The clock is ticking and the hours are passing. “24’s” getting better and better with every week, and hours nine and 10 just added more layers to the flesh and bones. The story so far is same ol’ same ol’ - Jai Singh Rathod (Anil Kapoor) is the scapegoat who is used along with his family to target the future Prime Minister, Aditya Singhania (Neil Bhoopalam). Whodunnit becomes a little clear with Jia (Faezeh Jalali) being pinned down as the ATU traitor and Vikrant (Rahul Singh)– sis Divya Singhania’s (Shivani Tanskale) husband, as the crucial link behind the assassination bid. But is he really our guy? I don’t think so. It has to go deeper and darker and with more reason to shoot and tell.
Rathod escapes the PM security net, journalist Mehak Ahuja (Suchitra Pillai) stops her Xavier’s student killing story and lends an ear to mom Naina Singhania (Anita Raaj), while Abhilasha Grewal (the very uptight Shabana Azmi) takes over the charge of a headless ATU. She makes an entrance with a reputation notorious for “getting her way at any cost.” Azmi fits the role like a glove. New characters play around – Richa Chadha as a wannabe actress Rathod uses to escape. I wish they hadn’t dubbed her voice, it sounded so not her.
We are introduced to two more men behind the scene – Rahul Khanna as the corporate head honcho Tarun Khosla who Jia has been mailing and Dibyendu Bhattacharya as the yes man to Vikrant. Somewhere in an undisclosed location, Trisha (Tisca Chopra) and Kiran (Sapna Pabbi), Rathod’s wife and daughter are kidnapped and trapped by Yakub (Ankur Ajit Vikal), waiting to be rescued.
As the tempo of the show builds, it also gets a little heavy, and sometimes cut and dry too, especially for an Indian audience high on melodrama. Well, the good thing is no one breaks into a song and dance or buckets of tears. It’s life as is.