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.
'24 Hours' about a man who is on the run from a mafia gang. The whole story takes place in one day within a 24 Hour period. All the actors appear in the same costume and things seem to take place in real time.
The story is basically that of a spoilt youngster named Jagannath Varma (Kuldeep) who engages in street racing. His family consists of elder brother Vikramaditya Varma played by Devan and a doting sister-in-law played by Vinaya Prasad. Jagan gets involved in a major racing crash on the streets of Kochi in the early minutes of the movie.
The aftermath makes headline news causing major embarrassment to his elder brother who's a reputed industrialist. Fed up with Jagan's spoilt ways Vikramaditya Varma disinherits Jagan from the family and throws him out of the house much against Vinaya Prasad's protests. Down and out of his luck, Jagan takes refuge in a seedy bar. There, in a thrilling twist, and in a very interesting turn of events, Jagan gets mistakenly have murdered the brother of a mafia don played Manoj K. Jayan. And so begins a chain of events where Jagan constantly has to get out of one tight spot after another.
The film is devoid of songs and lasts only 93 minutes much like a Hollywood film. But even those 93 minutes fly like 5 minutes, because the racy screenplay.
The performances by the new actors are also noteworthy. It doesn't look like it's Kuldeep's first movie. The youngster carries himself superbly playing the character realistically and with empathy. The rest of experienced cast performs spectacularly. Special mention to Manoj K. Jayan as Ikthar - the mafia don and Shammi Tilakan who for a change, turns up as an honest cop, who helps Jagan. Manoj K. Jayan is restrained and radiates a good screen presence. Ani Murali also deserves special mention as the don's right hand man. Irshad, Sudhir and Jagathy Sreekumar in a cameo put in competent performances.
The film has tried certain stylistic approaches. For e.g. the appearance of time after every key scene. The camerawork and direction are excellent. The cinematography by Reji V. Kumar is extraordinary. It captures the grit and fear of the chase. The climatic helicopter battle is the highlight of the film. Rahul Raj and Santhosh Varma have come up with a fitting theme song which captures the spirit of the movie. The background score by Hisham is apt and thrilling. Though in certain places it could have been better.
While the story that 24 Hours tells is nothing new the way the film unfolds on screen is a pleasant surprise to watch. This definitely is a very different movie for the Malayalam audience.