Nanban Movie Review – A Pongal Treat


Nanban Movie Review

Nanban Movie Review

Cast: Vijay, Jiiva,Srikanth, Sathyaraj, Ileana, Sathyan
Direction: Shankar
Music: Harris Jayaraj
Cinematographer: Manoj Paramahamsa

Director Shankar’s Nanban, starring Vijay, Jiiva, Srikanth, Ileana Sathyaraj and Sathyan, promised a lot before release. The movie has come out as a welcome entertainer, as it is a big relief from regular staff dished out from Kollywood factory. A faithful remake of Bollywood blockbuster Three Idiots, the film has Shankar’s touches too.

Story Line

The film is about an individual’s intelligent ways to expose the flaws in the modern day education system. It also deals with how he goes about proving his point.

The story goes like this: Venkatramakrishnan (Srikanth) and Sevalkodi Senthil (Jiiva), who studied together in a college a decade ago and successful professionals now, start a journey in search of their dear friend Panchavan Parivendan alias Pari (Vijay).

Pari, an intelligent guy that he is, doesn’t go behind books. He wants to pursue studies as an enjoyable experience. His two friends, who struggle to cope up with the system, follow him.

Virumandi Santhanam (Sathyaraj) is the principal of the collage. He is an ardent believer of the system. He cannot tolerate complacency of mediocrity in any form. The students call him with a nick name Virus.

The principal is irritated by the different ways of Pari. He cannot digest seeing Venkat and Senthil following Pari. He hates Pari since he gets respect from the students because of his different ways of thinking and doing things.

Principal’s daughter Riya (Ileana D’Cruz) is impressed by Pari’s thoughts and unique approach. Gradually she falls for him even as her father plans to get rid of him.

As days go, Pari wins the hearts of everyone and the principal gets furious. The conflict reaches a boiling point when Pari dares to steal the question paper to help his friend. Principal doesn’t think twice before showing him the doors but he is compelled to change his decision thanks to a big crisis, which is solved by Pari’s unique and creative ways.

Pari ends up as the topper in all aspects, be it studies or extra curricular activities. But he vanishes all of a sudden as soon as the course gets completed. Where is he now? And why he disappeared? The search by his friends reveals his place and the reason behind the vanishing act.

Script Analysis

Shankar must be applauded for accepting to direct a film with a story, which is obviously not his cup of tea. The story doesn’t give any scope for action sequences and other commercial ingredients. He has taken up the challenge and delivered. He has put his image and ego behind and stuck to the original.

The movie runs for more than three hours but it doest bore you at any point of time barring a song in the second half. He Shankar has maintained the momentum right from the beginning. He has executed the scenes well.

Some of the scenes portraying the changes in the lives of Jiiva and Srikath are moving. So is the case with the child birth scene. He has given almost equal importance to all the heaqvi weights including Sathyaraj, Vijay, Jiiva, Srikanth, and Ileana. He has made all characters memorable.

On the flip side, some of the scenes lack credibility. The scene when drunken Ileana comes to Vijay’s room has entertainment value but it lacks credibility. Vijay going to Ileana’s house during a night too doesn’t impress. The reason behind Pari’s vanishing act is too naïve to be considered seriously.

Cast and Crew Review:

This would probably be the first film where Vijay doesn’t get to flex his muscles. No punch dialogues, no challenges, no heroism. Vijay has got a different role in its true sense and he excels in handling it with ease. His screen presence does a lot to pep up proceedings and he hasn’t let his fans down.

Jiiva and Srikanth have come out with marvelous performance. As mentioned earlier, the script has provided almost equal scope for everyone to perform and these two have utilized it well. Srikanth shines in the scene where he meets his parents in the second half and Jiiva stuns us with his performance in the interview scene. Both are well conceived and finely executed scenes.

Sathyaraj lives the role and Sathyan provides comic relief.

Ileana D’Cruz looks fabulous with her amazing figure and alluring smile. She also gets some scope to perform. She is quite impressive in child birth scene. Her charm is revealed in the scene where she appears drunk. Her beautiful curves are revealed in Irukkaannaa.

Director-actor S J Suryah plays a cameo in an impressive manner.

Manoj Paramahamsa’s camera work is a notch higher than his previous venture Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya. Harris Jayaraj’s music is peppy. The songs are already hits and the sound better when heard with the visuals.

Need we say about the film’s technical extravaganza since Shankar is at the helm of affairs?


Vijay and Shankar have dared to provide a movie that doesn’t suit their established styles. Nanban is an enjoyable film which has an interesting and intelligent message too. Nanban is a strong critique on present day’s education system that puts immense pressure on the students. The movie effectively motivates everyone to pursue which is dearer and nearer to their heart instead of madly chasing the so called success. Though it does take a few liberties to make it an entertainer, the movie can surely be called as a substantial one.

Nanban: Entertaining and Educating