24 - Movie Review
Cast: Suriya, Samantha, Nithya Menen, Ajay, Girish Karnad, Saranya, Sathyan and others
Dialogues: Shashank Vennelakanti
Music: A.R. Rahman
Cinematography: S. Thirunavukarasu
Editor: Prawin Pudi
Production Design: Amit Ray & Subrata Chakraborty
Sound Design: Laksminarayanan
Sound Effects: Iqbal
Choreography: Raju Sundaram, Brindha, Dinesh, Sridhar
VFX Supervisor: Julien Troussellier
Make-up: Clover wootton & Preetisheel.G Singh
Writer & Director: Vikram K Kumar
Release Date: May 5, 2016
CBFC Rating: U
Runtime: 164 Mins
What’s it about
A scientist Shiva Kumar (Suriya) invents a watch that can make one to travel in time up to 24 hours. He lives with his wife and son. His twin brother Athreya (Suriya) wants that watch at any cost and sets up to kill his family to take the watch from laboratory. Shiva Kumar runs away with his son and hands over the kid to a woman on a train. Athreya falls from the train into a lake.
Story fast forwards to 26 years. In current time, we see the son grows to be a watchmaker Mani (Suriya) and lives with the adopted mother (the one who took him on the train). Athreya who has been in coma for years comes to know that the watch is with Mani. And now he is on the hunt for Mani. What happens then?
After delivering ‘Manam’, which is being considered by many as modern classic in Tollywood, director Vikram Kumar has made ‘24’ with altogether different, unique story. In ‘Manam’, he had touched the concept of rebirths and brought in three stars from Akkineni clan - Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya - together to play the roles in reverse to their real life relationships.
In ‘24’ too, he picks up time-travel theme and the story also has three lead roles like in ‘Manam’ but he has made Suriya to play all of them. The protagonist, his brother and the son … all these three roles are enacted by Suriya.
Suriya donning the three roles is not alone the unique point of the plot. The concept itself is novel to Indian cinema and that is filled with many twists and turns. Though several scenes remind us of Hollywood movies like ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, and ‘Source Code’ the movie has original concept and ideas. There are also traces of 'Groundhog Day' (1993).
‘24’ assembles fine technicians to make a visually stunning sci-fi thriller. The first 25 minutes of the movie are stunning. The drama begins with Suriya The Scientist story and moves swiftly setting up the drama and draws us to the movie. Until, Mani aka the scientist’s son’s love story crops up, the film is riveting. The romantic thread on Suriya and Samantha drags on with no appealing moments and bores us with its length.
But the film comes back on the track with the excellent interval block. Post interval the movie has its own moments but dips. Some clunky moments happen here and the climax sequences are not convincing.
All in all, the film is mixed bag - clapworthy for its visuals, concept and Suriya but gets thumbs down for romantic episodes, songs and length. Suriya in his long career has shown his acting capabilities in many movies including ‘Sivaputrudu’ and ‘Ghajini’ but the roles he did in the film are physically straining roles. Still in the role of Athreya, which requires him to appear in different avatars in different times for the same character, he is faultless. Although this was the first time that he played negative role, he seemed to have enjoyed doing it as the evilness seethes through it. This is one of his best performances ever.
Samantha looks good but her role is too dumb. Nithya Menen, although she plays a cameo, enlightens the scenes with her scintillating presence. Ajay also gets equally meaty and lengthy role which he has performed with elan. Saranya and Girish Karnad have put in their best.
The movie is drenched with beautiful frames and vivid colors thanks to the masterly work by cinematographer Thiru. Aided by the outstanding work by the production designers, he has given best output to make the movie rich. The time-freeze shots of Cricket Stadium are superb.
Even the VFX (Julien Troussellier) is topnotch. The movie has best technical values. A R Rehman disappoints with the song but background musical score is where he excels in. Dialogues by Shashank Vennelakanti are neat. Like before, writer-director Vikram Kumar has come up with some brilliant ideas. His writing (story, screenplay) works in some episodes. The direction is also good. The main problem is that his screenplay in the second half leaves much to be desired. But he has not made an enjoyable movie like he did with ‘Manam’.
Bottom-line: ‘24’ has an unusual concept and the movie showcases Suriya’s great performance. In a triple role, Suriya gives an absolutely riveting act. A novel thriller with sci-fi elements but it also has many clunky moments like boring romantic thread on Suriya and Samantha. And the lengthy drama indulges in many confusingsequences in the second half.
Watch it for its different concept, great visuals and Suriya’s performance.