Disclaimer : This analysis is going to be lengthier but no big spoilers assured…
It’s said that a film should have a potential to be appreciated at least by 1 crore people. But every storyline cannot be appreciated by them so why our writers and directors cook stories liked by all. To get appreciations, a story should be understandable. There are lesser number of writers who strive to make their fantasies understandable. They shouldn’t be blamed alone in this aspect, even most of our mindsets are not good. If a complex content is presented in a Hollywood film, we start appreciating their intelligence and start humiliating our writers’ intelligence. Suppose that Hollywood film is not understood properly, we praise that director’s intelligence more than before and if any Indian film is not understood properly, we say director is immature. Director “Vikram Kumar” doesn’t come under these aspects. He doesn’t leave his thoughts for being complex. Instead, he makes them clearly understandable to his audiences without shifting the plot’s way. That’s why “Akkieneni Nagarjuna” handed over his career’s crucial film “Manam” to Vikram. Even “Suriya” did the same thing. Though he knew his previous experiments were failed, he turned to be producer and invested an amount of 75 crores for his film “24”. That’s the confidence gained by Vikram. As talent should have encouragement, let’s appreciate Nithiin, Nagarjuna and Suriya first.
Coming to this film, Suriya appeared in three roles while Samantha, Nitya Menen played female leads. While “A. R. Rahman” composed the music, Gnanavel Raja co-produced this film and Nithiin released its Telugu version with his “Sreshth movies” banner.
Athreya (Suriya) kills his twin brother Sivakumar (Suriya) for a watch using which time travel is possible but fails to acquire it. That watch reaches a watch mechanic Mani (Suriya). The rest plot deals with how Mani knew its significance and how Athreya tried to fulfil his ambition.
Screenplay – Direction :
The film unit released multiple trailers before the film’s release, each with a runtime of more than 60 seconds. On watching them which had different visuals, it was felt there’s going to be a lot of content in the film which was not shown in the trailers and curiosity was increased towards it. Even the poster with disabled evil Athreya sitting in a chair increased curiosity. In general, we don’t remember the trailer after watching the film but watching “Manam” made me realize how carefully the trailer was cut. Same thing happened with “24”. Every trailer was cut very carefully. So, Vikram should be appreciated for this too.
We had classics that dealt with “time travel” like “Back to the Future”, “Aditya 369”. Director should be more careful while touching the same subject because he has to present it in a new way. Vikram did it by opting Suriya for main roles. As Suriya is a versatile actor and suits any getup, after Kamal, director’s work became much easier.
Presenting “time travel” concept along with “butterfly effect” was amazing. Especially, the visuals where Mani tests the watch were extraordinary. I loved the scene where he plays with the frozen rain droplets and the perfect timing of the eminent “Kaalam Naa Preyasi”. Playing with time to impress Satyabhama (Samantha) was funny. If observed so deeply, we find a small resemblance between the points “Mani testing the power of watch” and “Rajnikanth testing the power of magical chant” in “Baba”. But this film’s visuals were more convincingly brilliant.
Though “Manasuke” song slowed down the narration a bit, interval sequence was breathtaking when Athreya found “Token 144”. Here Rahman’s background score helped a lot. Though the interval sequence was narrated inline with plot, director shattered the expectation of whether Mani has foreseen what will happen and introduced a new confrontation in the narration so convincingly. He didn’t even get caught when watch was shifted from left hand to right hand at which an audience may think that Mani knew everything. Such things are a part of beautiful game played by writer with his audiences. A writer actually wins when he escapes the audience’s view and then convinces him with his view. So, this film is a “writer’s victory” before a “director’s victory“.
Narration relaxed a bit when it reached “Gopala Samudram”. It was creatively funny when played with time but delivered a feel of watching a regular commercial film when Mani played with Satya without using time. If this sequence was cut completely in editing there wouldn’t be any harm to the film. But Samanth’s cute performance was enjoyable here. The following song “Prema Parichayame” with unconventional dubbed lyrics could’ve been better in presentation or edited completely.
After those 10 minutes, narration regained its intensity and remained engaging till the end. Employing “butterfly effect” at the place where an audience waits eagerly for the solution of actual problem, was stupendous. Here’s one more thing that showed Vikram’s perfection level. It’s the baffled expressions of Mithra (Ajay) in the church scene and in the scene near level crossing. Those who watched the film, just remember and those who haven’t watched yet try to observe this.
It’s very hard to bring the narration to the point at which it started without confusing audience. It’s purely the fruit of Vikram’s effort in lots of sleepless nights. Let’s take a bow!! “Hats off Vikram!“
As a whole, this project “24” travels with its audience for at least 24 hours from watching it. It’s like a breathe of fresh air for all movie lovers who got vexed with regular commercial format. It proves that wonders can be created if talent gets a right encouragement. I recommend this film to all. Watch it either alone or with your friends or family, effect lies the same. It just engages you in its time travel.
Off the screen it’s Vikram and on screen, it’s Suriya. He portrayed the three roles so easily showing perfect difference among the three. He’s innocent as Sivakumar, cruel as Athreya and energetic as Mani. Though there were three Suriyas on screen, I could see just characters rather than Suriya. It’s just his talent and commitment. Handling production besides acting was highly appreciable. “Hats off Suriya!“
Samantha and Nitya Menen suited their roles well. Sharanya who played Mani’s mother and Ajay who played the side kick of Athreya were perfect. After a long time, Girish Karnad was seen on screen but his role didn’t have much scope. Rest cast like Sudha, Harshavardhan were fine.
Story, screenplay, direction and performances were eminences. Here are more,
- Tirru’s Cinematography. There was no scene with low quality visuals or with poor lighting. His work is definitely responsible for loving this film.
- Julius Trouselliar’s Visual Effects. All were of top quality. The eagle shots which claimed to be made in graphics never appeared so.
- A. R. Rahman’s Background Score. Though disappointed with songs a little, master increased the eminence of the film with his “Ayushman Bhava” background score.
- Prawin Pudi’s Editing. Time travel concept requires perfect editing in which Prawin succeeded. The scenes where Mani fools Satya using time were examples for good editing.
- Production Values. This film wouldn’t be possible without producers Suriya and Gnanavel Raja. Extraordinary production values showed their love and passion towards this film.
- Scenes of Gopala Samudram.
- Rahman’s Music. Master disappointed a little with songs this time except “Manasuke” and “Kaalam Naa Preyasi”.
- When this film was dubbed from Tamil to Telugu, only “Eenadu” daily newspaper was changed. Rest sign boards and hoardings were in Tamil though the characters say they live in “Vizag”.
– Yashwanth Aluru
Click here for Telugu version of this travel…