Free Press Journal

30 Minutes: Unsound Thriller


Film: 30 Minutes

Cast: Hiten Paintal, Hrishita Bhatt, Paintel, Riya Sen

Director: Yesudas B C

Director Yesudas B C says he set out to make a thriller seeking inspiration from his and his friends’ experiences. But his film looks like it came from a completely alien space – one devoid of all things real.

As a young boy Shashank (Hiten Paintal) is regularly beaten up by his alcoholic father, a widower who is so punctual about time that he literally wants his booze brought to him within the specified 30 minutes. And that saga of demands continues on into adulthood. He moves to Gorakhpur and even on the first day of work it’s his ghastly father’s taunting refrain that wakes him from deep sleep, only to arrive at the office a few minutes late.

His Boss gives him a second chance and soon enough the new content writer cum copywriter for the firm is ensconced in a lovey-dovey relationship with his direct superior Shivani (Hrishita Bhatt). The film begins quite ridiculously. The cops have Shashank encircled and tell him to try and cross the border to Nepal within 30 minutes if he can. It’s a 10 km stretch and Shashank is expected to run for his second chance, with the cops in chase. Then comes the flashback to Shashank’s first day on the job.

Shashank’s romance runs into a hurdle when Shivani gives him an ultimatum. ‘Come to the party at my house within 30 mins or forget about me altogether’ she shrieks when he is caught up in work –which she should be cognizant of given that she works in the same office and is his boss. But the late lateef doesn’t make it on time and the romance is off. He tries to make amends but fate decides otherwise.

At Shivani’s funeral he meets Shalini, her look a like sister who is furious at him. He wants to explain but she is not interested. In the mean while Shashank has these night-time rages which turn him into a demon and the follow-up is an incrementing body count. The cops get hold of him though and take him to a psychiatrist who makes ridiculous diagnoses and leaves room for an escape. Then it’s Shashank’s turn to exorcise the demon within, by playing a game of Russian roulette with the 30 minute yardstick.

The screenplay is way out of left field, doesn’t make sense at all. Split personality pursuits have had better definition in Hindi cinema; this one doesn’t quite fit any bill. The performances are shrill, the plotting is haphazard and the entertainment value is zero. A few old fashioned romantic numbers are thrust into the narrative like some filler stuffing and it’s not enjoyable at all. Weird is the only word to describe this experience and even that doesn’t fit entirely!