Television Mini-Series Review: 24

Anil Kapoor in T.V Series 24

From the moment Anil Kapoor bought the Indian Version official rights of the famous American T.V Series 24, The Trade, Press, Media and Viewers started drawing certain comparisons. Some started comparing Anil Kapoor with Keifer Sutherland, While others started analyzing Indian Viewer's acceptance towards the show. Anil Kapoor's '24' premiered its first episode tonight at 10 pm on Colors. It also replaced the popular comedy show, 'Comedy Nights With Kapil'.

So how is the show? Will it shatter all Daily Soap records with it's TRP? Will 24 bring a new revolution in the history of Indian Television? Can 24 become a platform where a T.V watching viewer starts accepting big stars on small screen (On a Serial Format, Of course and not in some Game or Reality based shows)?

The serial's first episode starts with an explanation from it's protagonist Jai Singh Rathod (Anil Kapoor) where he explains how India has faced some major terrorist attacks and for which Indian Government has formed ATU (Anti-Terrorist Unit) to protect our country from any such future damages. Jai Singh Rathod is the head of this ATU.

Jai Singh Rathod is celebrating his wife Trisha Rathod's (Tisca Chopra) birthday along with his daughter Kiran (Sapna Pabbi). Jai get's a call from Nikita Rai (Mandira Bedi) who is a government agent at ATU. The minute Jai reaches the ATU Wing, He is informed about a serious threat on Politician Aditya Singhania (Neil Bhoopalam) who is a Prime-Ministerial candidate and a youth icon. Aditya Singhania's life is in danger. Jai (While his way to ATU) get's a call from Wasim Khan (Anupam Kher) who is a Research and Analysis wing (RAW) officer informing about a "Rat" in ATU wing.

Irritated by his father's behavior, Kiran goes out to party with her friends without informing her mother. The result is she goes missing.

Aditya Singhania is ready to take his oath the next day with a prepared speech by his Mother (Anita Raj). But all hell breaks loose when he get's an immediate call from a T.V Channel head (Suchitra Pillai) who informs him about some of his dark crime which he committed 12 years back.

A contract Killer is on his way from Thailand but killed in the Flight itself by another Femme Fatale.

The Indian adaptation of '24', retains all the elements of the international series, the real-time, pulse-pounding, fast-paced format with split screens and complex interweaving storylines, with 24 episodes capturing 24 hours.

Director Abhinay Deo does full justice with his dedicated direction along with tight screenplay by writers Rensil D'Silva and Milan Milaap Zaveri. This one does not at all looks like a T.V Series but it looks like a One Hour feature film on TV. Full marks to the Direction, Writing and Production team for creating a wonderful extravaganza on small screen.

Performance wise, The show totally belongs to the one and only Anil Kapoor who makes you sit tight without touching your Remote Control buttons with his charm and persona. Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer might have been good there, But here Anil Kapoor is extra-ordinarily amazing as Jai Singh Rathod. Tisca Chopra, Anupam Kher, Mandira Bedi are superb in their respective parts. Neil Bhoopalam is just outstanding as Aditya Singhania and trust me, This first season belongs to him after Jai Singh Rathod. We are yet to see Shabana Azmi, But it was nice to see Anita Raj in a mind blowing role after a long time. Special mention to the actress who played Femme Fatale, The one who killed the contract killer and jumps from the flight. She hardly had 10 minutes in the First Episode, But she made her presence felt real strong.

It is reported, Some major channels initally refused to buy the idea of Indian Version of 24, At least not until Colors swooped in. I am very much  sure those channels now regret it. I really have no clue or will not lay a challenge if 24 beats other Thrillers running strongly on other TV Channels with huge TRP's, But 24 will be the most exciting, The most talked about and the most interesting TV Mini Series India has ever produced.

Prepare yourself on every Fridays and Saturdays at 10pm for a Thrilling roller coaster ride of 24 as this one is most Powerful, Gripping and an Honest show you will ever come across.

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Tisca Chopra, Neil Bhoopalam, Mandira Bedi, Ajinkya Deo, Anita Raaj with Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi and Rahul Khanna (In Cameo Appearances)

Directed by: Abhinay Deo

Channel: Colors (Friday-Saturday 10pm)

Ratings:  *  *  *  *

Faisal SaifWashington Bangla Radio Mumbai correspondent Faisal Saif is co-editor of Global Movie Magazine and sub-editor of Youth Eye Magazine. A passionate Bollywood Feature News Writer and film critic, Saif is a regular contributor to Santabanta, Page 3 Bollywood, Orissa Diary, PardaPhash, NewsWala, The News Tribe, Bolega India and many more online and print journals. Saif lives in Mumbai and can be reached at thatfaisalsaif at gmail.