‘Nanban’ - a review
Remake films carry an element of risk. Ego driven statements like changes made to suit the language could end in disaster.
But Shankar has avoided that risk. Having directed it without changing the taste of ‘Three Idiots,’ deserves our appreciation. It is like the uniform taste of eating in Saravana Bhavan be it in Mylapore branch or Malaysia branch.
The central core of the film is “both parents and professors should give students a lot of freedom. Their future will be bright without hurdles to their wishes”. Even a slightest mishandling would end up as an intellectual propaganda. It is a dangerous story. But as the screenplay is full of commercial masala, ‘Three Idiots’ became a hit easily. Similarly it would seem that ‘Nanban’ too will be a hit.
Having arrived from different locations to join the engineering college with Sathyaraj as the principal, Vijay, Jeeva and Srikanth become roommates in the college hostel. Vijay incurs the displeasure of Sathyaraj for having appealed to him to change the method of teaching as the rigidity made students suffer. Sathyaraj has noted Vijay and his two friends for future action. In the meantime, Sathyaraj’s daughter Ileana falls in love with Vijay. Added to these, the carefree merrymaking of the students that ends in a positive climax gives a complete feeling.
Shankar has excelled in character selection. After all that stunt fighting and punch dialogues, Vijay has turned out to be a friend and has come very close. With controlled body language and facial expressions without betraying his age Vijay is quite cute. When he mimics Sathyaraj in one place, he has once for all shut the criticism that Vijay may not suit a variety of characters.
Jeeva who is climbing the next rung in his career ladder deserves our congratulations for acting one of the heroes without any image build up. It is enjoyable comedy when he slurs in the class under the influence of overnight hangover. Srikanth without any facial hair appears as young as a +2 student.
When reviving Jeeva who was in coma, Vijay taunts him by saying “we have found the right match for your elder sister. Venkat is the right match” and Srikanth’s disconcerting reaction was A class.
Ileana ought to put on some weight. How about her acting? She excels when she becomes Muniyamma blurting out to Vijay after intake of alcohol.
Sathyaraj’s get up which reminds us of ‘Vidinja Kalyanam’ is excellent. His acting and voice modulation are great. The background score when he gets shaved is very enjoyable.
Sathyan gets an opportunity in the film to get ranked with Santhanam. He is great in the role of innocent Srivathsan. The after effect of taking some medicine for improving memory almost evokes a stench. His slip of the tongue in pronouncing ‘karpithal as ‘karpazhithal’ and ‘kalvi amaichar’ as ‘kalavi amaichar’ makes the theatre explode with laughter.
Threatening to dissolve the ashes of S.J. Suryah’s father in the toilet, trying a remedy with the chappti roller for the physical disturbance of Jeeva’s father are comedy to relish, carrying the patient in the scooter to the hospital, formulating ideas to save Jeeva hiding the tears, helping the birth of a baby for Ileana’s sister Anuya by announcing ‘all is well’ and Sathyaraj honouring Vijay by gifting a unique pen are some moving scenes.
One line dialogues like ‘oru pakkam vaadham, pala pakkangal prachanai’ are remembered even after leaving the theatre.
Resool Pookutty’s sound design is admirable in the rain scenes.
Shankar deserves congratulations, once again, for having made a remake without any blemish or imperfection.
Shankar’s handling without spoiling the original’s taste. Following the instructions of the director in acting by Vijay, Jeeva, Sathyaraj, Srikanth and Sathyan
A worthy message that peeps from behind the commercial formula
Cinematography of Manoj Paramahamsa
Could have handled the scene of surrendering after removing the full length dress.
The logic of showing ragging in a strict institution like that is a mistake.
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