisingh tackle another mystery is appealing.

Rao is so confident in this portrayal that you instinctively want to trust him. He is both smart on the streets and wise in the world.

The HIT in the title stands for Homicide Intervention Team. Vikram Jaisingh is his lead cop and most capable officer. It doesn’t take long to be convinced of the latter. Rao is so confident in this portrayal that you instinctively want to trust him. He is both smart on the streets and wise in the world. Make no mistake, I’m lining up for the multi-cop-verse mega-machos of Rohit Shetty or whatever they call it; but truth be told, it’s the Vikram Jaisinghs who make better movie cops. If there is a perfectly pleasing shade of gray, Rajkummar does its part. He’s unable to fully reveal himself to his girlfriend Neha (a terribly underutilized Sanya Malhotra), but she’s willing to wait, as long as he’s willing to try. Soon there is a grotesque detour, when Vikram finds himself embroiled in the case of a missing girl.

The details of the case itself, I repeat, are disappointing. You may or may not see the response coming in well in advance, but it will feel disappointing either way. Too much time has been spent on an ill-conceived red herring involving a neighbor-friend of the victim. Vikram’s brooding journey to the lukewarm truth is where the film’s finest moments are found. Even when he conjures up a lead out of thin air, Rao makes sure you don’t doubt his ability to pull it off.

The restraint he shows also rubs off on Dalip Tahil, who downplays him for a change, as Vikram’s senior Shekhawat. Jatin Goswami, last seen as murder victim Vicky Rai in The Great Indian Murder, plays a rival cop who can’t stand Vikram’s guts. He’s an actor with a gritty, set-chewing presence, so it’s a shame he’s also underutilized. Yet these two men, along with Sanya Malhotra, are capable helpers and foils to Vikram’s anguish. If a later film sees the light of day, we hope these four characters will be taken over by the same cast of actors.

The police procedural bits have familiar elements like a polygraph and a narco test, but the almost bland, factual way the investigators navigate solving the crime feels refreshing.

The setting of the story is Jaipur, Rajasthan. Aside from the oft-used drone shots, which suffer from strobes as well as inconsistent color and lighting, it’s a suitably hazy looking film that’s pretty well framed. (Recent Netflix thriller Thar, shot by Shreya Dev Dube, probably captures Rajasthani’s grit-grunge best.) Sailesh Kolanu is directing the remake of his own debut Telugu film of the same name, and it’s shot by the same cinematographer. , Manikandan. Practice shows this, because this remake looks a little better. (I sampled a bit of the original, to get a sense of its vibe. I didn’t watch the whole movie, because I wanted to avoid spoiling the crime itself.)

There’s clever Kolanu leadership on display. Vikram is a benefactor, but this aspect of his personality is subtle. So his helping a young chai seller boy out of child labor is shown just on the fly, as he solves other problems. A throwaway text chat shows how a boss hates his subordinates’ emojis, and that is then reflected in the cop’s behavior later on. The police procedural bits have familiar elements like a polygraph and a narco test, but the almost bland, factual way the investigators navigate solving the crime feels refreshing. (Compare that to another recent polygraph test from Bollywood, on track 34 – the difference is stark.)

Here, it’s serious, but too long and far-fetched. The wackiness can still be forgiven, but the length it adds to the film is almost criminal.

In a thriller like this, misdirection is expected. Here, it’s serious, but too long and far-fetched. The wackiness can still be forgiven, but the length it adds to the film is almost criminal. Why Indian filmmakers don’t believe in the idea of ​​a clean 100 minute thriller is beyond me. You can probably get away with macguffins of all shapes and sizes, as long as you don’t let the pace and mood drop.

HIT is now the second recent revamp of a Hindi murder walkthrough from a southern original. The release of Zee5 Forensic, featuring Radhika Apte and Vikrant Massey, was the other. Both films suffer from a similar problem – whodunnit disappoints if the why and the how don’t make sense. The great thing about HIT, however, is that its main character lasts longer than the movie. Hopefully Vikram Jaisingh finds himself in a better thriller soon.

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