Suriya’s 24 is a brilliant film made by Vikram K Kumar!
Wondering why the review starts without any build-up and right away cuts to the point? It is because, that is how director Vikram K Kumar starts his narration in 24, which from the very first breath starts to grow in front of your eyes.
Absolutely no time taken in setting up the plot or leeway given to the audience to settle down – Beware, for this particular film, it is a mandate to watch it from the first for you to enjoy the complete essence of the story; please avoid walking into the cinema hall late!
The ultimate fact of life that solution to almost every problem or conflict in one’s life can be fixed if ‘time’ was manipulative. Now, using this fact to tell a story is more than a smart move, as stories are about conflicts and the subsequent resolutions. This is where Suriya’s 24 does not struggle even a bit to captivate you as it chooses ‘time travel’ as its primary concept.
The conflict in this particular film and how it marches towards resolution cannot be explained even by Vikram K Kumar himself by text, one needs to watch the film to understand. At the same time, only a strong bound script can result in a cinema like this and Vikram K Kumar needs to take bow at this instance.
Every now and then you might be reminded of your maths class where you always worked towards making the Left Hand side (LHS) equal to Right Hand Side (RHS) as Vikram has penned this screenplay in such a manner. There is not a single insertion shot for the sake of it or standing null with meaning. Brilliance and command in the craft of storytelling keep hitting you hard; making you not want to take your eyes off the screen.
There might be a common argument criticizing the romance sequence and the decision to have chosen this episode to tell the power of an important gadget in the film. But what one shouldn’t forget is, a storyteller is given the tag ‘smart’ only when he understands his whole wide range of audience and designs the elements of his story accordingly.
To make it simple, it is not wrong to tell the “kaaka vada sutta” story to a toddler to emphasize that greediness results in loss. In fact, that is a smart choice! But this in no way makes it look like Vikram hasn’t respected the intellect of his audience. His respect for them shines at the very instance of choosing to make a sci-fi in an entertaining manner.
24 is all about Suriya. Every emotion is portrayed in his point of view; from love to comedy to pain to revenge, it all comes under his coverage as he plays three important roles in the film. As a viewer you feel happy as he patiently communicates them to the audience with utmost sincerity. Special mention to his ‘Athreya’ avatar. It is an experience and it is best understood by experiencing it.
Saranya Ponvannan manages to still excite you as a loving mother because every time she plays that role she brings out a uniqueness to it. Nithya Menen neatly does her job without showing off the effort or the attempt.
Samantha does her usual kind of role, but her character’s contribution to the tale stands vital. Appreciations to other actors like Ajay, Sathyan, Appukutty, Girish Karnad, Mohan Raman and the others who support the process of the narration.
Today’s development in technology is more like a genie where it lets a creator wish for anything and it makes it happen. Flawless CG and VFX work is 24’s USP. Cinematographer Tirru proves his mettle yet again by taking complete charge over the camera and its aspects like lighting, framing, colour scheme etc.
Prawin Pudi’s work with scissors consciously strives and succeeds in not disturbing the growth of the story. But overall one does get a feeling that the movie could have been trimmer by ten minutes. The action sequences were well choreographed and were shot effectively.
24’s album has already offered itself to our playlist and the visuals are only going to make its stay on the list a longer one. The BGM in typical AR Rahman style sets the mood right for the tale. Choosing a lullaby to establish the lab and introduce the technicians is a mention worthy move.
2D Entertainment & Studio Green should continue engaging in such daring, experimental ventures and widen the scope for storytellers in our industry.
Verdict: 24 with all its qualities is a step in the right direction for Tamil cinema.