After a disappointing Massu and a sweet but underrated Pasanga 2, Suriya returns this year with his first huge release, 24 The Movie. Directed by Vikram K Kumar, who made the engaging Manam, this sci fi thriller is about time travel. Scary premise to make, of course, but kudos to the makers for trying something different. And making sure the film stick to the theme, there by bowling us over in the process.
24, produced by and starring Suriya and directed by Vikram Kumar (best-known for the 2009 horror film Yavarum Nalam), is a slick-looking children’s adventure in the mould of Mr India. (The movie has been released outside Tamil Nadu with subtitles at some shows.) The narrative requires massive suspension of disbelief, most of all in the idea that an Indian scientist has created a watch that lets its user travel back in time for 24 hours.
Sethuraman (Suriya) is on the verge of sharing his Eureka moment with his wife Priya (Nithya Menen) and infant son Mani when his evil twin, Athreya (Suriya again), walks in through the door. Athreya wants the watch for himself, naturally, but a series of events that is triggered by a meddling eagle ensure that Mani survives along with the amazing device.
The moving finger (and the eagle) ensures that the key that opens the box in which nestles his father’s creation is found. A timepiece that can momentarily freeze the present but also rewrite the immediate past is just what Mani needs to woo Sathya (Samantha Ruth Prabhu). Perhaps Sethuraman also needed to have invented a time-travelling watch that goes back into the past and fixes this obsolete depiction of women.
Suriya carries off the three roles with his typical charm and sincerity, and he is especially good in the romantic scenes. Vikram Kumar keeps the screenplay ticking and conjures up enough twists and turns to push the overall silliness into the direction of entertainment. At 164 minutes, 24 The Movie is hugely overstretched, but its affable hero keeps boredom at bay by piling on the wide grins and winsome looks every time you feel like looking at your wrist.