The premise of the new Amazon Prime original, The Last Hour, is definitely compelling. The mysticism of the northeast and the supernatural elements make the show look exciting in the beginning. But then it starts to linger onto areas that don’t appeal to or indulge us emotionally. With this dragged nature of the content, I found it a bit difficult to sit through the series. The sense of excitement one would wish to experience in a thriller with supernatural elements was significantly missing in this series directed by Amit Kumar.
The story is set in Sikkim. A newly transferred police officer Arup has arrived at the city. On his first day itself, he has to solve a rape-murder case of an actress. Later he happens to witness two more deaths, and during that investigation, he meets this local guy named Dev, who happens to have this supernatural ability to talk to dead people before their body becomes cold. So Arup decides to take Dev as local assistance for his investigation of the murderer and what all happens in that is what we see in The Last Hour.
In some ways, The Last Hour is a good example of how an untidy screenplay can make an appealing idea look dull on screen. Much like any other series, The Last Hour is also trying to make itself look like a situation with a pool of characters with conflicts. Amit Kumar and Anupama Minz are trying to create their own version of a series like Dark. Arup’s daughter Pari is in a conflicted space, and she has this unique ability to see Dev when he is in someone else’s Last Hour. Arup himself is going through the trauma of losing his wife. Dev has also lost his brother recently. And, Lipika, Arup’s close associate in the investigation, is also a lonely single mother. They have created this universe of characters, but the distribution is uneven. There isn’t enough in writing to make us look at all these characters empathetically.
The sort of mystique beauty of the northeast landscape suits the nature of the story, and it definitely helps the narrative build the mood. Jayesh Nair’s camera does manage to transport us into that eerie ambiance of the series. But the visual beauty wasn’t sufficient to hold the interest. Yama Nadu is the antagonist in the show, and the writing of that character looked so flat that you don’t even sense a good versus bad conflict in the story. There are times when you have to recollect why Dev is with Arup because the subplots are so excessive that you kind of forget from where this all began. The editing pattern can’t hold the narratives parallelly. The new relationships they have planted in the series might well be for the future seasons, but it feels more like a pointless scene rather than a graceful addition.
Sanjay Kapoor delivers an adequate-looking performance as the police chief Arup. The sort of minimalism that is there in writing is keeping his character on the subtle side, and you can somewhat see him trying to act a bit too dramatically in certain scenes. Karma Takapa gets this always perplexed character of Dev, and he also manages to portray it in a just about okay way. Barring the performance of Shahana Goswami as Lipika, everyone else is given characters that have the same pitch from the beginning till the end. Shaylee Krishen has the required level of intensity in her portrayal of the confused and vulnerable Pari.
Once you finish watching The Last Hour, you would know what gave them the confidence to go ahead and make this series. For me, the screenplay of the whole series is the major demerit. It feels a bit confused about whether to treat the story as an intriguing thriller or an emotional drama. It was one of those experiences where you are highly disappointed with the output because it indeed had the potential to be unique.
It was one of those experiences where you are highly disappointed with the output because it indeed had the potential to be unique.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended