Tuesday, September 20, 2011

24 Hours

Director: Aditya Sam Abraham
Cast: Kuldeep, Komal, Manoj K. Jayan, Devan
Year: 2010
Language: Malayalam

This was another movie that had glowing online reviews. Here's a sample:

24 Hours - Gripping
The new Malayalam movie 24 Hours is an impressive film considering it is by a debutant director Aditya Sam Abraham. Starring newcomer Kuldeep in the title role, 24 Hours is a well-made gripping thriller... [Read article].

Now Running:
Just when we thought the real thrillers had disappeared into the dusk, along comes 24 Hours with its sturdy barrels raking up a welcome din. The film is captivating and clever enough to keep us absorbed, and in crafting it, Aditya boosts the sagging genre and offers us an adventure ride that lasts for ninety minutes that's indeed worth taking... [Read article].

Overall, the film works for those who want sensible and racy entertainment. The technical values were excellent and with crisp performances from the cast, the film appeals to all genres of audience.
Bharatstudent Verdict : Well made thriller, recommended ... [Read article].

After watching the movie, I felt terribly betrayed by these reviewers. I know that from now on I will never rely on online reviews. 

A gripping thriller? Racy entertainment? Captivating film? You have got to be kidding me! If this was made by someone on a low budget for YouTube release, I would have applauded the effort. But this was supposedly made for wide release in theaters. I expect more from a movie where you're expected to buy a ticket to watch it. 

The plot goes like this: a rich young man named Jagan (Kuldeep) is wasting his family's wealth and reputation by drag racing expensive cars and crashing them. His older brother gets fed up with his antics and kicks him out of the house. Jagan goes to a bar to get wasted, where he gets into a fight with a fellow drag racer. That guy throws a knife at Jagan, but misses and kills the brother of a powerful Don in Kochi. The Don (Manoj K. Jayan) believes that Jagan is responsible and sends his thugs after him. An SI, played by Shammi Thilakan, believes that Jagan is innocent and offers to help him, but he is killed by the Don's thugs. The rest of the movie is about how Jagan evades the Don's thugs for a while, is then captured, and finally overcomes them -- with the help of a beautiful girl. 

It is obvious that the filmmakers were trying to craft a movie by the Hollywood playbook. They succeed a little too much. Everything is done by the textbook, but the end product is bland, un-entertaining, and cheap-looking.

If you read the three reviews above, one thing you'll notice is that they heap lavish praise on the technical aspects -- cinematography, editing, art direction, screenplay. Who cares how good the cinematography or editing is, when the story is bland and the movie looks like it was shot with a camcorder. If you're trying to make a movie on a low budget and shooting digitally to save money, you should have something special to make up for it. Current digital technology simply cannot match the quality of video shot on film. If this movie had an excellent story or well-developed characters or something new that's never been explored before in cinema, all of its other faults could be forgiven. Unfortunately it has nothing of redeeming value.

About the actors: I was really happy to see Shammi Thilakan in a positive role. He is such a good actor, and it's a pity to always see him as a villain. I hope more directors will recognize his talent and give him varied roles. For a debutant actor, Kuldeep does a fair job. He's got style, and is very attractive. I have a feeling that his voice was dubbed by someone else, because his lips didn't match the words sometimes. Komal is beautiful, but is a terrible actress. I hope this is the end of her in Malayalam cinema. Her face is totally devoid of expression. The dubbing artiste who dubbed for her has the most annoying voice. I've heard her voice on many young actresses recently, and it's extremely irritating.

In the climax, the Don is shown arriving on a helicopter to personally kill Jagan. Apart from the fact that it felt out of place at that point in the movie, it was just a total waste of money. They try to save by shooting digitally and using home computer special effects, but then go and waste money on helicopter rental? Go figure! 


  1. I think the fact that they spent such a low amount of money and actually made it and got it released is a hereculean effort.

  2. Lots of people have liked this film dude. Sure, there are a few problems. But it's kinda obvious they really didn't have any money to shoot this. I think an effort that must be applauded.

  3. Wat a dumb review. Obviously, the reviewer knows nothing of cinema and is just mistaken that she knows everything. Cinema is not just story and characters. Evaluations must be based on the genre of the film. Not on preconceived notions on what 'malayalam' cinema must be. In her review she mentions clearly, she expected much more from the film and this is the problem. An entirely subjective opinion. And that's all that this review is - an opinion nobody gives a damn about.

  4. Pavizhamalli luvs Kuldeep... he he

    1. Pavizhamalli loves her husband. She thinks Kuldeep is attractive. ;)

  5. low budget padam allae sistarae. Onnu kshami...

  6. "If this was made by someone on a low budget for YouTube release, I would have applauded the effort. "

    Hey Pavizhamalli, - news flash - it is a low-budget film!

  7. Conversely, you'll get an excellent story, well-developed characters, great production values, and something new that's never been explored before in cinema when the director gets a "real" budget more than 38 lakhs.

    oh and please don't tell me a great movie can be done in this budget. you know nothing about making movies and how tough it is or how much pain it is and/or how hostile the industry is. and the argument, you don't need to know all that, is rendered moot by your caustic criticism.

    lastly, please don't say you expect more from movies as you have to spend money to watch them in theatres. you most certainly didn't watch this movie in the theatre. also we expect much more from people who think they are good enough to write reviews.

    "A 24 hours fan"