“Basically I’m a watch mechanic madam” says Suriya with his charming smile. That’s just one of the many pleasing shots of the film 24 which released today across the world. The film is directed by Vikram Kumar, who gave us the engaging horror flick, Yavarum Nalam. After a successful venture in the Telugu industry with Manam, he’s back in Kollywood to deliver the brilliant 24. This flick is produced by Suriya’s 2D Entertainment.
24 stars Suriya in triple action for the first time in his career and the star studded list of cast members include Samantha, Nithya Menen, Saranya Ponvannan, Girish Karnad, Ajay, Sathyan and many more. As far as the technical crew is concerned, the tunes are from the Mozart of Madras, A.R.Rahman. Tirru has handled the camera works and he’s back in Tamil cinema after a long hiatus. Prawin Pudi, who took care of the cuts in the director’s last film Manam, is the editor for 24 too.
24 is the story of how a scientific invention can change the course of time, in quite a literal sense actually. Sethuraman (Suriya) is a scientist who invents a watch that enables one to travel through time. His twin brother, Athreya (again played by Suriya), who senses the endless possibilities this watch can offer tries to abduct it. In order to save his invention from reaching the wrong hands and to safe guard his infant son Mani (Suriya once again) Sethuraman and his wife (Nithya Menen) endure the ultimate sacrifice.
After 26 years, Mani figures out the capabilities of the watch which he uses for his simple pleasures. This includes wooing Sathya (Samantha). In due course, Athreya comes to know about the watch’s whereabouts. Whether he gets his hands on it to reverse the damage caused by time or if Mani stops Athreya’s actions and change history in his favor is the plot of this flick.
With Suriya in three roles, it’s obvious that he owns this film from start to finish. The scientist character with a sense of intelligence and innocence fits him like a glove and the clean shaven look along with a pair of nerdy glasses does the trick perfectly. Athreya on the other hand, is a ruthless antagonist who’d do anything to reach his goals. His powerful eyes revoke fear and his actions command respect. Mani, as a watch mechanic in present day is a happy-go-lucky-guy who romances the heroine in first half and ends up searching for long lost answers in the latter part of the film.
Samantha shines at her usual bubbly best and her scenes with Suriya, especially in the first half, are a pleasure to watch. She looks dazzling in the song sequences too. Nithya Menen doesn’t get much screen space but she has given her best with whatever little she had. Saranya Ponvannan proves that she’s the undisputed choice of directors for mother character with yet another meaty role filled with emotions. Sathyan provides some rib-tickling moments and his scenes with Suriya will surely put a smile on ones face. Telugu actor Ajay, with his tall stature, comes around as Athreya’s right hand and has given a good performance. Veteran actor Girish Karnad could’ve had a couple more scenes.
Vikram Kumar can be called as the true hero of this film. The twists and turns of the film along with his interpretation of the story proves his intelligence and the screenplay only confirms the intensity of his story-telling skills. Making a sci-fi thriller isn’t the tough part. Making it understandable to those from all backgrounds would’ve been his biggest challenge and from the looks of it, he has done it way better than expected.
Songs churned out by A.R.Rahman are chart-busters already. ‘Mei Nigara’ and ‘Kaalam Yen Kadhali’ are the peppy ones while ‘Naan Un’ is the romantic number which is soul stirring with its gorgeous picturization and lyrics. Penned by the father son duo, Vairamuthu and Madhan Karky, lyrics is a strong plus for the success of 24’s soundtrack album. Tirru’s cinematography is top notch and the visuals speaks volumes on his talents. Prawin has done his best in making the film as sharp as possible. VFX and production design are the solid pillars that has mightily supported this film to look as good as it is. Shots of the watch in action, the rain drops scene and time freeze display are a visual treat .
The length of the first half could’ve been a tad smaller, along with the romantic scenes in the second half which falls flat thanks to some repetitive dialogues. Songs seems to have been forced in between and as with all thrillers, it slows the flow of the film.
24 is one of those few rare flicks that doesn’t test the intelligence of the audience but at the same time captures our attention with some gripping screenplay. With a forgettable Anjaan in 2014 and a decent outing in the form of Mass in 2015, Suriya can surely be said to have gotten back to his better days with 24 which happens to be his first film of this year. With a perfect cast, super talented crew, well written script and equally good direction, 24 definitely deserves a ‘watch’.