Vikram Kumar’s 24 (Tamil) Review

Vikram Kumar’s 24 (Tamil) explores the concept of time travel. The plot is simple: ‘A’ (1990) is attempting to create a time travel machine, his twin brother ‘B’ desires the machine, and ‘C’ (2016), the son of ‘A’, acquires the machine 26 years later and travels back to ‘A’. ‘A’ then destroys the machine (1990). Although 24 features Suriya, a top hero with a huge fan base, the plot is not based on ‘Baasha’. It is a clever movie, a rare quality. It is imaginative, engaging, and highly enjoyable. The film looks fabulous, with visual effects, artistry, and music providing the film with the rich look that was much needed to set the tone.

One of the standout features of this film will be its visuals. It boasts some truly impressive sets. ‘Sethuraman’s house-lab’ is a great set, and Mani’s watch-shop is another visually striking and impressive setting. Everything about the settings of this movie contributes to a truly atmospheric experience. The aesthetics are a real positive.

Athreeya

The best part of the script, apart from ‘Athreeya’, is a character that is impressively maintained – that of ‘Mithran’ (Ajay). Vikram Kumar, the writer and director, deserves applause for this aspect. ‘Mithran’ is a character that is not common at all, and the way Vikram Kumar handles it is commendable. The friendship between ‘Athreeya’ and ‘Mithran’ is conveyed without any dialogues, without any dedicated scenes pointing it out explicitly. It seamlessly integrates into the flow of the narrative. The mutual respect between ‘Mithran’ and ‘Athreeya’ is evident from their reactions to various incidents involving each other. In fact, the ‘character’ of ‘Mithran’ is as strong and stable as that of ‘Athreeya’ and ‘Mani’.

’24’ Breaks New Ground in Indian Cinema

Check the scenes of 1990 after they go back from 2016. Mithran’s death and ‘Athreeya’s scream that follows are perfectly executed. The word ‘Mithran’ means ‘Friend’. Suriya as ‘Athreeya’ is impressive; he plays a convincing bad guy and knows how to portray evil effectively. However, it is the ‘Mani’ character, the typical Suriya stuff, that catches our attention without any gimmicks. Apart from the main three characters, ‘Mani’, ‘Athreeya’, and ‘Mithran’, nobody else impresses.

Suriya 24 Tamil Science Fiction (1)

One of the most impressive sequences is the ‘Sathya’ (Samantha) – ‘Athreeya’ episode. The suspense and thrill created with ‘Athreeya’ in this scene are classic. It would be remiss not to mention the ‘Freeze Time’ rain scene, which was beautiful to watch on screen. A clever aspect is the way Vikram Kumar used romantic portions to illustrate various functions of the ‘time-machine’. While including ingredients of the usual Indian masala, Vikram used them more to explain the ‘watch’ rather than simply showing the ‘hero’ chasing a ‘girl’ with no IQ. The attention to detail is incredible, with little details connecting the alternate timelines together. Mani and Sethuraman have a few things in common – Athreeya shoots both of them, both characters die at some point, and there’s something more that, if revealed, would be a spoiler.

‘Endhiran’, ‘Netru Intru Naalai’, and ’24’ serve as a foundation for many such movies to come.

On the downside, while the film is pure fun and entertaining, the script is too straightforward for a time-travel concept, so it doesn’t deliver an edge-of-your-seat experience overall, except for two or three scenes. The good thing is that the makers never claimed it to be another ’12 Monkeys (1995)’ but rather promised it to be a ‘Disney Pictures’ kind of film, and they are close to being ‘right’. However, from the basic plot, it would have been better if it were more clever to engage the audience and make them think more. There are a lot of interconnected events, but they feel somewhat flat. The moment something special is shown, we can guess something related is coming, for example, the ‘bubble-gum’ during the introduction of the ‘Mani’ character, or the ‘key’ thing and ‘cable’ scene at the beginning of the movie.

‘Endhiran’, ‘Netru Intru Naalai’, and ’24’ lay the groundwork

Anyway, when the end product doesn’t give enough time to think about all these details in the theater, it is considered a successful product. Vikram Kumar’s ’24’ holds your attention as it is. ’24’ is not an experimental movie but a ‘different’ one for Indian cinema as it explores areas that are not often exploited. Sci-fi is not extensively explored in India with success. ‘Endhiran’, ‘Netru Intru Naalai’, and ’24’ lay the groundwork for many such movies to come. These films have provided a good introduction to the subject for audiences not familiar with it, saving future filmmakers time in explaining the subject as it has already been covered in these successful movies. It’s encouraging to see Tamil cinema contributing to the sci-fi genre.

3.5 Rating

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About the Author

PS Arjun
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Script Writer of Amutha (Tamil) and Pattaapakal (Malayalam). Filmmaker.

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