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Heat movie review: Vardhan Gurrala’s crime thriller is packed with many twists

The film, written by MR Varma and directed by M N Arjun and Sharath Varma, also stars Sneha Kushi, Mohan Sai, Ambika Vani in key roles

Heat movie review: Vardhan Gurrala’s crime thriller is packed with many twists

Last Updated: 07.08 AM, May 05, 2023



Cyril and Abhijeeth are inseparable friends since childhood who’ll go out of the way to help one another. Amidst strong parental opposition, Cyril and his girlfriend Aaradhya get married at a church with the help of their friends. While the couple plans to move abroad for the time-being and celebrate their joy at a pub, both Cyril and Aaradhya are missing under mysterious circumstances. How far will Abhi go to find his friends?


Cashing in on the love for thrillers among viewers, another film in this genre, Heat, tests its fortunes at the theatres this weekend. Heat deals with a simple story surrounding a protagonist Abhi’s search for their friends and a psychopath who tries to frame him (Abhi) for all the crimes he commits. The story largely revolves around the mind games between the protagonist and the mysterious villain.


Beneath the simplicity is a thriller that largely unfolds on the move, comes with a reasonably taut screenplay packed with interesting twists and turns. The film takes a while to establish its basic premise surrounding friendship, inter-religious marriage and parental opposition. Beyond the initial sluggishness, you find yourself drawn into the story and enjoy playing the guessing game along with the protagonist.

Despite being made on a shoestring budget, the makers of Heat smartly mask their limitations by setting up the story mostly in the various streets of Hyderabad. There are a few cinematic liberties during the protagonist’s journey - say how he doesn’t even mind paying Rs 1 crore to the culprit for freeing his friend(s), conveniently escapes the sight of cops at every given opportunity. Look past a few follies and you won’t be disappointed.

While there are no major issues with the film, the writer MR Varma, directors M N Arjun, Sharath Varma could’ve made a better effort at escalating the tension at a few intervals and added more juice to the backstories, subplots of the characters (the cops and the villain, in particular). The idea of a villain consistently asking the protagonist to apologise is interesting though.

At just under two hours, the runtime is quite ideal for a thriller and the use of real locations, raw cinematography contributes to the ambience of the film.The climactic twist may leave you with mixed feelings but yet the team uses the opportunity to discuss a pertinent social issue amidst the tension.Vardhan Gurrala as Abhi makes the most of the opportunity and responds to the challenge of anchoring the film with his restrained performance.

The other actors Sneha Kushi, Mohan Sai and Ambika Vani perform well as per the needs of the story. Rohit Bachu’s cinematography, M R Varma’s taut writing and Gowtham Raviram background score are the film’s other major strengths. The song focusing on the friendship between the pivotal characters doesn’t create the intended impact. Within its limitations, Heat still manages to make an impression.


Heat is a fairly engaging road thriller with a measured performance by its lead actor Vardhan Gurrala. While the film takes its own time to set up the premise, the screenplay gains steam gradually and keeps you invested with its twists and turns. The smart use of exterior locations, raw action and cinematography contribute to its appeal.

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