After being underwhelmed by the first two episodes of 24 India (insert hyperlink of last week’s review?), this writer was hoping for a turnaround in the second week. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The 3rd and 4th episodes of the show turned out to be even more disappointing than the first two.
24 India was supposed to be the path breaking show that pulls Indian television out of the rut it is stuck in. Instead the show itself is stuck in a rut of bad writing. When one can easily predict what is going to happen next in a thriller that is supposed to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, it shows a sad indifference by the makers towards their audience.
The weak screenplay and lame dialogues are the main culprits here. Where there should be nail biting tension, there is a strange lethargy. The level of immaturity shown by high level intelligence officers is hard to believe, and coupled with bad acting it just becomes laugh-worthy. Despite the precious minutes ticking away there is no sense of foreboding, no sense of urgency at all. Maybe because one just doesn’t feel for any of the characters. But then, it is not easy to feel for caricatures.
Anil Kapoor has always been a powerhouse actor but here he is not able to bring the required energy to his role of a high-on-action intelligence officer. While he can’t be expected to look mint fresh in the middle of the night, his haggard look is a bit too extreme. Mandira Bedi is too stiff to be convincing as Rathod’s tough lieutenant. Looking convincing is actually the problem of most actors here and the characterisation is equally to be blamed. The future Prime Minister is too naïve and self-righteous to be a politician, and the bad guys are all so one-note that the evil mother-in-laws of family soaps seem like nuanced characters in comparison.
If 24 India is going to maintain the same standards in its future episodes then there is very little chance of its acceptance by the audience. A thriller is supposed to thrill, not put one to sleep. Here’s hoping the makers wake up before it is too late and put up a better show in the coming episodes.