Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s crime thriller ‘Apurva’, takes you by surprise. Set in Chambal, Apurva is about an ordinary woman who faces extraordinary circumstances and does whatever it takes to survive. Apurva (Tara Sutaria) is on her way to surprise her fiancé Siddharth aka Sid (Dhairya Karwa) for his birthday. En route she gets abducted by a gang comprising of Jugnu Bhaiya (Rajpal Yadav), Sukkha (Abhishek Banerjee), Balli (Sumit Gulati) & Chota (Aaditya Gupta).
Apurva is dumped in a car to a deserted location and thrown in a standalone locomotive carriage, the gang’s makeshift address. Though the abduction was without any major motive, it becomes one for the gang soon after she tries to escape. From here on what follows is a cat & mouse chase. The only difference being who’s the cat and who is the mouse becomes subjective and situational. The hunter becomes the hunted and vice-versa.
The story is presented, shot and directed with a very taut screenplay. The director does not give a breather to the audience and drags them into the world faced by Apurva. Once into action we start rooting for Apurva and pray she gets to contact the right people at the earliest. She does get an opportunity and speaks to her fiancé. When she was just about to reveal her whereabouts the phone falls off her hands!
A better part of the narrative is shot in the dark. Imagine a secluded place with no sign of habitats far and wide, how could one find the other. Here the director makes effective use of the emptiness and a torch in moonlight. The conclusion gives a sigh of relief and a feeling of victory over the evil.
This could be one of those films that surprises in ways more than one. First and foremost, the leads in Tara Sutaria and Rajpal Yadav leave you startled. For both these actors, it could open many doors for their new identity. Rajpal Yadav is a revelation in a negative, villainous character. Abhishek Banerjee is on a roll; film after film, he is excelling in the acting department. Abhishek spells doom for others in Apurva.
Apurva also displays the determination of the fairer sex that they are not weak and can take on whatever, whoever comes their way. Apurva is a single woman chased by four armed criminals. It is through her presence of mind and the right thinking of not giving up in the worst of situations. One single woman takes on the might of four young men and not just overpowers them but finishes them. A well made woman centric edge-of-the-seat crime thriller.
This could be one film that one would want to watch on the big screen (the author did get to watch it on the big screen). It is surprising why it had to take the OTT route without any theatrical release. A probable chance of a hit missed!
In nutshell, Apurva is an unmissable film about the protagonist’s grit and ability to fight against the evil to reach the rightful conclusion.
Directed by: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Cast: Tara Sutaria, Dhairya Karwa, Abhishek Banerjee, Rajpal Yadav, Sumit Gulati, Aaditya Gupta
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar