24 (2016 film)

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24
24 (2016 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Vikram Kumar
Produced by Suriya
Written by Vikram Kumar
Starring Suriya
Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Nithya Menen
Saranya Ponvannan
Music by A. R. Rahman
Qutub-E-Kripa
Cinematography Tirru
Kiran Deohans[1]
Edited by Prawin Pudi
Production
company
Distributed by Eros International[2]
Studio Green
Release date
  • 6 May 2016 (2016-05-06)
Running time
164 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Budget 70 crore[3]
Box office 100 crore[3]

24 is a 2016 Indian Tamil-language science fiction thriller[4] film written and directed by Vikram Kumar. Based on the concept of time-travel, the film stars actor Suriya in triple roles, with actresses Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Nithya Menen and Saranya Ponvannan in lead roles.

The development dates back to 2009, where the film was to feature actors Vikram and Ileana D'Cruz in lead roles. However, in February 2010, the project was dropped due to difference in opinions between director, producer and actor, facing rejection of the refined script. In August 2014, Suriya agreed to produce and act in the film, with principal photography commencing in Mumbai in April 2015, continuing in Nasik, Goregaon and Pune. The second phase of filming was done in Poland by end-September 2015. Filming was completed in Chennai by November 2015.

Produced by 2D Entertainment, the film has cinematography by S. Tirru. The soundtrack and film score are composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vairamuthu and Madhan Karky. The film along with the dubbed Telugu version having the same title was released on 6 May 2016.[5] It is also dubbed in Hindi as Time Story.

The film won two awards at the 64th National Film AwardsBest Cinematography and Best Production Design.

Also, Suriya has won the Critics Best Actor Award at 64th Filmfare Awards.[6]

Plot[edit]

Dr. Sethuraman (Suriya) is a reputed scientist and watchmaker who lives with his wife Priya (Nithya Menen) and newborn son Mani in a mansion with a laboratory at Megamalai. In January 1990, on his birthday he invents a watch using which a person can travel back and forth in time for a maximum of 24 hours. His evil twin brother Athreya(Suriya) tries to take the watch and kills Priya in the process. Sethuraman escapes with Mani and boards a train. Before Athreya arrives, he hands Mani to a passenger named Sathyabama (Saranya Ponvannan) and pleads her to save his son. Athreya kills Sethuraman and is seriously injured in an attempt to escape. Sathyabama's father (Girish Karnad) is against her decision to save Mani, and she leaves with him for Chennai to honour the promise given to Sethuraman.

26 years later, Mani (Suriya) becomes a watchmaker who considers Sathyabama as his biological mother. A paralysed Athreya wakes up from coma and decides to find the watch; he hopes to go back to 1990 and save himself from the accident. In a series of incidents, Mani finds Dr. Sethuraman's watch and explores its powers. Using them, he manages to impress Sathya (Samantha Ruth Prabhu), his client who hails from Sathyabama's native place Gopalasamudram. Athreya’s close aide Mithran (Ajay) issues an advertisement offering five crores to the one who finds Dr. Sethuraman's watch. Including Mani, many prepare the duplicate of the watch and submit them. But Athreya spots Mani's design accurate and kills him, thereby gaining possession of the watch.

Athreya is shocked to know that the watch can only help him travel back and forth only for 24 hours and decides to revive Mani. Mithran places the watch on Mani's right hand and leaves. Mani wakes up next morning and is shocked as he wore the watch on his left hand. He travels back to last night and secretly follows Mithran. Athreya predicts this and manages to fool Mani with Mithran's help that he is Sethuraman who survived from Athreya as a paraplegic. Mani learns from Sathyabama that Sethuraman left him in the train and faced Athreya in another compartment.

