Streaming On : Hot Star
Director : Taraka Ratna, Ajay, Vinod Kumar, Madhu Shalini, Ravi Varma and others
Written By: Krish
Producer: Rajeev Reddy Y., Sai Babu Jagarlamudi
Banner: First Frame Entertainments
Director Krish, who is busy with Hari Hara Veera Mallu is out with his latest OTT presentation 9 Hours. The show is written and produced by Krish himself and is streaming now on Disney Hotstar.
9 Hours is set in 1985. Three inmates escape from the jail and carry out a series of bank robberies in Hyderabad. They succeed in the first two but get stuck in the third and take the employees as hostages. A young cop(Taraka Ratna) comes to know about this and takes it on himself to solve the crazy situation. Well, how does he do that is the whole concept of 9 Hours.
We get to see Taraka Ratna on screen after a long gap and he has done a very sensible role. Krish has written a good character for him and Taraka Ratna does not go overboard and looks quite impressive. Ravi Varma and Sritej play the bank robbers and do a very impressive job in their respective roles. Yesteryear actor, Vinod Kumar gets a meaty role and he is quite menacing in it. Ajay gets a very big role in 9 Hours but his role is now showcased properly and by the end, Ajay looks a bit out of place. Madhu Shalini has a key role but does not get much screen time. Her scenes with Taraka Ratna are boring in the show.
One aspect that gets you engrossed in the show right away is the production values. Krish and his team make sure that the period drama does not look fake. They take care of the camera work, production design, and properties so well that the show looks quite realistic. The BGM is the main asset as the young composer breathes fire into the music score.
Niranjan Kaushik and Jacob Verghese helm this show and their narration is good in the initial plot until the whole crime setup are established. The editing is not great as the proceedings are dragged for no reason and give the audience nine episodes which have not needed at all. The character graphs and their backstories are written quite effectively by Krish.
9 Hours is adapted from the book Tommidi Gantalu, penned by Malladi Venkata Krishna Murthy. The web series takes you through a span of nine hours with a tightly wound narrative that keeps you engaged for the most part. The whole crime angle and hostage drama are established perfectly and the actors do a fine job of holding the attention of the viewer. As the drama unfolds, we get a closer look at the lives of the characters, some of which hold intrigue.
A few scenes had the trademark of Krish but the episodes featuring Rohini and Chitram Seenu dragged the pace and the narration. The bank heist sequences are written so skillfully and engage the audience. Once the main plot is established, the actual truth is unveiled. When the scene shifts to the jail it gives us an idea as to who is behind this hostage drama.
But when the show enters the seventh episode, the juice in the show starts getting over. This is where the director duo drags the show and brings in so many subplots for no reason. After this point, one wants to understand who is behind this and when would we get to the climax. But that does not happen as the show gets sidelined with boring scenes by the end which is created only to add drama.
But still, there is a suspense factor going around as the actors in the show are quite impressive and their work is enough for us to give this web series a shot. In a way, 9 Hours has a great setting but is marred by some uneven narration. One needs to watch it with patience to enjoy it.
Bottom Line – Engaging But Slow