Director: Vikram Kumar
Cast: Suriya, Samantha, Nithya Menen, Girish Karnad, Saranya Ponvannan
Much of Tamil cinema is fantasy, an awful lot of make-believe and Vikram Kumar’s 24 is all these, but with a purpose. For, it is a science fiction feature that gets busy not so much with the invention of a time-machine as it does with actor Suriya’s triple role -- twin brothers and a son of one of them.
Obviously, one of the twins has to be evil and envious of the other, a wizard of a scientist, who creates a little wristwatch that has the ability to freeze us all like in the game we played in our childhood, ‘statue, statue’. But the tick-tock contraption can also take us back by 24 hours to recap all the happened, and yes to recap in the way we wished all those things to have happened.
Suriya plays Dr Sethuraman, a watchmaker, but a brilliant scientist, who discovers the time-machine and would have lived happily ever after with his wife, Priya (Nithya Menen) and toddler son, but for his no-good twin brother, Athreya (also Suriya sporting a French beard) -- who arrives to steal the magic watch and mess up the family’s magic moments. Priya is killed, Sethuraman shoots himself dead to save the baby and the machine. Athreya is severely wounded and slips into a coma only to get up 26 years later to find the little son, called Mani (again a strapping Suriya), curiously a watchmaker like his dad, wooing Sathya (Samantha). Mani liberally uses the ticking thing to seduce his lady love. 24 has plenty of fantasy with some scenes reminding me of shots from the Harry Potter series.
However, the Sathya-Mani romance is silly to the core, and drags the narrative down by several notches, though uniformly fine performances by Menen, Samantha and Suriya come as magic relief.
Watch 24’s trailer here: