Vikram Kumar’s 24 (Tamil) is a movie on time-travel concept. The plot is simple! Yes: ‘A’ (1990) is trying to make a time travel machine, his twin brother ‘B’ wants the machine and ‘C’ (2016) the son of ‘A’ gets the machine 26 years later and goes back to ‘A’. ‘A’ destroys the machine (1990). 24 has Suriya, a top hero with huge fan base, but the plot is not based on ‘Baasha’! It is a smart movie and that fact is a rare thing. It is imaginative, engaging and very enjoyable. The film looks fabulous. Visual effects, art work, and music give the film the rich look which was much needed to set the tone. One of the things that this film will be remembered for is its visuals. This movie has some really impressive sets. ‘Sethuraman’s house-lab’ is a great set. Mani’s watch-shop is another really cool looking and impressive set, and everything about the settings of this movie are really atmospheric. The aesthetics are a real positive.
The best part of the script apart from ‘Athreeya’, is a character which is impressively maintained – that is of ‘Mithran’ (Ajay). The writer-maker in Vikram Kumar deserves applause for this portion. A ‘character’ which is not common at all. ‘Athreeya’s friendship with Mithran’ is told without any dialogues, without any dedicated scenes pointing it. It was there in the flow. ‘Mithran’ and ‘Athreeya’ gives respect to each other, which is evident from the character’s reaction to various incidents to the other character. In fact, ‘character’ of ‘Mithran’ is strong and stable as much as ‘Athreeya’ and ‘Mani’. Check the scenes of 1990 after ‘they’ go back from 2016. Mithran’s death and ‘Athreeya’s scream which follows was perfect. The word ‘Mithran’ means ‘Friend’. Suriya as ‘Athreeya’ is impressive, plays a pretty convincing bad guy, and definitely knows how to be evil well but it is the ‘Mani’ character, the typical Suriya stuff which catches our attention without any gimmicks. Apart from the main three characters, ‘Mani’, ‘Athreeya’ and ‘Mithran’, nobody impresses.
One of the most impressive sequences is the ‘Sathya’ (Samantha) – ‘Athreeya’ episode. The suspense, and thrill made with ‘Athreeya’ in this scene is classic. It will not be good to stop this section without mentioning the ‘Freeze Time’ rain scene. It was so beautiful to watch on screen. The clever part is the way Vikram Kumar used the romantic portions to show various functions of the ‘time-machine’. Vikram included the ingredients of the usual Indian masala but used more to explain about the ‘watch’ instead of simply showing ‘hero’ roaming around a ‘girl’ with no IQ. The attention to detail is incredible, there are little details that connect the alternate timelines together. Mani and Sethuraman have few things in common – Athreeya shoots both of them, Both the characters die at some-point and something more is there which in revealing will be a crime to the movie.
On the down side, even though the film is pure fun and entertaining, the script is too straight for a time-travell concept, so overall it don’t give edge-of-your-seat experience, except for two or three scenes. Good thing is that, makers never claimed it be another ’12 Monkeys (1995)’ but rather they promised it to be a ‘Disney Pictures’ kinda film and they are close to ‘right’. But from the basic plot, I wished, it to be more clever to make audience think and engage more. Coming back to the point, there are a lot of interconnected events but was so flat. The moment they show something in special, we can guess something is coming related to that! For example: ‘Bubble-gum’ during the introduction of ‘Mani’ character, and we can see the ‘key’ thing coming before it, same way with the ‘cable’ scene at the beginning of the movie.
Anyway, at the end when the end product doesn’t give enough time to think about all these at theatre then it is a successful product. Vikram Kumar’s 24 as it is hold your attention. 24 is not an experimental movie but a ‘different’ one for Indian cinema as it touches those areas which are not exploited. Sci-fi is not explored much in India with success. Endhiran, Netru Intru Naalai and 24 are the basement for many such movies to come. These movies did give good intro about the subject to the audience who are not into such subjects. The future-filmmakers don’t need to spend time to give explanation about the subject as there are already explained in these successful movies. Good to see Tamil cinema contributing to sci-fi genre.