Reviews 12-Jan-2012 1:37 PM IST Top 10 Cinema Comments

Shankar’s effortless remake of ‘3 Idiots’ is engrossing in parts, but the actors trying to imitate the performances of original version puts the show down in few places.

Remaking masterpieces isn’t an easy job and exactly sticking to the formula, Madhavan precisely withdrew himself from the remake saying it the results for his performance might not touch the same level as in original version. Of course, it took a long course of time for Shankar to cast the actors.

Let’s forget about ‘Five Point someone’, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Rajkumar Hirani’, etc, etc…. though it’s not so easy to make the image of Aamir, Kareena, Maddy, Sharman, Boman Hirani disappear from our senses. Over here, we see most of the lead actors trying to get not into the skin of what are narrated by the maker; instead try aping the mannerisms of them. Say for instance, Sathyaraj’s peculiar slang of English as Boman Hirani is completely out of sense as it doesn’t evoke the right effect while Vijay’s cute childish gestures and witty liners fall into right places.

Maybe, you would have believed few rumours that Shankar has modified the script by running through the pages of ‘Five Point Someone’. But it’s clearly evident that he hasn’t even gone for an additional shot including the locations except the final scene composition of Ladakh-Andaman.

The story unravels the journey of Venkata Ramakrishnan (Srikanth) and Sevalkodi Senthil (Jeeva) in search of their lost friend Panchavan Parivendan aka Paari (Vijay). Well, he means a lot to them much more than a friend, a redeemer of their dreams as he paved a way of success to them. But he is lost somewhere and they embark this journey to find him and as it happen, the journey within themselves about their past and encounters with Paari set to roll on.

Shankar has done justice to the original version in many places. Well for those, who have already watched ‘3 Idiots’, it’s not so-easy to settle down, as they need to get out of that effect. But as the story proceeds to second half, you’ll forget that you are now watching a remake movie as the scenes though replicated turn to be new and refreshing. The reason is that first half is dominated by Vijay while lots of dramas happening during second half gives more scope to other actors especially Jeeva, who remains dumb in the first hour. Shankar’s penchant taste of conveying messages doesn’t stop and for a change we don’t have violence and bloodshed exhibited here. Yes, we do have ‘Violence’ but in terms of mental pressures. Hear Jeeva say, “Sir, I used to study well in school scoring good grades. But when the family started banking on me for a good future, the unbearable pressure left me discombobulated and lost my focus.” And with Srikanth, “Dad, as you dream, I’ll be a rich and successful engineer in future. I would earn bungalow, wealth, car, but get frustrated and you may all lose me. Let me be a happy photographer with a little money rather than being a rich engineer without peace of mind.”

What if A.R. Rahman’s father had insisted him to become a cricketer and Sachin Tendulkar’s father pressurized him to pick up music as his career?

A perfect punch for everyone that retains in our minds even after the show is over. The final note as we hear through the voice over of Srikanth – Follow your heart, dream and passion. Success will run behind you.

Vijay has modulated his voice and changed his mannerisms. His costume style is perfect. No one could have done justice to this role. Ileana looks too puny in places and her makeover isn’t done properly during the first half. It looks like Shankar had to hurriedly complete more portions as we can sense it clearly in many portions.

Harris Jayaraj’s background score doesn’t work and it sounds little amateurish throwing unwanted sound effects during many situations. The songs are perfectly done and are pictured in Shankar’s exquisite style.

On the whole, ‘Nanban’ offers good entertainer for universal audiences and carries a strong message. Hats off to the list of creative minds behind the story and Shankar’s ability to do justice to the original version.

Verdict: ALL IS WELL

Whatworks: Basic story, message, second half, Vijay, Jeeva, Songs

What doesn’t work: First half, Background score, actors imitating the Hindi ones (except Srikanth and Jeeva).

Production: Gemini Film Circuit

Direction: Shankar

Star-casts: Vijay, Jeeva, Ileana, Srikanth, Sathyaraj, Srikanth, Sathyan, Anuya Bhagvath and others

Music: Harris Jayaraj

Review by Richard Mahesh

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