Sometimes at night when the mother was not in the mood to cook or she was tired, she used to cook all the vegetables of the day in rice and make ‘masala bhaat’. Its test could be good or bad. Some liked its taste and some did not. The Kannada film Twenty One Hours, which is being shown on Amazon Prime Video, is also a kind of ‘masala bhaat’. You may or may not like its taste. It is a difficult deal to form any opinion about this film as some parts of the film are good, and some are very bad. The old suspense thriller and the remaining parts of the murder mystery films were combined to make a film in which the actors are acting very lively but the script is good. The dramatics are high so the scene configuration is good. Usually after watching the film it is easy to decide whether to recommend the film to anyone or not. The irony of Twenty One Hours is that it can neither be recommended nor avoided to be talked about.
Twenty One Hours is a suspense film in which a girl goes missing. Every person related to his life is interrogated by the police by staying in a hotel. Everyone is under suspicion. Girl’s parents, girl’s husband, girl’s mother-in-law, girl’s ex-boyfriend, girl’s father’s friend, a few ministers. Officially, the police have not started the investigation yet, but at the behest of a friend of the girl’s father, the minister has sent one of his trusted Crime Branch officers to do the least bit of intelligence interrogation. While talking to every person, he keeps revealing some of their secrets so that they accept their crime. Then the news comes that the girl’s body has been found along with some dead bodies of the drug mafia. The tone of the whole story changes and everyone is left out. Is the girl really dead, why drug mafia corpses were found with her dead body, does the crime branch inspector know something that no one knows. The spicy rice of all this is the film Twenty One Hours.
Kannada actor Dhananjay is rice in this film, that is, everything is the same. Crime branch officers have been made, who do all kinds of work of the minister and get his special compassion. Dhananjay continues to get work in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil films. Hindi audience has seen him in the role of Jolly Reddy in Allu Arjun’s famous film Pushpa. Dhananjay’s stature is like the hero of the film and his acting is also very good. Dhananjay fits perfectly in the way a hero is required to be dramatic in Kannada films. He has not been able to make the right impact about his character in the film that is revealed in the climax. Apart from this, Dhananjay is dominating the entire film. In the beginning, he looks like a great detective and as the film progresses, his craze starts to dominate. Malayalam film actress Durga Krishna can be called the heroine of the film because she is the character of the girl who goes missing in the film and the whole film is spent in finding her. Screen time is less but there was no room for more than that. Apart from Dhananjay, the actors who have done well are Sudev Nair (as husband), Ravikumar Rao (as father’s friend) and Rahul Madhav (as ex-boyfriend).
Director Jaishankar Pandit basically makes ad films. Twenty One Hours is his first film and because of this he was trying to stay away from traditional formulas but if it is a Kannada film, it will be a little louder. It is good that dance song has not been kept in the film. Jaishankar wrote and directed this film on a true incident. Despite this, there is a lot of drama in the story. S Thiru has handled the camera but the cinematography is a bit strange. Close and mid shots are placed in about 60% of the film and 80% of the film is in indoors. The budget of the film definitely gets reduced due to this but the impact that should have come did not come. There is mystery, but there is no car chase, there is no attempt to trace the girl, but only the focus in the film is on interrogation. Richard Kevin, the editor of Vikram Veda, has edited the film but he also did not have much to play, yet almost 90% of the film looks quite interesting and exciting.
Twenty One Hours is an experimental type of film. It is an experiment for Dhananjay to do such a film and it is the director’s first film. If you ignore the minor shortcomings, and do not worry about the proportion of spices, then you may like this masala rice.
Tags: Amazon Prime Video, film review
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 03, 2022, 14:21 IST