Rating: 7.5/10 (Engaging Sci Fi Thriller)
Actor Suriya has not been in the greatest form recently and has given back to back average films. He's now teamed up with Vikram Kumar, the man behind the classic of Manam, for a sci fi film called 24. Starring Suriya in 3 different roles, this film was released on May 6th, 2016. How does it fare? Find out in my review.
Story: 24 is about Dr. Sivakumar (Suriya) who in 1990 is a scientist working on a specific experiment. He lives with his wife Priya (Nithya Menon) and their son in a huge mansion. He eventually designs a watch that can control time and names it Project 24. His evil twin brother Athreya (Suriya again) wants the watch and hates his brother to core and wants to use it for bad purposes. They are exact polar opposites of each other. Sivakumar sensing danger, hides the watch in his sons cradle which is specially designed by him and sneds it with him. After some sad events, Athreya is tricked and he jumps off a cliff and lands into a coma.
Present day, 26 years later, Sivakumar's son Mani (Suriya for a 3rd time) is a watch mechanic ironically and lives in Chennai with this foster mother (Saranya) and makes a living from that. He falls in love with Satyabhama (Samantha) when she comes to his store to have her watch fixed. In the meantime, Athreya finally awakens from a coma 26 years later and wants to track down and create a watch for himself so he can use it but his many attempts fail. Does Athreya get the watch in the end and how does Mani solve all the problems forms the rest of this movie.
Performances: Suriya is the life and soul of this film. He is sympathetic and righteous as Sivakumar, absolutely ruthless as Athreya, and charming as Mani. At the end of the film, you will end up liking Athreya the best because the villain of this movie is simply incredible and awesome and hats off to Suriya to performing each of the roles with various contrasts and perfection. His best performance in a long time.
Samantha is cute as Satyabhama and looks pretty. But the romantic track between her and Mani is a bit annoying especially in the 2nd half.
Nitya Menon is very good in her cameo like role. Ajay is superb as the villains assistant and after a long time gives a great performance. Saranya Ponvannan has done a role she has done so many times in the past and does a great job in the very emotional scene when she reveals the truth about Mani's past. Girish Karnad and the rest of the cast are more than adequate.
Technicalities: Music by AR Rahman and background score are flawless. The Oscar winning composer always gives his best to any project he does and his work is absolutely flawless in 24. Cinematography by Tirru is the highlight of this movie. It has world class visuals and the visuals during the last song are simply incredible and breathtaking. Hats off to him for giving such an amazing output. VFX work by Julian Troussellier is world class. Dialogues are fine. Editing is alright as some of the romantic scenes could have been chopped off. Story and Screenplay by Vikram Kumar are excellent. Production Values by Suriya himself on 2D Entertainments are world class.
Analysis: Vikram Kumar has a knack for telling the most complex stories in the simplest manner possible. He proved that with Manam and follows it up in 24.
The films starts off very well with the creation of the watch and the introduction of Athreya is superb. The films never really takes off until Mani discovers what the watch his dad created can actually do and then the film starts to get fun. The pre interval scene and the whole scheme to get the watch is an absolute stroke of genius and the interval bang is shocking and you wonder how the rest of the film will move on. Post interval, you find out a shocking twist and realize why the watch was named Project 24.
The 1st half is very good and the 2nd half is equally as engaging. I can not reveal too much info in this review as it would take away the fun and suspense in the film that is 24.
On a whole, 24 is arguably one of the best sci fi films ever made in Indian cinema. Vikram Kumar and Suriya deserve a pat on the back for executing something like this and it's truly a great product in the end. For Suriya's riveting performance as Athreya and Vikram Kumar's brilliant writing and direction, I'm giving 24 a 7.5/10 and makes for a truly engaging watch.