Deadline Sirf 24 Ghante – Film review

Deadline Sirf 24 Ghante


Rating: 2/5


Director: Tanveer Khan

Producer: Ravi Agrawal

Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Sandhya Mridul, Rajit Kapur, Zakir Hussein and Jhanak Shukla



It’s a happy family, the kind you see in advertisements, and the stage is set. Dr Viren Goenka (Rajit Kapoor) is a richy rich heart surgeon with more awards than hair, and a constant grimace. He’s a genteel sort, who goes about his work, has been conferred the ‘young at heart’ title for his work, loves his wife Sanjana (Konkona Sen Sharma), adores his kid Anishka (Jhanak Shukla) and has big dreams to build a heart hospital.


All’s swell till one day, the daughter is kidnapped. The three associates behind this – Krish (Irrfan Khan), Roohi (Sandhya Mridul) and Kabeer (Zakir Hussein) – have it well planned and have kept Sanjana and Viren under house and hotel room arrest respectively. The doc now has the onerous task of gathering a ransom of Rs 1 crore within, you guessed it, a deadline of 24 hours. 


Twists and turns happen as the distraught Sanjana tries to turn tables on Krish, and Anishka suffers a severe asthma attack. As Viren manages to gather a crore, Krish keeps upping the ‘fee’ for returning his daughter and finally orders Viren to arrange for Rs 3 crores within the deadline. What happens next, leads to the much-anticipated ending. But be warned, the revelation, which is not predictable but too pointless and hurriedly wrapped up, might leave you more dazed than surprised.


While the film’s premise in itself is too simplistic, the emotions are brought out by the sheer helplessness of the family’s situation – the parents who’ve been kept hostage, the impending deadline, unreasonable demands by the kidnapers, and the child suffering an asthma attack. A scene where Sanjana meets Anishka for a few seconds just to give the kidnapers her medicines is particularly heart wrenching. The few scenes inside a hospital are a telling comment about the apathy of hospitals with middleclass folk grappling with insensitive doctors and impossible fees.


But here’s the thing, the technical aspect is crucial to a thriller, and the film sorely lacks finesse in that department. I truly wonder why, why, why, must people use dubbed sound instead of the fabulous sync sound? Here, it’s awful to see dialogues out of sync and unnatural sound folleys (background sounds of people walking, door opening etcetera) that belong to a decade ago.


The film is confused about where it stands; it’s not an out-and-out thriller that has you biting your nails in anticipation, and neither is it a family drama; it’s trying to be both and ends up as neither. The publicity and title make one expect an edge-of-the seat thriller, which the film is not.


Deadline, as its strongest point, has a coterie of actors traditionally known to give powerful performances. Konkona Sen Sharma with her beautiful ‘acting’ voice impresses again. She’s the one who has you at the edge of the seat, and the tension-filled chemistry between her and Krish, has some anxious moments too. Irrfan Khan’s a delight to watch as always and his Krish is a ‘cool’ bad guy, well dressed, well behaved, and crackling with dry wit.


Rajit Kapoor, who has given wonderful performances over the years, is inconsistent here, and his rendering at times, is several tones too loud. Sandhya Mridul, Zakir Hussein and the rest are competent. Truly, this cast deserved a better film.

Sonia Chopra

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