24 – Suriya hits his mark this TIME

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24 – Suriya hits his mark this TIME

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24 is about two generations of scientists/tinkerers who want to explore or control time, depending on the character’s viewpoint. Sethuraman (Suriya) is a scientist who invents a time travel device and fits it into a form of wrist watch that gives the wearer the power to shift time or even freeze time. He has an evil identical twin brother, Athreya, who is willing to kill, maim and generally wreak havoc to obtain the device, and the son of Sethuraman, Mani who gets caught in the middle of this mayhem. The possibilities, joy, consequences and the idle wonderment of ‘what-if’ makes time travel interesting, and 24 does a great job of using them to hold your attention. The film doesn’t waste any time in explaining the scientific theories behind time travel, but does employ random and fantastic events that help the plot move forward (Vikram Kumar, the director has used the same technique in Manam).


Suriya, comes back with a triple role in 24, although he does a great job in all 3 of the avatars, it is the negative role of Athreya that steals the show, considering that he is confined to a wheelchair for most of the film, it is amazing. The moves and counter moves between him and Mani will keep you at the edge of your seats, just when you think you’ve figured out his gambit, you’ll be shocked to know that he is playing a 3D chess, while you’ve been looking at a 2D board. Kudos to Suriya and Vikram Kumar for bringing an interesting villain to the silver screen.


Sarayna, who’s an old hand now at playing the sweet and friendly mother (she does an amazing job of it in Kalavani), plays Suriya’s adoptive mother and really excels in sentimental scenes. Nithya Menon’s cameo is neat, and she as usual performs with élan. Samantha, who plays Suriya’s love interest has more screen time but due to lack of tight script, couldn’t really do much, she does appear beautiful and glamorous in the song sequences.


Vikram Kumar, who directed the feel good entertainer Manam with the Akkineni family, written and directed this film, and he has done a great job of elucidating a complicated story line with a screenplay that doesn’t leave an average viewer scratching their head, even if they haven’t ever seen a time travel movie. As with Manam, Vikram Kumar does a great job with explo(it / r)ing human emotions.  A.R. Rahman’s music is good, but I don’t think the audio track gained much traction because of the simple fact that the songs are hardly hummable or memorable, even the BGM is serviceable but nothing earth shattering.


The ‘formula’ of Tamil films is that we HAVE to have a certain number of songs and love and emotional scenes in the movie, I don’t know who’s decision it is, but the movie could’ve been trimmed of all the so called romantic scenes, they are utterly devoid of any chemistry between Suriya and Samantha, although the sentimental scenes do work well, and are the hallmarks of Vikram Kumar’s writing talent, overall length of the movie could’ve been shorter. Like any good sci-fi adventure, the film’s ending does leave it open for the possibility of a sequel. All in all, it’s a definitely a watchable film and as a fan of Suriya, I celebrate in the film’s success with him (in spirit).


24 – Suriya hits his mark this TIME

Bhaskar Gandavabi
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