Anil Kapoor Is Back In 24,And It Is Riveting

Season 2 of 24, that remarkably riveting series about the man  on a mission to the finish, is back . The first episode which aired on Saturday immediately grabs you by the ….errrr…jowls.

Director Abhinay Deo means business. Deo picks the threads from where Anil Kapoor’s  Jai Singh Rathodtrailed off in a pool of blood and bad-naseebi in the last season.And it’s  like we never left the series and its characters.

24  wants our complete and unconditional attention .It gets it.

The material in Season 2 is cut like a knife.There are changes from the original plot and characterizations . But nothing radical or startling.There is enough familiarity in the desi adaptation with the original 24 to keep the purists happy and also just that bit of new twists and turns to give Indian audiences a desi spin as tadka in the original yarn.

Sakshi Tanwar as  the ATU recruit Shibani throws of her saree look. It’s good to see her playing a professional working outside  kitchen  and domesticity.Sikandar Kher , on the other hand, is a character from the original 24. He plays a psychotic sadistic horny son of a glitch with tremendous gusto who rather kill a henchman than a horse(good choice).In a key sequence he drags Surveen Chawla to a barn and rapes her with relish.

Is Indian primetime television finally growing up?

24 Season 2 is darker  more sinister and violent .Anil Kapoor’s Jai Sing Rathod is a man haunted by his past. He is an ex-alcoholic hated by his children and feared by his enemies.Anil’s prison encounter with AshishVidyarthi in the first episode was so skillfully structured it seemed far less violent  than it actually was.

Director Abhinay Deo spins a mean yarn. His grip over the material is firm but flexible.The sequences are shot in dim light fearless of how home viewers would react to the absence of a fleet of floodlights to brighten every shot.Deo spares no moments to irrelevant scene-building. He plunges right into the heart of the plot and takes us into a world we’ve never seen on Indian television before.

The coming weekends promise to give Comedy Nights With Kapil a really tough time. I have switched to 24 during weekends .So should you.

Rating: *** ½

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