‘24’ is Surya’s real ondra ton weight-u da!

A film that respects the viewer’s intellect and pampers the audience with a fresh experience, is sure to break box-office records and also anchor itself in the audience’s minds and hearts for years to come. ‘24’ is one such brilliantly-weaved sci-fi tale. ‘24’ boasts a level of cleverness and clarity which we usually don't associate with our mainstream cinemas. The film takes us on the usual tropes of 'going to the past and changing the future' and 'parallel universes paradox' and twists them enough to give us one heavenly experience!


Director and Screen-play

Director Vikram Kumar knows the nuances of intellect story telling. His debut film in Tamil was a disastrous 'Alai' in 2003. But his 2nd film was a masterpiece- ‘Yaavaram Nalam’. His recent Telugu film, “Manam” (telugu film) displayed his strengths one notch higher. ‘Manam’ is one movie that I watched thrice, just to get that positive energy from such a delightful story-telling. It’s just his captivating way of story narration that pulls the audience. Tapping on this forte, he has explored, clearly showed on celluiod screen, the amount of fun he would have had, writing and filming. Most importantly, he has given the most fun-filled, exhilarating experience that made my brain cells whizzed with excitement every second.  

Screen-play of ‘24’ quenches our intellectual thirst. Director doesn't indulge in cowardly simplifications for the sake of lucidity. The scenes transit from one phase to another like moves on a chessboard. We think we know what will happen when Mani (young surya) overhears a conversation between Athreya (villain surya) and his loyal assitant, but that doesn't happen. We think we know what will happen when Satyabhama (Samantha) discovers Athreya’s secret, but there is a twist there.
If we think of 5 different ways that one particular scene can end, Vikram Kumar would have finished the scene with finesse in the 6th way that we would have never thought of. You can't resist but grin at the ingenuity of Vikram's screenplay. 

The director uses the love angle to “explain” to the audience the important sci-fi concepts, and these scenes are laugh-out-loud. The sequence that ends with a selfie with Dhoni is a bliss-out. The interval block that makes your heart race and bombards your mind with questions like “So how would the film progress from here? How? How?”

Fabulous is an understatement. 
Actor Surya

I was never a fan of his. Never. But that might change slightly after this film. When he was constantly giving disappointments with roaring and ear-shattering dialogues such “ondra ton weightu da” and singing mindless entertaining songs like “ek tho thee” from ‘Anjaan’, I went with very low expectations for ‘24’.

 But this film slapped me with a tag, “you better WATCH this girl!”

This is the film where Surya has all the rights to say “kathukita motha vithaiyum iraki iruken.” (I’ve unleashed all my potential in this film)

Young surya (Mani) comes with a spring in his step and with him around, there is not a dull moment. We have the matured Sethuraman (Mani’s dad) whose performances are picture-perfect.


Mark Anthony, Vaali Deva, 16 Vayathinile Paratai, Siddarth Abhimanyu- Tamil Cinema has given us many villains to remember. And now surya proudly enters that list. I didn’t see another Surya. I saw Athreya on screen. That is the success of the character and a true victory for Actor surya. His acts as Athreya bristling with a murderous gleam in his eye are menacingly threatening which perfectly elucidates one of my all-time favourite quotes- “Every villain is a hero in his own story.” Juggling all three different characters, Surya delivers finely executed performances that are clock perfect.

Producer Surya
It is definitely a huge risk to produce this 75-crore budget film. But the vision he had, as a producer, was evident in every frame in this film. Suriya has made the film with no compromises. Film production is not just about money. It’s also about aesthetics, understanding the craft and making the right calls at the right time. Well, Surya had made the perfect decision of producing the magical phenomenon ‘24’ . Special Mention for bringing in the most-talented Visual Effects Team!

But is ‘24’ a perfect 10?

I felt that duration of the film was extremely lengthy. In fact, the repetition of the scenes to explain to us about the time-travel concept, became a bore at times. Certain shots/scenes had to be paused because of the watch. In fact, the film would have been just 2 hours without the rewinds and the pauses.

Characterization of Nithya and Samantha- In a film where hero dominated from frame 1 till the end, I shouldn’t expect anything more of the female leads. However, I felt Nithya’s role could have been strengthened with more screen space. Well, that was well-compensated with a soul-stirring lullaby that she has sung in the film. Samantha, was nothing but another routine female depiction in south Indian movies, who did not have any option other than to fall for the hero’s tricks. Saranya, who is the Mother of all current Tamil cinema heroes has done her job well. But I wish directors would give her instructions other than “show maternal warmth”

Enga pona raasa?

The one song that I want to sing to Rahman, “Enga pona raasa?”
Where is your magic, ji? What happened? The most disappointing album, I would say. Though background score was above average, the songs were not the usual Rahman’s ones. And is it the slow-poison type? No.

We have all seen our parents getting old. The young, energetic, vibrant and emotionally strong dads and moms these days may not exhibit the same qualities when they were young. It may be very tough for us to understand them. We wonder what has happened to them? Why can’t they be normal?
However, does that mean what they have done to us, will be unforgotten?

AR’s music has reached that stage too. All I can do, now, is to celebrate the classics and embrace the musical ageing probably just like what we do with our parents at home. I understand that this is the only way to comfort myself for a painfully unsatisfactory album.

Other Questions

Why is there so much of enmity between Athreya and Sethuraman? Where is the story happening? Even though, it says that Sethuraman’s house is located in Megamalai, why is his house in an isolated area? Why does Athreya seem to be more well-off than Sethuraman? why does that train from megamalai to saranya’s village look like a scenic rail in Poland? Or is it really shot in Poland? Is it possible to have a in-built lift in a village house (that looked like karaikudi in fact)? If they are that rich, why couldn’t they afford to pay for the village school’s building?


Despite all these questions and loopholes, ‘24’ is an obstreperously entertaining, bullet- and attitude-ridden science-fiction that shouldn’t be missed.