Review of the film Hidimba: For the sake of stupid commercial and box office considerations, what could have been a sharp statement on colonialism and India’s dark history gets dumbed down.
Hidimba starts as a police investigation into the strange women’s disappearances in the city. Abhay (Ashwin Babu) is in charge of the probe as IPS Aadya (Nandita Shwetha) is brought in as the number of cases rises and pressure from the public and media surges. Old lovers Abhay and Aadya split up when Aadya passed the IPS exam and moved to Kerala to work. To investigate the repeated kidnappings and find the perpetrators—an organ trafficking ring—Abhay and Aadya work together. The kidnappings continue even after they solve the case and apprehend the major offenders.
Another piece of information that Aadya discovers suggests a connection to the Kerala serial killing case she previously solved. To investigate the situation further, Abhay and Aadya travel to the state. The hints point to startling information that dates back to the Indian subcontinent’s indigenous tribes and the period before independence. The rest of the story is based on these facts and how they relate to the numerous kidnapping incidents.
The movie moves along quickly since fresh twists are added frequently. The ‘kala banda region’ sequence, while resembling KGF’s color scheme, holds the first half quite well. The scene where the protagonist devises a plan to catch the kidnappers using the color red works wonderfully. Before the intermission, tightly edited sequences keep the pace moving while the background music keeps the mood light.
After the intermission, the movie ventures into uncharted territory, but the uneven, non-linear plotline and hazy linkages to the current plot significantly detract from the overall experience. Many viewers will find the extreme violence on the screen repulsive. The conclusion is disappointing because the final surprise is surprising yet not supported by logic. Because of how it is concluded, the writer-directors creativity in selecting the subject is utterly lost.
Ashwin Babu and Nandita Shwetha, the lead couple, did a good job. Ashwin makes an impression on screen. Raghu Kunche, Shubhalekha Sudhakar, and Rajiv Kanakala also perform, while Makrand Deshpande has a scary appearance.
Anil Kanneganti, the film’s writer-director, took a risk by tackling a topic that hasn’t been widely seen in Indian cinema. With a little more effort, he could have elevated the movie to the stature of the lofty subject he picked by giving it a more pertinent ending. Due to stupid commercial and box office demands, what should have been an incisive critique of colonialism and India’s dark past gets dumbed down.
The cast of Hidimba includes Ashwin Babu, Rajiv Kanakala, Nandita Shwetha, Shiju, Raghu Kunche, and Srinivas Reddy.
Director of the film Hidimba: Anil Kanneganti
Movie review: 2 stars