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11th Hour review: Tamannaah Bhatia tries her best, but is let down by the show's unflattering storyline

Hemanth Kumar
·3 min read

Language: Telugu

The phrase 'Eleventh hour' has an interesting connotation in terms of what it signifies. Anything can happen at the last moment and life can change in the blink of an eye. It's this notion that drives the story in 11th Hour, directed by Praveen Sattaru, where the CEO of an Indian conglomerate, Aratrika Reddy finds herself racing against time to save her company from going bankrupt. Adapted from Upendra Namburi's novel, 8 Hours, the series has been written by Pradeep, and has Tamannaah playing the central character.

From the outset, Pradeep draws parallels between Aratrika Reddy's journey and a young girl's journey through the woods in the fable of Red Riding Hood. There's danger lurking everywhere, and a big bad wolf poses a huge threat to the young girl's life. In Aratrika's life, there are multiple people who want to say her downfall, including her own father who can't stand her. The world of 11th Hour is filled with fascinating people. There are three different investors and competitors, backed by foreign companies, who are baying for blood and the chairman of a bank who has a personal vendetta against Aratrika's company. She has to repay Rs 10,000 crores to the bank and all doors seem shut. She has about eight hours to pull off this impossible task. The rest of the story is about how Aratrika manages to survive at the 11th hour.

The entire story unfolds in a hotel, which is turned into a battleground for the long night. Aratrika's competitors entice her with lucrative offers to save her company; however, the catch is that her dream of producing clean energy will be taken away from her. She resists every offer hoping that a miracle occurs somehow. The stakes keep rising and the pressure is intense. 11th Hour captures all this drama and action, and the premise itself is quite interesting. But then, there's a big catch with the series. The race against time doesn't quite translate to the screen. You understand the motivations of the characters and why they want to snatch away the company from Aratrika, but the storytelling isn't engaging enough. In short, the story is tense, but the drama isn't.

As a result, the storytelling fizzles out and the whole aspect of racing against time takes a backseat.

Multiple flashbacks are shown to establish characters and backstories, which have led to the crisis which Aratrika is facing, but on the downside, all this takes the focus away from what's happening in the present. And somewhere, you can't help but feel that the characters are repressing themselves because they have to be dignified. This takes the edge away from the proceedings, and even when the stakes are high, it doesn't strike you hard enough to root for Aratrika.

On the other hand, Tamannaah finds herself in an interesting role which is refreshing. She comes across as a cold-blooded person, but behind this veneer, is extremely emotional and will do anything to save her company. Tamannaah juggles between these two personas quite well, and she shines throughout the series. Shatru and Adit make a solid impression in their respective roles, and the rest of the cast including Jayaprakash too does justice to their roles. The production design, cinematography, and music are impressive throughout the story.

11th Hour has scale, grandeur, and a solid premise which is quite different from what we've seen in recent times. But it doesn't quite hook you in a manner that you expect after you understand what's at stake. A lot happens in the eleventh hour, but by then, you would have perhaps seen it coming.

11th Hour, starring Tamannaah, is currently streaming on AHA!

Rating: 2.5 / 5

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