‘This could’ve been a one hour long Crime Patrol episode!’ was my last thought as end-credits rolled in for the 2022 thriller ‘Hit: The First Case’. Written and directed by Sailesh Kolanu, the film stars Rajkumar Rao as Vikram, a Sherlock-like cop who is great at solving cases, but carries the trauma of a tragic past. When Vikram’s psychiatrist advises he take a break from work, he goes on a forced vacation but rushes back when his girlfriend Neha (Sanya Malhotra) goes missing. It’s up to Vikram to untangle the missing cases of both Neha and young college student called Preeti who seemingly vanishes into thin air.

It has a well executed first half, where the focus is on Vikram’s personal life and his professional rivalry with a fellow cop. The deep psychological effects of personal trauma is done quite well, everyone around the protagonist is supportive of his mental health problems. Sailesh Kolanu and team take artistic liberties with the cinematography, so there’s a lot of ominous orange lighting to set a dark mood for the crime thriller. Most of the scenes are clean, simple, without the typical extravagant props Bollywood films in this genre tend to deploy.

The biggest problem with ‘Hit: The First Case’ is that there are far too many co-incidences. Preeti’s missing case is like an incestuous web of connections, where almost half the cast is somehow linked to her case. Despite a very intriguing ‘missing’ plot, the story progresses to become a bizarre story with forced moral lessons. It’s a little like an Agatha Christie mystery, where there are multiple suspects, but there isn’t enough time to give them all the spotlight needed in order for the viewers to form their own little theories. So after a bunch of red herrings, when the final culprit is revealed, it comes as a big let down.

The movie wastes a lot of talented actors with its muddied plot and random shenanigans. Rajkumar Rao is sincere in his role, his character Vikram is a little grey and isn’t exactly a model cop, but with a weak climax, there is only so much Rao can do to mitigate a viewer’s disappointment.

It’s a 6/10 from me.

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