Direction: Vikram Kumar
Cast: Suriya, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Nithya Menen
Music: A R Rahman
Editor: Prawin Pudi
Genre: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi
What is it about: It’s about a scientist Sethuraman (Suriya) who is at the verge of a breakthrough in time-travel. This invention lures his evil twin Athreya (Suriya), who has different plans in regards to that. What happens in the battle between the good vs. evil forms the crux of the story directed by Vikram K Kumar.
Why it’s disappointing: Marketing a film has been mastered really well by our filmmakers these days, they have gone a step ahead from the advertising world and package their movies so well, that weekend box office collections are done. Well end of the day, that’s what a businessman looks for. But when it comes to filmmaking if that business is laced with creativity and intelligence, would be a wholesome package. That seems to be a lost cause when it comes Indian cinema, to be precise the “Mainstream Cinema”.
24, is such product which was marketed at a higher rate. The teaser was splendid. It created an aura, which everyone couldn’t stop raving about it. Then came the trailer which was so-so but didn’t make you lose hope. Then the D-Day, the release. You go in with an expectation to get blown by director Vikram Kumar, or at least be little impressed. Unfortunately, you’re given a film which hardly ponders on the subject it promised on.
The film goes on for a tiring 2hours and 45 minutes. The very first few minutes makes you realize that it’s not going to be what you came for. Once the introduction is done, the film hastily moves to a different era which drags for another hour of nonsense romance and drama. You start to forget that it’s a sci-fi. The romantic scenes were an overdose of cheesiness. And that annoying dialogue of Suriya “I’m basically a mechanic….”, oh god the entire theatre literally loses its cool and start to swear. As soon as the dialogue comes, the audience gets chatty and worst part is, this dialogue comes pretty often in the film.
In order to keep the audience believing that they are still watching a sci-fi, Vikram conveniently makes a key travel across cities and land exactly on Suriya’s table. And Suriya starts to play around with the watch, giving us some “Time Freeze” sequences which deludes you in to believing it’s a work of an art. Well one can claim, this film was original thinking but many of us have seen this in Clockstoppers and TV series Heroes.
The screenplay is so lazy that, it makes you restless. It goes off the track and keeps wandering in to different perspective and after a hiatus run time of 1hour and 35 minutes there’s an interval block, which suddenly tries to invoke an interest in the film.
But then it is lost once the film starts post interval, which rushes in to events trying to finish it. As they have already wasted enough time in the first half.
It’s disheartening to see big production houses spending millions on films which are weak on screenplay and rich on cast. This just results in films which bomb in actual scenario, but is declared a hit through social media and deluded numbers on internet.
If at all, the thought and effort which went in making “24” look extremely “A” class with expensive VFX and cinematography was spent on hiring an extensive screenwriter, it would have been a breakthrough for Kollywood.
Suriya in the son’s character was annoying, so was the leading lady Samantha, who’s acting was tad bit too much. Was disheartening to see AR Rahman’s album not in sync with the film. Background score was average nothing great.
What to watch out for: A film of this calibre has very few things to boast of. The Athreya character, whether it’s old or the young one. Suriya did that with great grace, even though it is not the one which could be counted among the legendary villains of Tamil Cinema. It does creates its own space, which is a commendable one.
Nithya Menen, even though she has a very short stint in the film. She does that with great diligence. Then comes Saranya Ponvannan, she’s the dearest mother of Kollywood and no one can replace her.
The cinematography was top notch by Tirru, he gave a great look to the film. The VFX was good and was done tastefully.
Verdict: Vikram Kumar is quite hungover with “Manam”, that he forgot this is a sci-fi and have infused too much of melodrama. The film would have been a great package if had a short runtime and a gripping screenplay. The total concept of time-travel was abused with a mediocre approach. I would say save your buck, and spend it on another movie. Definitely not worth a watch, I wish I could say at least for the technical work, but for that you will end up enduring too much.