The Last Hour Web Series Review: Inconsistent writing brings down this localised tale of magic and murder
A Mumbai cop, Arup (Sanjay Kapoor), who has returned to the northeast, gets assigned a murder case. Meanwhile, a couple of locals are shown to be on the run, with one of them (Karma Takapa as Dev) being an archer in the wilderness. Arup and team soon see their investigation turning into a wild shaman chase as they find themselves on a trail of murders and sexual assault in the name of supernatural magic. The stage is set for the antagonist introduction—in this case, two of them: Yama Nadu (Robin Tamang) and his right-hand man, Thapa (Lanuakum Ao), with the former being on a quest to claim Dev's superpower. From the first episode, it’s clear that The Last Hour is less about cops and more about the world of these shamans. This choice takes away so much from the cops who strut around with an air of self-importance.
Dev’s power is how he can communicate with the soul of a recently deceased person and relive their last hour with them. As you can imagine, rules govern these trips, and again, as you can imagine, Dev breaks a bunch of them in an insipid love angle with Arup's daughter, Pari (Shaylee Krishen). The Arup-Lipika romance too is another distraction in this series. Why suffocate the only well-written woman with cliched romance? These relationships hardly help accentuate the tension either.
Director: Amit Kumar
Cast: Sanjay Kapoor, Karma Tapang, Lanuakum Ao, Shahana Goswami
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
With a superpower as interesting, the web-series should have been more intriguing, somewhat like the Netflix series, The Irregulars, that put a spin on the Sherlock Holmes stories. Here though, it is a straightforward cat-and-mouse game, even if the jump in narratives and sepia-toned sojourns into the netherworld tries hard to bestow this series with uniqueness.
But all is not lost. There are flashes of brilliance in how the makers twist the time-space fabric to narrate a thrilling love story. Even if it doesn’t necessarily translate into a riveting experience, there is no questioning the thought that has gone into this series. Be it in the apt casting of all characters, big and small, or the brilliant visuals and choice of locales, The Last Hour does have its share of positives. The visuals are enriched by the nativity factor, and as a consequence, even the supernatural angle feels rooted.
Full marks to cinematographer Jayesh Nair and composer Gingger Shankar for shrouding a wafer-thin plot with layers of visual and aural intrigue. While not all the twists work, I was quite sold by the idea of the past, present, and future getting tied together in a way that promotes free will and second chances. There is even the promise of a second season at the end; however, given that the first season has turned out to be a rather middling experience, perhaps the series’ emphasis on second chances is a self-rewarding move.