‘Hidimbha’ movie review: Twists and turns work

“Hidimbha,” is an action thriller drama that features Ashwin Babu and Nandita Swetha in the lead roles. The makers have been promoting the film for the past few days, and the teaser and trailer of the film look quite interesting, which has successfully created suspense. The film hits theatres and let’s see how it fares at box-office.


Aadya (Nandita Swetha) is a special officer who has been teamed up to find out the mystery behind the missing women in Hyderabad. ACP Abhay (Ashwin Babu) is also made a part of the same team to help with the investigation. The main plotline of the film revolves around how the team investigates the missing cases and catches the serial killer. What is the motive of the killer, and does the duo bring justice to everyone who is kidnapped? This forms the rest of the story.


Ashwin Babu is one of the Tollywood actors who has appeared in a few thriller films in the past. He is back with another thriller with the Hidimbha movie after a small gap between the films. His appearance as a cop is very convincing with his body language, physique, and looks. His performance in the action scene is also intense. This is surely a good comeback for the actor.

Nandita Swetha has an equally important role for herself and Ashwin in “Hidimbha.” She appears throughout the movie, with important scenes surrounding both lead roles. Makarand Deshpande plays the antagonist and has delivered a brilliant performance.


Aneel Kanneganti of “Mr Nookayya,” and “Run” fame directs “Hidimba.” It is a serial killer investigative thriller with over-the-top action blocks in between. The opening, with eerie music and a creepy setting, immediately makes one curious about the plot. The theme of missing girls is also clearly established.

However, what follows takes one out of seriousness instantly. The drama featuring the primary characters inhibiting the space can be much better. The writing gets the primary blame, but the direction is also unsatisfactory, making the whole thing look rushed and flat.

The hero introduction and the fun further deplete the serious-looking narrative. The comedy fails to mingle with the core plot and looks forced. It is now up to the primary investigation, and some bits look fine here, even if following the genre cliches to the hilt. The conflict between the leads, the lead and the higher officials are all poorly executed. A big action block is placed amidst all this, which looks straight out of a regular commercial movie. It is executed well.

The pre-interval and interval are okay in parts, making one interested in the second half. Hidimba’s real content is revealed at the beginning of the second half. It is lengthy and pace dips but has a consistent and cohesive tone to keep one engaged.

The visuals are gory and are not for everybody, but it does the job of hooking the audience. Things derail once the flashback ends, and the interest starts to fade. Just when one thinks it is all over and there is no coming back, a twist in the tale takes one by surprise. It is illogical but helps salvage the collapsing narrative.

On a whole, “Hidimba” is a thriller ticking all the genre cliches with a unique and gory backdrop. However, it has only few workable parts. If you like the genre, can have a look in this weekend but have the least expectations.


Director Aneel Kanneganti did an okay job with the narration. But the director deserves special applause for delivering a technically superior product despite the budget constraints. Hidimbha indicates that Aneel Kanneganti can do wonders if he is given more budget. The film’s concept is very exciting, but it takes forever to enter the main plot as the first hour is filled with routine investigation scenes. Hidimbha could have been a superb thriller had the first half been exciting. Also, the film raises many doubts due to a lack of clarity regarding a few aspects, forcing one to assume things. The message conveyed at the end is good.

The background score by Vikas Badisa lends a touch of intrigue. The cinematography by B. Rajasekhar is top-notch. All the flashback scenes and the Khalabanda action sequence look solid on screen due to the eye-catching visuals. The editing is below par in the first half and is good in the latter half. The production values are exemplary.



Background music

The main twist


Inconsistency in narration

The sluggish first half

Too much of cinematic liberties