Director: Vikram K Kumar
Cast: Suriya (triple role), Samantha, Nithya Menen, Saranya
What a triumphant return to form for Suriya, whose career has been beleaguered lately by disappointing scripts (except for the cute extended cameo in ‘Pasanga 2’). Kudos to the star for trusting in Vikram Kumar’s experimental time-travel film and producing it without any compromises.
Dr. Sethuraman (Suriya) is an intelligent scientist who invents a time machine in the form of a watch and calls it Project 24. This watch can manipulate time. He is contented and lives happily with his wife Priya (Nithya Menen) and their little son. However his evil twin brother Athreya (Suriya sporting a French beard) wants to posses the watch for his own good. Hence he along with his aide Mithran (Ajay) enters Sethu’s house and attacks the family. In the melee, Priya is killed and Sethu manages to run out of the house with his son and the device.
Sethu come to a point where he realizes that there is no escape. He keeps the child and the watch to the safekeeping of a lady, Sathya Bhama (Saranya Ponvannan), whom he meets on a train before giving up his life. Athreya on the other hand, is so badly injured that he slips into a coma for 26 years!
Cut to present, the child has grown up to become Mani (again Suriya), a happy go lucky and energetic watch mechanic. Though he possesses the wooden case, which has the magic watch, he and his mom Sathya Bhama use it to crush spices and hammer in nails. However, through a series of coincidences, he gets the key and in no time discovers the power of the device. Mani uses the timepiece, which can momentarily freeze the current scenario and take you back 24 hours, to woo Sathya (Samantha) who comes to his shop to repair her watch. Meanwhile, Athreya comes out of his coma and unable to accept the fact that he has been paralyzed below the hip, he wants to travel back in time to regain his lost youth. The search for Mani and the watch thus begins once again.
Suriya, with his terrific screen presence sweeps you off your feet in all the three different avatars, be it the wicked Athreya or the simple Sethu or the charmer Mani. Vikram Kumar should receive a round of applause for his power packed and non-formulaic script. He rarely indulges in portraying his protagonist as a superhero. Samantha is your typical arm candy to the hero who appears in few romantic/comedy scenes and song routines that are set abroad. Incidentally, these routines hamper the pace of the narrative. Nithya Menen shines in her cameo. Saranya proves her mettle once again as an adorable mother.
Despite being a bit lengthy and complicated with crucial questions unanswered, the film keeps you hooked to your seats constantly because of its interesting twists and turns, like the stunning interval block and the unexpected climax. Technically, the movie is top-notch. AR Rahman’s background score elevates the proceedings while the songs are already a hit. Thiru’s exotic visuals, the production designs of Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborty are major pluses to the sci-fi thriller.
One wonders if this complicated script would go well with B and C centres. Overall, the film is well executed and has an intelligently woven story. Suriya’s spellbinding performances will keep you engaged throughout and makes the film worth a watch!