24 - A Must "Watch"!
24 is Suriya's experimental commercial movie when he is desperately in need of a hit, after Anjaan and Masss. Suriya has proved again that he is a director's actor as he submits himself to Vikram Kumar's script with complete conviction and trust. 24 has all the elements to become one of Suriya's milestone movies, which he can be proud of, both as an actor and producer.
Script, Screenplay and Direction
It was clear from promos and trailers that the concept of 24 is based on time travel. Many Hollywood and Indian movies have dealt with this concept many a times. However, Vikram Kumar has taken this concept and weaved a very original script with infused a lot of commercial flavours without going overboard.
24 is a great mix of science fiction, fantasy, action, romance and family drama. This heady concoction could have been a dreadful mess, were it not for writer-director Vikram Kumar. Vikram Kumar had worked on this script for almost a decade and the final output clearly shows the level of care he has taken in immaculately sculpting it. Vikram Kumar's clever writing never deviates from the main thread even in comedy scenes and songs. A script like this is a tight rope walk. The inventiveness of time-travel could wear out after an hour or so in to the movie. The director succeeds by keeping the audience hooked from start to finish.
There are a few scenes where the cinematic imagination may have gone too far, especially when hero changes the outcome of cricket match by going back in time. Despite the incredulity, the kids are going to dig this scene. The script relies on a lot of coincidences to tie the loose ends, such as the reunion of hero and heroine's families. In the second half, a few scenes become a bit too cinematic and corny, yielding to the commercial pressures of a big budget production.
Suriya has done exceedingly well in all 3 roles. But, villain role of Athreya outdoes the other two in terms of performance. Athreya older look is menacing. Suriya as watch-maker holds the movie together with his lover boy charm. Suriya performs equally well as doting son to Saranya. As a scientist, he makes the script believable with his body language. 24 may very well become one of Suriya's milestone movies.
Samantha looks wonderful and brings out the right chemistry. Samantha's portions bring in the lighter moments in this highly tensile script. Saranya as Suriya's mother is effortlessly sweet and sleeps walk this familiar role. Nithya Menen has a brief, yet important role.
The movie is wonderfully vibrant in every department of film-making. The painstaking levels of minute detailing in every scene and shot is evident. AR Rahman's re-recording is exceptionally good and helps notch up the pacing. Songs are well picturized even though it may serve as minor distractions. Thankfully, the director doesn't stray away too far from the concept of time even in lighter scenes. Tirru's cinematography is brilliant. His rich experience shows in every frame. The cinematography and art direction have jointly excelled in maintaining a uniform style throughout the movie. Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborthy's art direction and set properties are immaculately done. One of the best art direction in recent times. The costume design is chic and helps lead characters look great and aid in their respective characterization. The make-up for Athreya's character deserve a special mention. Computer graphics gels well with the story and done in a very subtle manner.
Based on the end scenes of what happens to the watch, Vikram kumar is clearly keeping the doors open for spinning the yarn for the second part of 24. The director deserves a pat for drafting a 'Nolanesque' script while keeping the narrative simple and logical within the confines of this concept. This brilliant contraption of a film is a must watch for its deft making and exceptional performances of Suriya.
Final Word: A Timeless Masterpiece
Rating : 3.75 out of 5