Cast: Suriya, Samantha, Nithya Menen, Ajay Kumar, Saranya
Director: Vikram M Kumar
Scientific-fiction flicks revolving around the Time-Travel concept is a rarity on silver screen, especially in the south. But 24 gives a new dimension to the genre. Exploiting the concept of time-travel, it packages a whole new experience for the southern audience. The script is intelligently planned and deftly executed. And there is Suriya in a triple role – the gawky scientist Sethu, his evil brother Athreya, and Sethu’s son Mani – playing each with relish. Of particular mention is his essaying of Athreya the antagonist. The actor showcasing a new dimension to his performance here, yet again surprises you with his splendid take on it.
The plot, though involving frequent travel through different time zones, doesn’t confuse one. The opening moments are thrilling and exciting. Where Sethu, a scientist, does a ‘Eureka’ having successfully invented a Time-Travel gadget fitted in a watch.
The narration doesn’t take long to introduce Athreya the villain of the piece and Sethu’s brother.
Trying to get his hands on the watch, Athreya kills Sethu and his wife. But with the disappearance of their baby boy Mani and the watch, Athreya could do little except bide his time. The story shifts to 26 years later, Mani now a watch mechanic. It’s about how he discovers the secret of 24, foils Athreya’s attempt to get at it and re-invents a new past. Interesting are the moments where Mani discovering the secret of the watch in his possession, gleefully plays around with time, playfully changing them to his advantage and even freezing moments.
Like he does to gain the attention and impress Sathya (Samantha). He even changes the result of an India-Srilanka cricket match to please his ladylove!
The romantic interludes are cute with the duo sharing a pleasant chemistry. Mani covers up any awkward situation with Sathya by his constant refrain of ‘I’m a watch mechanic and all this is routine for me ‘.
In the first half of the narration the director sustains the speedy pace. It’s in the second that the narration tends to falter a little.
The scenes where Mani and his foster mother (Saranya) return to the latter’s home have moments that slacken the pace. But with Athreya, cunning and manipulative, re-entering the scenario, the narration picks up momentum again.
The film’s viewing time of 164 minutes could have been edited to a crisper length.
In the scenes leading to the climax., the narration travels back in time to where it had started, spiraling to an intriguing and a befitting finale.
The technical crew has coordinated well with the director’s vision. The set design, especially of Sethu’s research lab and the artefacts it’s filled with, is worth a mention. The camera (Thirunavukarasu) captures the feel and mood effectively. Rahman’s musical score fits in suitably.
Attractively packaged, 24 is refreshing, novel and worth a watch.