Thrillers are supposed to keep you guessing and engrossed.
But writer-director Saurabh Varma’s 7
Hours To Go makes you wonder what’s going on because the writing is so
It does start off with stylishly done titles so you
hope for a technically slick experience. But after an inexplicable shootout
between Ramesh Dhadke, a Mumbai cop, and masked hoodlums in a building, the
narration keeps jumping to introduce an unrelated new character every few
The centrepoint is evil builder Kabeer Khemka who gets
away with murder, quite literally since there are no witnesses.
Arjun Ranawat, a cop from UP, holds up hostages in the
Mumbai High Court, demanding that ACP Shuklaji negotiate with him. Unravel the
Khemka murder case in 7 hours or I shoot one hostage every hour, threatens
Ranawat in a flat sort of way.
Shuklaji turns out to be a female cop and she gets a
buildup with an unexciting and routine chase that’s designed to showcase her
brains and bravery.
A hitman who’s mentally unstable and keeping wailing,
gets a long introduction and much footage. TV anchors, shooters, cops, a whole
range of people pop up but don’t add any interest value to the sloppy
narration. In the midst of all this,
Shuklaji the tough cop, strips down to her lingerie to suddenly change her
shirt in front of a male TV journalist.
You in the audience remain as clueless and fatigued as
the Mumbai police. Towards the end there’s a semblance of an explanation which
is that an assortment of people have come together as Khemka’s nemesis.
But with an unknown Rohit Vir as the main villain and
far too many characters interminably adding to the many question marks, 7 Hours To Go is a thriller without the
The final explanation takes far too long to come. But
why Shuklaji changed her shirt remains a mystery.
The writer in Saurabh Varma lets down the director in
him completely. The interest in Varun Badola as Dhadke the annoying Mumbai cop,
flags after five minutes. Sandeepa Dhar as ACP Shukla doesn’t have the body
language of a cop while Shiv Pandit as Arjun Ranawat lacks the menace a hostage
taker needed to exude.
For a thriller that fails to be gripping, 7 Hours To Go gets a 2* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author