The Final Call
Director: Vijay Lalwani
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Sakshi Tanwar, Vipin Sharma, Neeraj Kabi, Anupriya Goenka
Have you ever thought, while boarding a plane, that this could be the last flight of your life? It is out of sheer faith that we trust strangers with our lives, thinking that we will safely reach our destination. But what if that doesn’t happen? What if the call for boarding is the ultimate final call?
That’s the premise of ZEE5’s new web series, The Final Call. The show centers on Arjun Rampal's Karan Sachdeva, who controls the fate of a flight full of people on a doomed journey. He is a former air force officer burdened by his past that continues to haunt him. He isn't afraid of playing with fatal drugs, but whether he wants to kill himself or others, that is the question.
The initial episodes establish the back story of a bunch of characters, who, by a cruel twist of fate, end up on the same flight. Neeraj Kabi is an astrologer who has made peace with death and encourages those around him to do so. Javed Jaffery looks sharp as a business tycoon who has had luck on his side always, but peace and happiness continue to evade him.
The storytellers make an effort to raise questions about the reality of death, and what lies beyond, which is not a natural course for a thriller. In that, the show tries to bring diverse elements into the narrative, which at times seem like an unnecessary digression from the real drama in the cockpit. The pace slows down in parts, during the flashbacks, and picks up again when we return to the present.
The fact that the first four episodes raise a number of questions and answers very few can be frustrating, but to the credit of director Vijay Lalwani, it will keep you hooked as you will want to get to the bottom of the plot.
The show’s asset is the performances delivered by the actors. The casting director has accumulated a great bunch of actors, but one rues the missing punches in the dialogues and intensity in scenes that a thriller like this should have created, giving seasoned actors like Sakshi Tanwar and Vipin Sharma solid material to play with.
The performances are understated, to the point and without unnecessary drama. Especially Sakshi, who deserves a special mention as an intelligent, not-easily-ruffled woman trying to do her job in a man’s world.
What is unusual about this show is that it doesn’t aim to just entertain, it raises questions about conscience, destiny, spirituality, depression and death. These are thoughts that will linger on even after the show is over – which could seem unnecessary if you are looking for just a thrilling ride. The wordplay in the show’s title is quite apt, and the makers maintain that throughout the show.
The Final Call leaves a lot to be desired, but is a clear departure from the web series clutter on various platforms these days. Watch it for its unusual storyline, talented bunch of actors and unexpected twists.