2024: A Feigned Effort In Storytelling

Dipankar Sarkar

2024 (2021), currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, is a one-hour long film based on the backdrop of a pandemic. The introductory credits of the film inform the viewers that we have entered the year 2024. The virus that has affected citizens across the world in 2020 has mutated into C-24, which is much more dangerous and lethal. The detrimental effects of the virus are on the verge of turning the city of Mumbai into a death zone. As the storey of the film moves forward, we come across five individuals who grew up in an orphanage located in Dharavi and how bravely they deal with the situation. Their dependence on one another helps them cope with their circumstances. At the same time, they try their best to get to the last train and escape the city. But fate has something else in store for them.

From the first scene of the film, the narrative moves forward at a breakneck speed. The characters are put in one confronting situation after the other to heighten the dramatic moment. But in the process of engrossing the attention of the viewers, the screenplay of the film appears to be an absolute mess. Written by Avinash Sampath of Ak Vs Ak fame, the plot points in the film do not have much originality to offer, and the problems encountered by the characters are solved quite easily. The logic and reasoning behind juxtaposing one scene after the other appear to be the result of a sloppy effort. Even the actions of the characters do not appear to be convincing enough because their roles in the film are written without much depth. Moving from one event to the next required some breathing space so that viewers could empathise with the characters. It appears that the film’s makers were in a hurry to complete the film without giving an iota of thought regarding the rationality behind the occurrences within the film. The film raised some pertinent issues and ended on an interesting and inspiring note. But the way this tale has been told could not help the film rise above the script.

It is quite surprising that Rohin Raveendran, who has directed the brilliant short film The Booth (2019), amongst others, has come up with such an unimpressive outing. The subtle gestures and directorial flair visible in his short films are completely missing from 2024. The film’s publicity highlighted the fact that it has been shot on shot using the OnePlus 9 Pro, and the phone camera captures natural colours, appropriate skin tones, and the images have also been stylishly framed by Linesh Desai. The background score by Alokananda Dasgupta works in keeping up the mood and tempo of the film to a large extent. But due to the lack of intricacy in the structure of the story, 2024 ends up being a campaign film for OnePlus and not an artistic endeavour. It is one of those films that should be watched once and then forgotten.