Remaking a hugely successful Bollywood movie might not be the best of creative / business decisions. For one, the entire nation has seen the movie even if you are reluctant you are force-fed the songsand scenes that are quite often belted out in all national channels. So it’s impossible to stay away from the cult Three Idiots has become. Notwithstanding all this, Nanban gains significance not only for the fact that it has Vijay playing the role of Aamir Khan but also an important message the movie seems to convey. If you have been living under the stone and not watched Three Idiots, here’s what it is. The movie questions the validity of our education system, of course in its own cinematic way.
Does the education system do anything to harness your true potential? Or does it suppress your creativity and straightjacket your thoughts by channelizing your thoughts? What Nanban sets out top rove is that education should enhance your talent and capability and the system should not force you what it thinks is suitable for you.
Shankar, who has never forayed into remakes so far, has fallen prey for the trend but you can hardly blame him for a project like Nanban. Besides, a movie of this caliber is completely novel to Tamil films and hence the project is worth every effort. Comparisons are bound to arise and it’s inevitable forthe movie to have traces of its original, although the original tries hard not to associate itself with the bestseller book upon which it is based on.
So how does Nanban fare as a standalone movie? Pretty good, we must say. Shankar has successfully laced regional flavors to the movie in his attempt to make it as original as possible and it fares well. The first success the movie achieves is that of the casting; Vijay, Jiiva and Srikanth as friends make the movie easily work. The camaraderie they share is easily relatable and the college pranks, the affairs and thee motions that underlie their friendship fetches the movie its necessary brownie points.
Vijay, in the role of a lighthearted and idealistic Pari glows in a rare show of uncharacteristic, non-heroic ease and pretty much remains the take away of the movie. Jiiva and Srikanth show different dimensions of their performance. It’s not that we did not know Sathyaraj would be a good choice for the role of a hard-nosed Virumandi Santhanam (Virus) and he proves it right ten times over with his characteristic cynicism. Ileana provides the movie its characteristic beauty, rendered by Kareena in the original.Shankar had to keep the movie entertaining to keep off from becoming too preachy. To a great extent, it works and since the questions the movie raise are valid, it does not feel so. Although the movie is filled with colors, happiness and youth there is an unsaid undertone of melancholy running throughout, which is palpable. And that is also the success of the movie.
The colorful rendition of youth is enhanced by Manoj Paramahamsa’s camera and Harris’smusic is another plus for the movie’s flow. The songs do not hinder the flow of the narration and it has to be mentioned here that Shankar’s touch was clearly stamped on these songs. Anthony’s able scissors keep the length of the movie in check and Shankar and Madhan Karky’s dialogues are sharp and incisive.
In the whole, Nanban is what you expected it would be. Watch it even if you have watched and fell in love with the original umpteen times. You will still love this rendition for its subtlety about friendships and some strong questions about our education system, that coming from one of the most flamboyant directors of our times in Tamil cinema.
Verdict: A diamond in Vijay’s crown!
Verdict : Nanban
Tags : Nanban,Vijay,Jeeva,Srikanth,Ileana,Sathyan,Sathyaraj,Shankar,Harris Jayara,