7 hours to go
7 hours to go

Cast: Shiv Pandit, Sandeepa Dhar, Vipin Sharma, Varun Badola

Director: Saurabh Verma

Rating: * * ½ 

Runtime: 114 mins

A fairly ritualistic thriller that sets it’s meter around 7 hours with 7 hostages at stake, this one has juvenile, unspecific justification for it’s race-to-the-finish contrivance.

Working around the premise that what is seen is not actually how it happens, writer-director Saurabh Verma fashions an exploitative thriller that is more intent on playing hide-and-seek with the viewer than it is in revealing the real deal. Arjun( Shiv Pandit) a cop from Muzzaffarnagar arrives in Mumbai and goes straight to the court where his girl-friend Maya, is supposed to be deposing against a notorious developer/builder Khemka. As he walk into the court premises, the other players in the story get into the act. Varun Badola enacts the role of a double-dealing cop and Sandeepa Dhar is Shukla ji, a no-nonsense single minded cop whose determination and skill at cracking cases and getting criminals to book , is quite legendary.

Maya gets shot just as Arjun enters the court premises and within minutes he carries in her body and sets up a strong hold with 7 hostages under his captivity. If you don’t bother trying to figure out why, you could be in for a decently paced joyride. Unfortunately suspending your disbelief for a run-time of 114 minutes is next to impossible, given the piquantly false setup. It’s inexplicable why Shujla ji presence is being demanded by the hostage taker. And the fall-out of that request just doesn’t provide any justification for a police sniper and a hired assassin honing in on the kill.

The attempt at levity by the crying assassin who is also a talented ventriloquist – probably intended to be read as a dual personality, just doesn’t ring true. The actors try their best to make it all look good, production design is spiffy but the background score just doesn’t cut it. And a credible case for Khemka’s villainy is never quite made out. So even though the film succeeds in getting you mildly worked up, it fails at providing the exciting thrills that make this genre so interesting.

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