PONGAL release of the Tamil movie NANBAN, meaning ‘friend’ in Tamil, is the official Tamil re-make of THREE IDIOTS in Hindi and the basic story lifted from the book ‘FIVE POINT SOMEONE‘, by Chetan Bhaghat.
I watched the movie this evening in Prarthana open air theatre on the East Coast Road at Chennai. To put it succinctly, the movie was FLAT & has nothing Tamil about it. It was like watching the DISCOVERY TV Channel in Tamil, the content had nothing reflecting Tamil culture with dialogues in chaste translated Tamil. It was FLAT. I think the initial hype is likely to wear out real fast and i am sure, the movie is not likely to do well in small towns and villages of Tamil Nadu. The movie is an ‘engineer’ based version of the Tamil movie VASOOL RAJA (which was a remake of MUNNA BHAI M B B S). in which the lead actors were students of a Medical college.
VASOOL RAJA at least had Tamil flavour, with Kamal Haasan and Sneha rendering their respective roles with much elan, even though it was also a remake of the Hindi movie MUNNA BHAI M B B S. The quintessence of MUNNA BHAI was recaptured in true Tamil sense, especially with Kamal Haasan playing a sterling role of the MEDICAL student, who is not doing Medicine on merit, but just to spite the Dean/ Principal of the Medical College and also bring in his home-grown beliefs into Allopathy.
NANBAN is the same story happening in an Engineering college. The three actors seem to have striven hard to match up to their Hindi counterparts, but fall FLAT. Shankar’s touch is lacking in this movie, i wonder why he couldn’t absorb the essence of the Hindi movie and transmute it into a Tamil movie of some calibre. He appears to have lost himself in having got into the details with a view towards being faithful to the original, in the process Tamil flavour is wanting.
I hope Shankar sheds doing such movies and truly brings out the linguistic punch and the cultural flavours of Tamil. Good luck to him for his next movie.