Mani leaves with Sathyabama for Gopalasamudram and unites her with her estranged family. He also comes to know that Sathya is Sathyabama's niece, and the duo fall in love. Athreya arrives with Mithran and convinces everyone including Mani that he is Sethuraman and that Athreya is dead. Sathya learns about Athreya's identity later and tries to reveal it to Mani. But, Athreya manages to fall from a staircase and Mani, unaware of the reality, travels back in time and saves him. Sathya forgets about Athreya's identity and assumes that he is Sethuraman.

Mani learns from Mithran that his father is going to die soon and wishes to see Priya for one last time by traveling back in time to 1990. Mani modifies the watch and tests it, which reveals the truth about Athreya’s identity. He tricks Athreya to tell about the date and time of Priya's death and gives him a fake watch. Mani uses the original watch to travel back in time to 1990 and Athreya accompanies him by touching the real watch in use.

In January 1990, Sethuraman and Priya spot the modified watch on their baby's hand. Initially joyous, Sethuraman senses danger; he feels that Mani returned to a toddler's age as they may not be alive when he was able to speak. Athreya, now young and healthy, attacks Sethuraman to find the watch. Sethuraman and Priya escape with Mani, and Athreya accidentally kills Mithran. Priya and Mani hide in a room, as Athreya faces Sethuraman in the garden. Sethuraman freezes the time and lays Athreya before a bullet, thus killing him. He then flees with Priya and Mani and boards the same train. They meet Sathyabama and Sethuraman agrees to teach science to children in a school constructed by her father in Gopalasamudram. The film ends with young Mani speaking with Satya.

Cast[edit]

  • Suriya in a triple role as
    • Dr. Sethuraman, a scientist who invented time travelling 24 watch.
    • Athreya, Sethuraman's twin who wants to get hold of watch
    • Manikandan "Mani" Sethuraman aka Subramani, Sethuraman's son
  • Samantha Ruth Prabhu as Sathyabhama aka Sathya (Sandhyabharathi aka Sandhya in hindi dubbed version), Mani's love interest.
  • Nithya Menen as Priya Sethuraman, Sethuraman's wife
  • Saranya Ponvannan as Sathyabhama, Mani's adoptive mother
  • Ajay as Mithran, Athreya's sidekick
  • Girish Karnad as Sathya's Grandfather
  • Sabyasachi Chakrabarty as Arya Shankara
  • Mithu Chakrabarty as Arya's Wife
  • Mohan Raman as Sathya's father
  • Sudha as Sathya's mother
  • Sathyan as Saravanan, Mani's friend
  • Charle as Reddiyar
  • Appukutty as Reddiyar's staff
  • Harsha Vardhan as Kalai, electrician who works for Athreya
  • Natarajan Balkrishna as Sathya's uncle
  • T S Ranganathan as Sathya's uncle

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

"Many writers and directors have attempted a movie dealing with time travel. But this movie is about my perspective of this genre, and unlike what usually happens in such movies, I have kept the narrative very simple, so that anyone from the ages of six, right upto sixty can enjoy the movie, in which, a gadget actually plays an important role."

 —Vikram on his film, in an interview with The Times of India.[7]

In August 2009, director Vikram Kumar announced that he was set to direct a film titled 24. The film was backed by producer Mohan Natarajan, which would feature actor Vikram in a lead role. Harris Jayaraj was confirmed to score the music and P. C. Sreeram to handle the film cinematography.[8] By late 2009, the filming commenced at AVM Studios, Chennai.[9] Sets that resembled dense forests and caves were replicated.[9] In an interview with The Times of India in Chennai, director Vikram stated: "We have signed Ileana D'Cruz to do 24. It will be her re-launch in Tamil cinema. She has given us bulk dates from February 2010 for the second schedule of the film."[10][11] In February 2010, Vikram Kumar officially announced that he had dropped the film. Vikram clarified that he fine-tuned the film script but it was rejected by actor Vikram and the film producer.[12] Further, the other reason cited was that the director had failed to provide the complete script even while production expenses were increasing.[13] Due to difference of opinions, the director voluntarily walked out and stated that he had been making changes in the script and will approach a leading actor in future.

