Oct 6, 2013

On the Indian 24

Being a 24 fan, I was never really enthusiastic about Anil Kapoor playing the Indian Jack Bauer. Those of you who never reached the final season of 24, Anil Kapoor played Omar Hassan, President of Kamistan (who would fondly pronounce country as "kauntry"). Oh, and he was assassinated in the middle of the season, executed on live television (if I remember correctly) by Kamistani terrorists as even the Jack Bauer, with his Rajnikanthish abilities, couldn't save him, as he was busy figuring out links to the Russian mafia.

Jay Singh Rathore, starts the show reminding us of the different attacks on Indian soil and how the Anti Terrorist Unit was formed. Really, Anil Kapoor? ATU? Couldn't you just keep us 24 fans happy by naming it CTU? (especially that there are so many other minor elements that are kept the same, like hacking into his daughter's email to find out where she went- who uses email to discuss that?)

Anyways, coming back to the character portrayal of JSR (can I please use this acronym?), I'd say he has done a fairly good job at the age of 53! Although the supernatural powers of Jack Bauer haven't been shown yet (especially how he survives in the subsequent seasons), so far so good.

The family of JSR has been roughly the same as that of the original version and somewhere deep down, I feel bad because I know who would survive and who else would die and how. There was no mention of a son of Jack Bauer though, although JSR has one.

There is a striking resemblance in the character of Nikita Rai, played by Mandira Bedi with that of Nina Meyers from the original one. I wouldn't go into any more details because I would end up giving you spoilers, but I would say that the 24 crew got this one right.

That being said, Tony Almeida, second in command in CTU, was by far my favourite character in 24. Unfortunately, he is being portrayed by some chubby guy who just doesn't have the badass attitude of Almeida. How will be take command of the CTU in Jack's absence? He doesn't even have minions!

US Senator David Palmer and Indian Prime Ministerial candidate Aditya Singhania share a lot in common, but there is a missing link. Singhania doesn't have a wife yet and Sherry Palmer's role is played partly by his sister and mother, who take on Sherry's good and bad parts, respectively. Makes me wonder if he would divorce his mother at the end of the season! The political scene is very much inspired by India's situation, I believe but let's not get political on my otherwise very politically indifferent blog.

Where does that leave me? Considering they made the plot nearly 99% same as the original one, I know what is going to happen, who is going to die and by whom, and also when that is going to happen. Kind of sad, right? You guessed right, there is no point following the show because I am certain after watching the first two episodes that the story is going to be exactly the same.

This show is, however, better than the average saas-bahu serial that has plagued Indian television for decades now. Maybe, the people deserve something better, even if the plot's just a carbon copy of the original (it's an official remake though- Anil Kapoor has purchased the rights). Let's hope we get remakes of some more shows- do I hear chants of Prison Break or Friends? Well, if bringing in a popular shows makes the television better, then why not?

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