HIT: The Second Case Review: A racy thriller with smart twists
Like any good thriller, HIT 2 never reveals all its cards at once
It's been weeks since we saw an engrossing thriller in Telugu cinema - especially the kind that requires you to suspend your disbelief and go for a roller-coaster ride. Pleasingly, director Sailesh Kolanu's HIT: The Second Case, a second film in the HIT-verse, is exactly that kind of film. It's a far-fetched thriller much in the tradition of its first film HIT: The First Case, and yet it's thrilling enough for you to stop looking for the cliches and plot holes and go with the flow instead.
Starring Adivi Sesh, HIT 2 is a confident, competent, and gripping thriller that sucks you into its drama less than five minutes into the film and keeps you invested till the end credits roll.
Krishna Dev aka KD (Adivi Sesh), a Superintendent of Police in the Homicide Intervention Team (HIT) of Visakhapatnam has a better record in solving crimes than his contemporaries. He perceives that the criminals are birdbrained (kodi burralu) and is also well-known in his department for his sharp tongue. He lives with his girlfriend Aarya (Meenakshi Chaudhary) and his exceptionally talented dog Max.
KD and his team encounter a dismembered body of a woman, who was gruesomely killed by a serial killer. KD uses all his skills and expertise to decode the motive behind the chilling murder and makes every possible attempt to unmask the killer.
Sailesh Kolanu skillfully builds a real world around this murder mystery that moves at a racy pace with spurts of tension and thrill. There are some realistic scenes like the one where KD asks his forensic team to conduct a luminol test on a suspect at a crime scene and how he analyses the murder of a woman at a resto-bar.
Like any good thriller, HIT 2 never reveals all its cards at once. The layers come off one by one and each time you think you have got it all figured out, another twist hits you out of the blue. That doesn't mean that you haven't guessed some of the surprises in advance. With enough plot twists to confuse the viewers, the film keeps you on the edge of your seat for the most part. If you have watched enough Korean thrillers, then surely you can predict at least a few of the surprises yourself. After all, a serial killer on the loose and a cop sets out to nab him is a staple ingredient of a murder mystery.
The film's only drawback is an amalgam of disturbing visuals that are meant to shock our senses. The film, in a few places, tends to get repetitive and loose. But for the most part, the narrative moves at a brisk pace, never really deviating from its thriller format.
The impact of a film of this nature depends largely on the performance and credibility its protagonist lends to the character. In Adivi Sesh, Sailesh Kolanu has found the perfect man for the task. Uninhibited, spontaneous, and blessed with an unmistakable presence, Sesh holds the screen like a fireball. He used his face to convey the emotions -- from confusion, to fear, to anger, to shock -- and he, undoubtedly, emerges as the biggest asset of this thriller. Meenakshi Chaudhary is charming but doesn't get much scope to showcase her acting chops. The same is the case with Rao Ramesh, who played an underdeveloped character. Komalee Prasad as Varsha got a meaty role and her character remains almost parallel to the plot. Maganti Srinath, who played a crucial role in HIT 1, leaves an impression in this film as well.
The film also has a moral core that will definitely resonate with its viewers. HIT 2 is not a great film, but it delivers what it promises to deliver. The film was slickly photographed and has some exciting visuals, but it's got a boring romantic track that only adds to the film's length.
The film ends on an exciting note by introducing us to its new protagonist and also gives us a hint of what to expect from the third film in the HIT-verse titled HIT: The Third Case.