In August 2014, Suriya's production company 2D Entertainment announced the project through their official Twitter handle. In October 2014, A. R. Rahman was announced as the film soundtrack and score composer. Actor Suriya was confirmed as the male lead.[14] The main plot of the revived project was the same as the one narrated to actor Vikram but over the years, Vikram Kumar changed the screenplay with new dimensions in narration.[15] In an interview Suriya pointed the core of the plot stating: "The one thing that humans cannot control is "time" but what if one has the power to do so. This is the core theme of the film 24."[16]

Characters[edit]

Actor Suriya has played triple[13] roles in the film, with five appearances.[17] One of the roles being that of an antagonist, five to six looks were designed for him.[18] The antagonist character "Athreya" is a wicked, yet smart guy who goes to any extent to fulfill his desires.[17] The producers had potential discussions with Catherine Tresa[19] for the lead female role before Samantha Ruth Prabhu was finalised in February 2015.[20] In July 2015, Nithya Menen was roped to play the other leading character.[21] Characters played by Samantha and Nithya in the film are of contrasting nature though both play love interest opposite Suriya.[17] Samantha plays the love interest opposite to the character "Mani" whereas Nithya Menen to the character "Sethuraman".[22] Saranya Ponvannan plays the role of a mother of the character "Mani".[23]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography commenced in Mumbai on 8 April 2015.[24] A romantic song was filmed in Nashik by early-June 2015.[25] Certain scenes were filmed at Filmistaan studios in Goregaon.[13] VFX works were also carried out in the same studio by September 2015.[13] Nithya Menen began filming her portions in the city from 1 August 2015.[26] The first schedule was completed by early September 2015.[27] By mid of the same month, a twenty-day schedule began in Poland.[27] The crew filmed action scenes and songs at Kraków, the Zborow Mountain, Zakopane, Leba, Lewin Klodzki, Jedlina Zdroj, Walbrzych, Bulowice and Nowe Brzesko–all in Poland.[28] The lights were provided by Kraków Company Cinelight. The Kraków Film Commission and Kraków Film Cluster supported the project in Poland.[28] This second schedule of filming was wrapped up on 30 September 2015.[29] On 26 October 2015, the team shot an important sequences in Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune. The shoot was completed in a single day.[30] By the end of the same month, the last schedule of filming was done at Adithyaram Studios in Chennai.[31] On 2 November 2015, the filming was completed.[31]

In all, the film was shot for over 100 days, out of which 30 days of work was done abroad.[17] More than 60 percent of the film involves VFX.[17]

Music[edit]

The film score and soundtrack album are composed by A. R. Rahman. The lyrics to the songs are written by Vairamuthu and Madhan Karky. The soundtrack album was released by Eros Music on 11 April 2016.[32]

Release[edit]

The film was released on an estimated 1,950–2,000 screens worldwide.[33] The screen count in United States was 267, with special premieres held on 5 May 2016.[34] States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana shared 425 plus screens between them.[33]

Marketing[edit]

A game titled 24: Athreya Run which was created by Creative Monkey Games was released through application distribution platforms iTunes Store and Playstore on 1 May 2016.[35]

Critical response[edit]

India

In his review for The Hindu, critic Baradwaj Rangan called 24 an "intelligent, joyous mix of sci-fi and masala-myth."[36] Sreedhar Pillai in his review for Firstpost mentioned, "24 is a classy commercial entertainer, which has its moments."[37] Malini Mannath of The New Indian Express wrote, "Attractively packaged, 24 is refreshing, novel and worth a watch."[38] M. Suganth of The Times of India, assigned 4 out of 5 stars, stating: "It is not often that we see a big star choosing to take a risk with a script that is not simplistic or formulaic, especially when his last few films have underperformed at the box office, but here Suriya pulls it off admirably."[39] IndiaGlitz.com rated the film 3.3 out of 5 and called it as "A beautiful and brilliant show of Time"[40]

