4 Very Good

In the last few weeks I have suffered some long-n-surreptiously-boring films. Hence I walked in with a fair amount of trepidation in a cloistered preview theatre to watch an east-meets-west titled film ‘Deadline-Sirf 24 Ghante’. And two hour and a few minutes later, I had a big smile on my face as I emerged out having watched a well made film that keeps you engrossed from first frame to the last one.

In an industry where the thriller genre is limited to Abbas-Mastan brand of tepid potboilers or Ram Gopal Verma’s occasional hint of a genius, it is heartening to come across a thriller that doesn’t kneel hard on shocking editing chops and blood-pressure-boiling background score. Instead, the sensitivity by which the story has been handled, no frills-attached song-n-dance and a surprisingly convincing climax keeps you riveted till the end. Alright, a few things have been taken for granted. Like…

The simplistic manner in which a big time heart surgeon Dr Viren Goenka’s (Rajit Kapur) daughter Anishka (Jhanak Shukla) is kidnapped is a bit too bizarre. No security guards protecting a big bungalow….Seems unthinkable in today’s time and age. Even Roohi’s (Sandhya Mridul) character need not have resorted to coquettish mini-skirted ways to seduce Dr Viren when she had to make him a hostage on a gun point anyways. Considering her true identity, the bare leggy part seems more for titillation than any other reason. Even the capsule that Anishka’ mom Sanjana (Konkona Sensharma) mixes in kidnapper Krrish Vaidya’s (Irrfan Khan) drink to raise his BP beyond permissible limits is a bit too filmy. Moreover, how can Dr Viren manage to assemble a huge sum of money overnight collected from various sources and delivered in a Delhi hotel (He lives in Mumbai) without arousing suspicion of his lenders?

Apart from a few glitches, ‘Deadline-Sirf 24 Ghante’ is an absorbing film that keeps you interested throughout. What makes it even more watchable is its starcast. Irrfan’s bordering-on-psychotic kidnapper is immensely focused and ruthless to the core. His motive justifies his actions too. The deadpan expressions and dripping-with-cynicism humour evokes admiration-n-applause.

Zakir Hussein’s Kabir is a bumbling-gold-at-heart kidnapper who strikes you for his grip over flowing nervous energy. Even his silent vacuous expressions say a lot. Konkona Sensharma looks a bit too young for being passed off as a mother to a six or seven year old kid. But if you leave that aside, as expected she is a treat to watch especially in the high decibel histrionics she displays while fighting hard with Irrfan or showing the mirror of reality to her husband. Her bonding and concern for Anishka is very real and contextual.

Sandhya Mridul as a heartless-n-hard kidnapper never winces from doing what she is supposed to. Princey Jhanak Shukla as baby Anishka is a delightful kid who impresses with her performance (Especially when she has an Asthma attack). Finally Rajit Kapur as Dr Viren Goenka displays two sides to his personality and convincingly portrays both parts. The plight of a father superseding an ambitious doctor-entrepreneur comes across very naturally. Wish one could see him on big screen more often.

Baba Azmi’s camera work is good while Sanjay Sankla’s editing is spot on. The second half tends to drag a bit but it is made up by the taut climax. Director Tanveer Khan has competently written the story and dialogues himself. I am not interested in knowing what over-hyped Shirish Kunder’s future plans are, but I am surely keen on finding out what Tanveer Khan is doing next. Watch out for this man….He is gonna go places. As for ‘Deadline-Sirf 24 Ghante’….Take my word….You’d enjoy watching it!