Sailesh Kolanu’s ‘HIT 2’ is one of the best-written Telugu films in recent times, with each character, scene, and dialogue having relevance to the story.
Writing a suspense thriller is indeed a challenging task. Holding the reader/viewer’s attention till the last page or scene; revealing enough clues for them to solve the mystery and yet cleverly deceiving them is not an easy task. Taking on this mighty challenge, filmmaker Sailesh Kolanu has written HIT 2: The Second Case, the sequel to HIT: The First Case, a successful film that was remade in Hindi too. The HIT series has become a franchise now with a third instalment in the works. These films are not independent of each other where the producers are merely capitalising on the HIT brand, but they are happening in the same universe, a concept which has been popularised by Marvel.
Krishna Dev or KD (Adivi Sesh) is the Superintendent of Police of Visakhapatnam who heads the Homicide Intervention Team (HIT), which specialises in forensics to nail the culprits. KD is an arrogant police officer. His arrogance stems from his ability to solve a crime within record time. But what are the kinds of crimes he has solved? And are his skills enough to confront a serial killer?
The plot begins in an underwhelming fashion but soon picks up pace after a series of murders of women. The motive of the killer is unknown and the evidence is being erased. A classic whodunit thus begins. The revelations in the crime keep the audience engaged throughout.
KD, who has a reputation for solving crimes quickly, is thrown a tough challenge to identify the killer on the prowl. HIT 2 has a strong antagonist who is always a step ahead of the main character, and identifying him becomes a challenge until the end for both KD as well as the audience who are solving the crime along with him.
Aarya (Meenakshi Chaudhary), KD’s girlfriend, plays an important role in the film. She is not just a female lead who merely exists for the sake of it or as an afterthought, but is integral to the story. Aarya is a staunch feminist. While introducing her, there is a banter between her and KD, where they talk about what constitutes feminism. This dialogue is so important, and gives a sense of completeness after you watch the film. Along with feminism, the idea of staying together and getting pregnant before marriage is normalised in the film. A welcome change. Kudos to Sailesh.
HIT 2 also boldly takes a dig at the popular culture of encouraging extrajudicial killings, which was evident during the Disha ‘encounter’ in Hyderabad, when four alleged rapists (including three minors) were killed by the police. Several film stars including actor Nani, who happens to be the producer of this film, had publicly endorsed the police’s action.
HIT 2 many characters in the film and all of them have relevance to the story. This is what makes it a solid thriller. The terrific music by MM Sree Lekha and Suresh Bobbili immensely aids in keeping the tension alive.
There is practically no scene or dialogue in the film that seems irrelevant. Each and every character and scene is important and so are the dialogues. This makes the audience get completely immersed in the story, paying attention to the minutest of the detail in trying to guess who the serial killer is.
But does Sailesh deliver a convincing ending? No. Despite good writing with no loose ends, the film is not without its flaws. For instance, the authorities do not allow any kind of objects, including a pen, inside the prison cell (that too related to a high-profile case where the person is accused of murder). But the suspect who is inside the prison writes something which becomes a clue. How was this possible? And such a scene was not required at all, if you think about it.
When writing a thriller, the conclusion is crucial. Writer-director Sailesh succeeds in keeping the audience guessing until the last moment. But it is a disappointment that he chooses an easy route to end the story. He throws the audience off the scent by showing a character with an alibi and conveniently concludes it with a ridiculous explanation.
While I have omitted many details to avoid spoilers, one spoiler I can reveal is that actor Nani will be appearing in the third instalment of the series, titled HIT 3: The Third Case.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film’s producers or any other members of its cast and crew.