For The Indian Express, Goutham VS wrote: "Suriya’s ‘Athreya’ is a role to remember for years to come. Director Vikram Kumar needs to be applauded for handling such a complex multi-layered screenplay."[41] He gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5.[41] Critic based at India Today, Kirubhakar Purushothaman praised the director, calling him the hero of the film. He extended his review by assigning 3.5 stars (out of 5).[42] In her review for Daily News and Analysis, Latha Srinivasan stated, "Actor Suriya gives a stellar performance in this tale of time travel! Vikram Kumar's '24' is a visually stunning film with a novel concept."[43] She gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5.[43] A 3.5 star (out of 5) generalized review by Indo-Asian News Service mentioned that the "Suriya starrer is truly ambitious".[44] Critical review board based at Behindwoods said: "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."[45] They assigned the film 3.25 stars out of 5.[45] In her review published by The Deccan Chronicle, Anupama Subramaniam called the film a "well executed and intelligently woven sci-fi thriller."[46] She gave the film 3 stars out of 5.[46] Subha Shetty Saha, in her review for Mid Day stated, "24 is a fantastic attempt at sci-fi genre of filmmaking and also belies a lot of hard work and thought that have gone into this at the screenplay stage."[47] She gave the film 3 stars out of 5.[47] S Saraswathi of Rediff felt, "24 is a cleverly crafted entertainer that is worth your time and money."[48]

Gautaman Bhaskaran based at Hindustan Times gave the film 2.5 stars out of 5, claiming: "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."[49]

Overseas

J Hurtado of Twitch commented on the film, "24 is about as high concept as masala entertainers come, it never forgets its purpose is to thrill its audience and give them what they paid for. It is a breathless, inventive, romantic, action packed adventure that is packed to the gills with surprises and joy."[50] Mythily Ramachandran, in her review for Gulf News concluded that the film was an entertaining ride and went on to say, "The time-travelling film wins with superb and often hilarious performances by its leading actors."[51]

Box office[edit]

24 grossed an estimated 50 crore (US$7.5 million) on its worldwide opening weekend, Second highest three-day weekend for a South Indian film after Baahubali: The Beginning.[52]

India

By the end of the first weekend, the film earned around 50 crore (US$7.5 million) in India,[53] with a considerable part of the revenues coming from the Telugu version.[52] At 17 crore (US$2.5 million), the collections from Telangana and AP were equal to that from Tamil Nadu during the opening weekend.[54]

Overseas

The film grossed over $1 million in three days on 161 screens in the United States. In the U. A. E. and Australia, the film earned $200,000 and AUD187,000 respectively during the same period.[53][55]

The film collected 100 crore from 8 days of release.[3]

Sequel[edit]

The film's trailer, teaser and the first look posters featured Suriya as a paraglider. However, the paragliding sequences were removed by the film editor due to time constraints.[56] In an interview, the editor stated that paragliding is Mani’s (character played by Suriya) hobby and was supposed to be featured as an introductory scene for Mani.[56] Later, he stated that the deleted scene would be featured in the second part of the film; planned as 24 Decoded.[56]

Legal issues[edit]

The title 24 was in a legal tussle when actor Anil Kapoor planned an action against the production house 2D Entertainment as the official look and logo of the film title seemed similar to the American TV series 24, for which Kapoor had bought the remake rights from 20th Century Fox International TV.[57] Kapoor held the rights of the 192 episodes for a period of four years extendable to another ten years. His lawyers defended the case, stating that Kapoor holds one of the highest licensee deals for a fiction format.[57] A legal action was planned against Suriya and his production house 2D Entertainment but was settled in April 2015.[58]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The film received two Awards at the 2017 Vikatan Awards – Best Visual Effects for Julian Trousselliar and Best Art Direction for Amit and Subrata.[59] It won two awards – Best Cinematography and Best Production Design – at the 64th National Film Awards.[60]


References[edit]

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External links[edit]