Poorly executed survival thriller becomes very pointless
THE Bollywood survival thriller recently premiered on streaming site Hotstar. A woman is travelling on a bus to meet her fiancé when it is suddenly attacked by a murderous gang, who loot the passengers. They kidnap the woman with the intent of raping and eventually killing her, but she escapes into a barren landscape. It isn’t long before she goes from being the prey to becoming the hunter.
With so many kidnappings by rapists in India, a hard-hitting story of a woman fighting back must have seemed the like a great idea. Unfortunately, it is poorly executed in a very messy film that becomes increasingly pointless as it progresses. Right from the villains attacking the bus for a silly reason and looking more comical than scary to a predictable storyline, Apurva quickly begins to unravel.
It just looks like an excuse for extreme violence in a lawless landscape, instead of it being a gripping thriller filled with strong characters. The film soon looks like a poor copy of 2015 movie NH10, which starred Anushka Sharma in the lead role.
Unlike NH10, there is very little character development, so it is hard to form a connection with the protagonists. There are moments when the film tries to be clever but fails and becomes unintentionally cringeworthy.
Tara Sutaria delivers a spirited performance as she goes from a fearful woman being hunted to becoming the predator and immerses herself in the role. Rajpal Yadav being weighed down by the many comical roles means it’s hard to take him seriously as a vicious villain. There are also some decent set pieces and a rugged setting that adds an extra layer to the film. Perhaps the main plus point of this movie is that it isn’t very long, which makes it bearable. Overall, this is an average movie that could have been so much more with better writing, casting, and directing.