Twenty One GMS- An Underrated Gem!

Review by Saptarshi Nag

Of late, especially since the advent of Covid and the untimely demise of SSR, South Indian movies have forayed into the popular culture of the rest of India in a way never experienced before. While movies like Jai Bheem, Kantara, Charlie, Praana and many more deserve true accolades for promoting true and different contents and sticking to the basic ideas of filmmaking, unfortunately, many of the pan-India commercially successful movies are getting undue adulations and minting money for their unabashed intention to promote a particular propaganda or for over-the-top content delivery style. Movies like the overhyped RRR or the hyperbolic Vikram belong to this category. In these rush hours of madness, amidst the battle of the truth versus presumed truth, some really meaningful contents without any overdose of emotions are often getting lost and being forgotten. Twenty One Gms (and not 21 Grams by the much celebrated Alejandro Iñárritu) by the debutant director Bibin Krishna is one such film that should be lauded for its simple, straight yet powerful approach of storytelling.

Set in the modern-day Kochi, the suspenseful drama is all about how a DySP of Crime Branch tries to solve the cloud of mystery around a few suspicious deaths within a span of a week or so. The situation is exacerbated by his personal crisis at the home front. In his quest for the truth, the DSP Nanda Kishor unearths shocking facts unraveling how greed and malpractices can inflict irreversible misery on the lives of the common people. Donning the role of the protagonist, Anoop Menon delivers a strong performance. Leona Lishoy in the role of his pensive wife is stiff at times. Others deliver standard performances. It is basically the plot of the movie that keeps you glued to your seat. With numerous twists and turns, the story is quite unpredictable and there lies the triumph of the movie. Good to watch a quality Indian thriller after a long time. The cinematography is mesmerizing, especially in the long aerial shots, nature shots and close night shots. The colors used successfully portray the gloom and the BGM is in sync with the changing moods.

On a flip side, the duration of the movie is its biggest enemy. It should have been cut twenty minutes shorter to make it crispier. Character development is not always consistent. How the DySP gets such a palatial bungalow is not clear. Other than these minor flaws which have made me deduct 2 points, the film is a triumph. A truly commendable job by the debutant director Bibin Krishna. Looking forward to watch more works from him. Twenty One Gms should be seen as an inspiration to the young filmmakers on how to make a good movie even after sticking to the basics and not doing anything over-the-top.

Strongly recommended.

My rating- 8 out of 10

Available on- Disney Hotstar

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