Writer-Director: Pradeep Maddali
Editor: SR Shekhar
Cast: Roshini Prakash, Satyadev Kancharana, Pooja Jhaveri, Ravi Varma, Srikanth Iyengar, Mukhtar Khan
Producer: Dabbara Sashi, Bhushana Naidu, Raghu Kunche, Sridhar Makkuya, Vijay Shankar Donkada
Streaming Platform: Zee5
Rape and suicide are used as cavalier plot points to establish the hero’s heroism in this one hour forty minute trainwreck. It’s the kind of reverse engineering in plotting, to fit rape and suicide, that is obvious to spot. The rape scene specifically plays out without conviction, with muted normalcy, dingy lighting, and a drug induced delirium. The shock of such moments never register, because they are not meant to shock, because the point of the film is not rape, but the heroism that uncovers it. The sadness of the violative moment is felt not when the act is underway or finished, but when a man, who finds out about it much later, weeps.
47 Days is about ACP Satya (Satyadev Kancharana, brooding, mopish, not unlike his character in Locked) mourning the death by suicide of his wife. On the same day of his wife’s death, a pharma big-wig too is found to have been killed by suicide. There’s a connection- a stamp of a club on both their arms. There’s also a drug ring that is being uncovered by him, and a mysterious childhood acquaintance who turns up, and disappears mist-like, much like the apparitions he sees of his dead wife. It is a chaotic broth that doesn’t take anything but the central character seriously, so the serpentine subplots weave themselves around him as he takes it towards the underwhelming climax.
Now, craft-wise the mediocre mass produced allure shows. The generic top shots of Visakhapatnam, the compensated colour correction, the dismal subtitling (replete with errors, grammatical, and spelling, to a point where the dialogues don’t make sense- “When you’re filled in heart, will we be different as you and me?”), the attempted creation of tension by numbering the days (something similar Zee5 did in even Karoline Kamakshi, failing in both, but here, it is felt more severely because time is the titular character). Add to this the usage of cliches to make points- processing grief through hallucinating the one that passed, solving a mystery through a white board with generic phrases “Mystery Girl” “Murder?” “Suicide?”, and love songs that are cloying excuses for mediocrity, lovers running towards and away from each other in ill-fitting dream-scapes. (There are also some Hindi lyrics too, “Kya Karoon,” the ACP’s wife croons)
For what I assume was meant to be an entertaining thriller, the plot points are all over the place, and their tenuous connections feel forced. The voice-overs of the females have this muffled quality, as if they are speaking in a tone, one notch lesser than they normally do. (I felt the same in films like World Class Lover and Krishna and His Leela) The sheer number of characters whose convictions are introduced before they are, overpopulate this simple tale, bereft of coherence, craft, or conscience, unnecessarily. But then again, this is a film with the only African man as the drug lord who points at Indian women he wants to sleep with. Justice For George Floyd?