Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
Star cast: Tara Sutaria, Rajpal Yadav, Abhishek Banerjee, Dhairya Karwa
Tara Sutaria starrer Apurva REVIEW
Up until now, Tara Sutaria’s filmography hadn’t given her much chance to explore her potential as an actor. She had become that typical good looking girl on screen. But after Heropanti 2, I honestly felt disappointed for her. So, when Apurva was announced as the first film for Tara that she’d be leading, I was a bit conflicted. However, when I went in to review Apurva, I witnessed the same potential that I saw in that young girl on Disney shows.
Apurva is a gritty thriller and its crisp pace keeps you hooked and at the edge-of-your-seat throughout. It’s Nikhil’s vision and screenplay that does wonders, but he gets the full support from his stellar cast. This is the first time Tara has got to come out of that ‘good looking heroine’ box, and she made full use of it. And it isn’t to say she doesn’t look pretty on screen. She does that as well, but there is so much more to her.
A survival drama hinges on its ability to evoke emotions, and I saw that happen first hand. During one of the chase sequences, the end result made the entire audience jump from their seat and clap and hoot. It just showed the connectivity the story and the character built. But for me personally, what I loved the most about Apurva is that even in its journey to evoke emotion, it doesn’t lose the touch of logic. Whatever Apurva did has an emotion, a mindset, and a valid reason behind it. And that’s what makes it appealing.
Apurva is a young girl heading to Agra to surprise her fiance on his birthday. However, an unfortunate run in with 3 local goons lead her getting kidnapped by them. In the vast nowhere in Chambal, Apurva has to fight for herself to survive. Will she be able to make it out?
What’s good about Apurva
Screenplay and Cinematography: Nikhil’s writing is top notch. It’s crisp, to the point and yet elaborate. He starts by establishing his antagonists, and does a great work at it. Even in Apurva’s backstory, he knew where to put a full stop. He captures the eeriness of the Chambal so aptly that at times, it makes you feel uncomfortable. He has woven emotions and logic together quite beautifully. The way he brings out violence without being too grotesque is a skill, and that makes me quite excited for his next Kill.
Performances: I will elaborate on this part further, but I would say each and every character does justice to their part. Tara is able to evoke a connection with the audience, while Dhairya’s helplessness is palpable. Yet, it’s Rajpal and Abhishek as the menacing villains that will make you tremble in your knees.
What could have been better
Lack of scope for Dhairya’s character: Don’t get me wrong and think that Dhairya’s character or his portrayal is bad. He has done justice to his part, but he doesn’t get much to do in the plot of the story. While the story is about Apurva’s fight to survive, Dhairya’s Sid feels like an incomplete part in some way.
Background music: With the camera, as well as the performances, Nikhil brought out the eerieness of the Chambal as well as the situation. But with a better and more engaging bakground music, the film could have increased its impact.
Tara Sutaria as I said has truly shown that she is more than just a pretty face. This part gave her the scope to perform and she utilised it completely. From the innocence in her back story, to how she dealt with each circumstance as it came, there was a rawness. Her emotions of guilt, anger, survival, everything just falls right in place. Hopefully, this film will open many more such doors for her as she has the capability to shine.
Rajpal Yadav will make you feel scared just by his gaze. The menacing act that he has picked up is just so scary in a good way. It’s parts like these that make you wonder why don’t filmmakers try something else than comedy with him. His anger reflects in his calmness, and when he acts, you know no one can save you from his fury.
Abhishek Banerjee is also a class apart. He brings a playfulness to Sookha, while also making you feel scared of him. He balances that line so perfectly that it has you in awe of him. The actor is a master of his craft and it reflects in how he makes eah role that he plays his own.
Dhairya Karwa does his part jusitifiably. He looks good and has a charm to himself. You feel his helplessness too and root for him when he takes matter in his own hands. However, the script just feels incomplete for his part in some way.
I went in to review Apurva with a clean slate and I came out pleasantly surprised. The film will keep you hooked, it will keep you rooting for Apurva while also engaged to see her journey unfold. It won’t let you pause even for a second. Tara has given a carrer-defining performance, with Rajpal and Abhishek at their best as well. Hopefully, this is just the beginning for the actress.