New Delhi: The first episode of Anil Kapoor's hugely publicised TV show '24' lived up to the expectations, in fact it produced the same amount of thrills that the original is credited for.
Jack Bauer reincarnates in India in the form of Jai Singh Rathod, who is a daredevil, headstrong Anti Terrorist Squad officer. Kiefer Sutherland was good but Anil Kapoor is not a bad match either. Abhinay Deo has set the story in Mumbai, a place of glitterati and crime, where there is a tip about a famous politician is doing rounds. The agencies responsible for the security of Aditya Singhania (Neel Bhoopalam) are worried about the threats and thus they inform Gill (Yurui Suri) about the potential problems. Gill reaches to a group of hi-tech officers, headed by Jai Singh, in order to curb any life threatening situations for Aditya Singhania. But, there is much more than what meets the eyes.
The director has adopted the same narrative strategy with a slight twist. This time the protagonist looks more involved with the family unlike Sutherland whose gestures clearly hinted towards his priorities.
The secondary characters do hamper the show's flow but they were needed to be played by relatively known faces. The makers haven't compromised in casting as the actors, who are well versed with the grammar of cinema, are convincing enough to give '24' the feel of celluloid, at least in India where the audience is used to loud background score and twitched lips of vamps.
The Indian version of '24' is much more progressive than other daily soaps which show dolled up women doing nothing but hatching plans. On that front, Nikita Rai (Mandira Bedi) and Trisha (Tisca Chopra) are the forerunner of a welcome change because they are courageous enough to go out of the home late in the night for a worthy cause. And yes, they are also fine in talking about their past despite a red signal from their male counterparts.
Though the claims of changing the Indian TV scenario forever looks a bit exaggerated at this stage but the attempts made by the makers are enough to raise applauses because very rarely do the viewers encounter a TV show where they are not tired of its one hour length.
There are characters in the show which are modelled on the lines of a prominent Indian political family members. This tactic wasn't used in the original but that's just a small part of the story because at least 5 stories are running parallel in the real time.
The cast and crew looked absolute in command of the first episode but will they be able to carry forward the momentum? Let's wait and watch.
'24' airs on Colors TV, a property of Network 18, which also owns IBNLive.