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Apurva, A Gritty Thriller Which Keeps You Watching




Apurva(now  streaming on Disney+Hotstar)


Written & Directed Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Nikhil Bhat who is currently being lauded globally for his no-holds-barred killer thriller Kill, seems to be fascinated by  sociopathic violence. He  pulls  a racy punch  in Apurva. A  cleverly  designed slasher thriller underscored…or shall I say thunderscored…  by  a message on  the need for women to protect  themselves from sexual violence  without depending on police or partner, Apurva had me gripped  to the bloodied  end.

 The  fascinating Chambalesque outdoor location(shot with menacing verve  by Anshuman Mahaley) serves as a gritty landscape for  lawlessness. Thi  is a no man’s land where outlawry  is  a way of life. Four bandits  Jugnu(Rajpal Yadav), Sukha(Abhishek Banerjee).  Balli(Simit Gulati) and Chotu(Aaditya Gupta)—the  last-named so called  for a certain sliced part of his anatomy—intercept a bus, abduct a  girl who turns out to be our hero Apurva.

The uni-sex name is a clever touch, considering the stunts  that Apurva performs to escape from the goons are predominantly allotted  to male heroes in films.

Yadav, Banerjee and Gulati are  chilling in their immorality. They  kill, rape , and  plunder without  any fear of the law which is whittled down to one tired bored cop(Madhvendra Jha). Writer-director Nikhil Bhat sets up the plot with an astute eye for physical detail. The  bleak ominous outdoors(shot in Kuldhara  near  Jaisalmer) exude a vile violence and brutality.

An abandoned wagon and an old fathomless well play pivotal parts in the  cat-and-mouse game that  the four goons play with their escapee. The writing, though free of  big surprises,  never lets  go  of our attention.

As the young woman who  finds herself in a situation that one wouldn’t wish on one’s worst enemy, Tara Sutaria pulls out all stops to deliver a performance which is  as  exhausting physically  as it is emotionally. It takes a while for Apurva to realize what she is  up against.

Interestingly once she gets  a hang of the homicidal adversity she finishes all four psychopaths one after  another. The anxious boyfriend  Siddharth(Dhairya Karwa) arrives only after Apurva is done dealing with goons.

At 90 minutes of playing time Apurva remains an edge-of-the-seat experience. At times the violence gets hard to bear. But then it is not a pretty world out there.And really, how far can  the pepper-spray attitude take  a potential kidnap victim?

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