Genre: Science fiction thriller
Director: Vikram Kumar
Cast: Suriya, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Nithya Menen and Saranya Ponvannan
After discovering that he now owns a watch which allows him to time travel, the most significant (or second most significant) thing that Mani (Suriya) does is to press the freeze button to forcibly place a ‘pottu’ and flowers onto Sathya’s (Samantha) hair to complete her traditional look.
‘24’ is probably Tamil cinema’s maiden attempt at creating a movie about time travelling, a concept that holds so much potential. The movie has flashes of brilliance. However, in his determination to create a ‘mass’ movie, the director deviates from the science fiction genre thus leading to a movie with a disjointed narrative.
Suriya as an actor.
It is no secret that Suriya is an amazing actor and he does not disappoint in ‘24’ as well. He enacts three different characters in this film and he portrays each character with so much ease and finesse. Watch out for him in his role as Athreya. He is sure to leave a lasting impression on the audience.
When the songs were first released, they did not leave much of an impact on me and I was rather sorely disappointed. However, when watched on the big screen, the music is bound to enthrall you. A.R. Rahman’s tunes are breezy and youthful; you will find yourself grooving to it in your seat soon enough. The beautiful picturization of both the duets in the film is also a huge bonus. Look out (or hear out, rather) for the romantic song “நான் உன்” which has been beautifully sung by Arijit Singh and Chinmayi.
What Did Not Work
A confused filmmaker.
Director Vikram Kumar seems to suffer from a disease that afflicts most Tamil filmmakers. Almost all of them are afraid to write a script that does not contain a love interest for the hero. My nagging suspicion at the end of the movie was that the director had written a preliminary script for a science fiction movie about time travelling. He then later concluded that a Tamil film had to have a love story, so he slotted it in as well. After that, he realized that there really was no room to develop the science fiction part of the story any further and he gave up. With no further edits, Suriya went on to act in that film.
Where was the science?
You would think that a movie about time travelling would have some amount of science in it. Nowhere in the film is the science behind time travelling explained or explored. There is no mention about the laws of physics. Nothing. Zilch. There was also no engagement with the possible consequences of time travelling, especially the moral and ethical problems that may arise.
The concept of time travelling was surprisingly treated with less importance than say, ghosts in Tamil films. At least with ghosts, there is usually a priest or psychologist who attempts to deconstruct this phenomenon for the viewers.
The romantic angle.
Samantha did not have much to do in this movie apart from just existing to romance the hero and look gorgeous (the state of most Tamil film heroines). However, this was one movie which really could have been so much better without a heroine at all. The rather forced love angle only served as a distraction from the main plot about time travel. The romantic portions were draggy and clichéd and could have been avoided.
P.S: I heard that the movie was going to be shortened in duration. I strongly recommend removing the love scenes.