Its a scene by scene remake of 3 Idiots with some fancy graphics, colourful graffiti on trains and walls, splashy and extravagant song sequences, fast and slick editing, intelligent and quaint way of dialog delivery, high production values all bearing Shankars brand on them; after all, its a brand that had been tried and tested for almost a couple of decades and moreover has the potential to be a sure shot winner at the box office.
A toast to director Shankar for choosing to remake a film that had all the positive vibes in it and also made the right sounds at the box-office cash registers in its Bollywood avatar. A veteran director who had not made a remake until this movie, putting his egos to rest and jumping on to the field with the sole reason to entertain people, would always go down as a healthy and prosperous sign for the film industry at large.
Nanban is a story which revolves around 3 friends Venkatramakrishnan (Srikanth), Sevalkodi Senthil (Jeeva) and Panchavan Parivendan (Pari) (Vijay) and their antics in their college days. The story is narrated from the perspective of Srikanth, who along with Jeeva begin the search for their college buddy (Vijay), after 10 years. In the middle, a twist in the tale makes the movie spicy enough for a rollicking and fun filled climax. The movie also holds a noble and relevant message for our archaic educational system, which no other Tamil movie has imparted thus far, especially for todays youth.
Vijay as Pari had done his homework well enough to get into the skin of the character. Though, he is no Aamir Khan, he had his own take of this character and gelled well with the story. A special bouquet for coming forward to shed his mass-hero image. Would like to see him in such thoughtful roles even in his future ventures.
For Srikanth, this movie would bring a new lease of life, though there is nothing special enough to mention about his performance. He had managed to put up a decent show.
Jeeva, had underplayed his character and had given ample screen space for the other two to perform. His optimistic outlook and the transformation of the same have been well etched out. The subtle emotions that he brought in the confrontation scenes with Sathyaraj were awesome. Hope this movie ends his little rough patch at the box-office.
Sathyaraj as Virumaandi Santhaanam alias Virus was another intelligent casting. A sadistic principals role which was made memorable by Boman Irani in the original had been lifted off. Though the style in dialog delivery for the character could have been tweaked using Shankars creativity, they decided to keep the same as in the original. A seasoned performance from a seasoned actor, who oozed arrogance and hatred with his egoistic outlook and brought in some genuine laughter at times.
Sathyan as Srivatsan alias Silencer was a brilliant selection. He brought down the house majority of the time and it was the character which every student can relate to as many of us have experienced one or two such characters in our very own colleges and schools. The scene where he had to address the gathering was a cracker and it was as good as the original one.
Ileana as Ria was average in both her looks and performance. Though she is an experienced campaigner, there was nothing noteworthy in the way she carried herself and her performance lacked the much needed fizz.
The supporting cast including Anuya as the pregnant sister of Ileana, the guy who portrayed the character of millimetre, Narain as the Hitler father of Srikanth and Jeevas mother, all have performed their roles to perfection and are in the line of accolades. A surprising cameo from S.J.Surya was adequate enough to bring the twist in the tale.
Music by Harris Jayaraj is already a hit as most of the songs are topping the charts. My favourite, Asku Lasku was captured well enough and had the Shankars stamp on it.
Camera by Manoj Paramahamsa captured the plethora of colours used, especially in the college sequences to portray the essence of youth and later did so when the characters traversed the green and hilly pastures of Ooty.
Editing by Anthony was perfect to say the least. Nowhere in the movie one could feel boredom or disinterested. Good job, yet again.
On the whole, it is All is Well for Pongal!
Happy Pongal and Shankranti! view less