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Hit - The First Case

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
3 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

Bollywood and its love affair with Hindi Remakes continues! While remakes(or adaptations) may not necessarily be a bad thing, its overdose is one of the reasons why the audience are rejecting it. This business model of Bollywood would have definitely drawn the audience to the theatres if it were implemented before the pandemic. But with the onset of pandemic, the audience were pretty to many different films of different languages, at times dubbed in the language which they were familiar with. One such example was the telugu film Hit The First Case.

It was during the lockdown that I had managed to watch Hit The First Case and I was totally blown away by the film(although the film may not have been liked by many people). It was a swift thriller which constantly kept you on your toes and keeping you guessing till the very end. But it was a bit shocking for me that its Hindi remake was being developed by the same makers despite it not being a big commercial success. With much skepticism, I decided to watch the Hindi Adaptation of Hit The First Case. Is it worth your time, lets find out.

Story & Screenplay

An Official Hindi Adaptation of the Telugu film of the same name, Hit The First Case follows the story a mentally disturbed cop investigating the disappearance of two girls in the city. I had really liked the story there and here it is no different except for some not so great tweaks made to it. The screenplay standing at 136 minutes means that it is fast paced much like the original and it doesn’t allow you space to breathe.

The screenplay opens with a flashback which gives you a glimpse of the mentally harassed state of the protagonist. Cut to the present day and it also gives you a glimpse of his love life and his professional life. Now those of you(like me) who have watched the original would definitely know the beats of the screenplay. In other words, the twists and turns would feel repetitive. But for those of you who haven’t would mildly be engaged in this investigative drama(and I say mildly as there is a flaw in the technical department which I will get to in my next section).

I do not which to analyse the screenplay much as it is a frame to frame adaptation of the original(you can read my review of the original Hit on Popcorn Reviewss to know my thoughts) . But I would want to discuss a little on the final act. Now in order to do something different, there was a film Forensic(the Hindi one) which had made the final act almost laughable. Well here the final act is not laughable but it was rather needless. The original had a logical conclusion to it but this one seemed forced and it seemed like the makers lost the plot at the end. I wouldn’t give out spoilers to keep the interest of the Hindi version alive but the ending seemed far fetched and it didn’t seem the right one. But overall, a faithful screenplay which has its moments.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are decently well penned and the good part is that they do not seem to be over the top. The music is excellent and it also did its bit in further progressing the story(especially in its initial reels). The BGM is decent but no match to the original which had a pulsating BGM right throughout. The cinematography is pretty good as well. Which brings me to a major flaw – the editing(something that I had an issue with in the original too). The editing is choppy with multiple jump cuts which does speed up the drama but it never lets the audience settle into it. Even with scenes involving a tragedy, the characters are barely allowed to react to the situation before a jump cut ensures that the investigation motors on. Had there been some relaxation, the drama would have been more cerebral which the audience could have absorbed better(especially its emotional quotient). Director Sailesh Kolanu has done a good job here but I really wish some flaws of the original would have been taken care off here(as that may have been the sole reason why this remake was made despite its Hindi dubbed version available).

Performances

One of the reasons why the original Hit had worked for me was the performances of the supporting cast who were simply brilliant. But sadly, that is not the case here. Almost the entire supporting cast is found wanting(some having dead pan expressions that really dilutes the overall impact)  except Shilpa Shukla and Dalip Tahil who lend some much needed support to the exceptional protagonist. Shilpa Shukla has her moments to shine and does a pretty good job. Sanya Malhotra as Neha was good but I wish the length of her role was a bit more. The role did no justice to the talent of Sanya as she was barely there through the running minutes of the film. Which brings me to the terrific protagonist who had to do a lot of the heavy lifting here – Rajkummar Rao. Raj is simply outstanding in a role which required a solid actor with a wide range to take you on a roller coaster of enotions. The scenes of trauma would have been the toughest and he yet again proves why we all regard Raj as a prolific actor. This was a towering performance that single handedly steadied a sinking ship.

Conclusion

Hit The First Case is a faithful yet flawed remake led by a prolific act by its lead which can be watched only if you haven’t watched the Original.<span;>But this film falls in the category of Jersey – A Rather Needless Adaptation. Available in a theatre near you.

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