Following an overkill of crime and political thrillers that mostly cater to mainstream India, ‘The Last Hour’, the new Amazon Prime Video presentation treads the hills and terrains of the North East, to offer a gripping supernatural thriller about shamans and life after death.
The show follows the story of Arup Singh (Sanjay Kapoor), a Mumbai cop who gets posted in Mangchen and is tasked with the investigation of the brutal rape and murder of a small-time Bengali actress and her driver. His relationship with his daughter Pari (Shaylee Krishen) has hit a rough patch following the mysterious death of her mother (Raima Sen). He seeks assistance from Dev (Karma Takapa), a shaman or Jhakri who communicates with souls during their last hours before they take the long journey to the heavenly abode. Meanwhile, Dev is securing his secret gift from an evil mastermind Yama Nadu (Robin Tamang) who is after him. Nadu can foresee people’s future and gauging Dev’s powers can make him immortal. Conflict arises when Dev falls for Pari. Will Dev be able to save the day or will it ruin everything for him?
Written by Amit Kumar (director of ‘Monsoon Shootout’) and Anupama Minz, the show’s concept is well-intended, but the execution is patchy. The screenplay wastes too much time in establishing a romantic interlude that it deviates from the larger narrative which is supposed to revolve around the conflict between greed and nobility. Peter Alderliesten NCE and Annelotte Medema NCE could’ve helped with tauter editing. While the overall mystery is engaging, the conclusion towards the end of the show is so rushed that a lot of questions remain unanswered and you feel a sense of dissatisfaction. But Jayesh Nair’s spectacular cinematography is a welcome distraction from the flaws of the script. Shot across Sikkim, Kalimpong, Guwahati, Shillong and Darjeeling, the picturesque views are bound to invoke wanderlust. Vikram Singh’s production design and Gingger Shankar’s musical score ensures that the rusticity and aesthetes of the surroundings add further authenticity to the plot.
A huge reason why the show deserves to be viewed is for the acting talents on-board who originate from the said region and frankly, make the strongest impressions. Although the Hindi dialogues given to them remain debatable, one must laud the efforts on the part of the makers to ensure representation, something that mainstream Hindi presentations have often been accused of. How heartening is it to see and hear The Tetseo Sisters from Nagaland make an appearance in the show. Just for that, ‘The Last Hour’ is worth spending some judicious hours.