24 Kisses Review: A mindless film that gets almost nothing right
None of the emotions in the film work and the chemistry of the lead pair just comes across as lustful and fake
For anyone who's enthusiastic to watch an avant-garde, sensible and engaging entertainer from Ayodhya Kumar Krishnamsetty, his latest film, 24 Kisses will prove to be a major disappointment. It’s an unfortunate mess of a story about an acclaimed filmmaker who spends a lot of time with his student and aspiring filmmaker.
Cast: Adith Arun, Hebah Patel, Rao Ramesh
Direction: Ayodhya Kumar Krishnamsetty
The film opens with a young filmmaker, Anand Kumar (Adith Arun) showing up at a psychiatrist, Murthy (Rao Ramesh), and receiving therapy for his rocky relationship with an ambitious filmmaker, Sri Lakshmi (Hebah Patel). The proceedings take off interestingly with Anand narrating his version of what transpired in his life when he met Sri.
What follows is, true to its title, endless kissing. After going through a breakup, the couple knows how or where to reach one another when they’re repeatedly separated. What’s more annoying is how, like a 30-day trial version of an anti-virus software, the lead pair strike a 30-day relationship challenge to help strengthen their relationship. But unlike the anti-virus that quarantines the infected and malicious files on your computer’s hard disk, the director hardly knows what to do with his lead characters.
The narrative suffers from touches like the clumsy, yet confused character of the protagonist, who wants to be in a live-in relationship with no strings attached. Here, the director weaves a sickeningly sentimental flashback track accentuating Anand’s need to make films on children and his disbelief in the sanctity of marriage. (For a moment, I began to wonder about the purpose of my own life!)
The director crams this simple story with too many subplots and distractions that water down the central drama at its core. None of the emotions in the film touch us and the chemistry of the lead pair just comes across as lustful and fake. The dialogues in this film are inconsistent, and the supposedly meaningful scenes only make you laugh out loud. Honestly, I had to double-check to convince myself that it is Ayodhya Kumar, who won a National Award for his debut directorial, Minugurulu, who has helmed this creatively bankrupt and entirely mindless film.
Adith Arun brings a bit of credibility to his part, while Rao Ramesh, Hebah Patel, VK Naresh and Aditi Myakal fail to rise above this inert script. Joi Barua’s music and background score pass muster.
24 Kisses is one of those rare films that gets absolutely nothing right. What starts off interestingly, ends in a mess. Without a doubt, this is one of the most awful films of the year.