director: saurabh varma
Cast: sandeepa dhar, shiv pandit, varun badola, natasa stankovic
Investigative thrillers are very interesting to watch if done tactfully. ‘7 hours to go’ is a good try from director saurabh varma, however, he is let down by shoddy storytelling. ‘7 hours to go’ revolves around the story of a man who holds 7 people hostage after his girlfriend is murdered for an unknown reason.
arjun ranavat (shiv pandit) arrives in mumbai and it’s not long before he witnesses the murder of his girlfriend maya (natasa stankovic). revenge and rage drive him to take seven people hostage in the high court. there, he appeals to the local police officer ramesh dhadhke (varun badola) to assign his case to nandini shukla ji (sandeepa dhar). Spearheading his request, Shukla Ji, a fearless ACP from Mumbai, takes on the case to hunt down the real villain and free the seven hostages.
nandini begins her investigation, but in an unexpected turn of events, arjun tricks her, as he tries to catch the killer at the same time. Will Nandini be able to catch the real killer? why is arjun cheating on her when he himself asked her to intervene in the case? this is something that will blow your mind in the first half. But in the rat race to catch the killer, the story unravels several twists and turns that will leave you intrigued until the climax.
Director Saurabh Varma, who also wrote the film, tries hard to confuse the audience, but the truth isn’t exciting enough when the mystery is revealed at the end. Although the film is fast-paced with its sharp story, it tends to lose control in various parts. Saurabh Varma, has made a better film than his last two companies: ‘Mickey Virus’ and ‘Solid Patels’.
I like the way saurabh introduced his characters in the beginning, but I don’t understand what kettan singh aka amol palekar was doing in the movie. his split personality dialogues were cheesy and unsubstantiated for investigation.
milind jog’s cinematography is compelling as he took some picturesque aerial shots of the mumbai skyline. Production designers Prashant Bidkar and Baji R. patil’s settings were as real as they come, except for the villain’s office which was shown through the filter of a surveillance camera.
sandeepa dhar, who plays the role of an acp, impresses with his “tough cop” performance that only gets better with the numerous chase sequences. however, there are some gaps in the character of him. For example, which police officer changes out of his bright white shirt at the store and flashes his bra while on duty? Was it really necessary for a policewoman to expose herself in the narrative? unlike the girl next door to her, sandeepa surely steps out of her comfort zone in this movie, but she could have done much better in terms of voice modulation as a brave cop. it may be that the dubbing is to blame here! it’s hard not to compare her performance to that of vidya balan, who recently played a similar role with such ease in ‘te3n’.
shiv pandit, known for his acts in ‘shaitan’ and ‘boss’, is much improved from his previous film. he looks and performs better in this movie compared to the common roles of him. Varun Badola gives the film comic relief, but you’ll be surprised when you learn of his purpose in the film. professional shooter tamim chakri (himanshu malik) doesn’t have much to do in the film. Natasa Stankovic looks stunning with her curls and figure-flattering clothes, but she barely has any screen presence. visual effects also play a critical role in the movies’ narrative, however, that too is kept to a minimum.
‘7 hours to go’ will leave you entangled in a loose web of multiple mysteries. the first half raises expectations for the film, but everything falls apart in the second half. as there are multiple releases this friday, the movie has a good chance at the box office where it will clash with ‘raman raghav 2.0’.
“7 hours to go” is not a good choice unless you want to watch a 114-minute murder mystery and don’t mind leaving the theater with a confused head.