Nanban (film)

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Nanban
Nanban film.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Shankar
Produced by Manohar Prasad
Written by Shankar
Madhan Karky (dialogues)
Screenplay by Rajkumar Hirani
Abhijat Joshi
Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Story by Rajkumar Hirani
Abhijat Joshi
Based on Five Point Someone – What not to do at IIT! 
by Chetan Bhagat
Starring Vijay
Jiiva
Srikanth
Ileana D'Cruz
Sathyan
Sathyaraj
Music by Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography Manoj Paramahamsa
Edited by Anthony
Production
company
Release dates
  • January 12, 2012 (2012-01-12)
Running time 189 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil
Budget INR55 crore (US$8.9 million)[1]

Nanban (English: Friend) is a 2012 Tamil coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Shankar.[2] It is a remake of Rajkumar Hirani's 3 Idiots (2009),[3] which itself was adapted from the novel Five Point Someone – What not to do at IIT! by Chetan Bhagat.[4] featuring an ensemble cast that includes Vijay, Jiiva, Srikanth, Ileana D'Cruz, Sathyan and Sathyaraj.[5] The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by Harris Jayaraj and cinematography was handled by Manoj Paramahamsa. The film was produced by Gemini Film Circuit, who had purchased the remake rights of 3 Idiots in early 2010. A lengthy and controversial delay in casting delayed filming by a year. Filming took place for a total of eight months in various locations in Europe and India.[6] The film saw its worldwide release on 12 January 2012.[7] Its dubbed version in Telugu, Snehithudu, released on 26 January 2012 in Andhra Pradesh to positive reviews.[8][9] The film was also screened at the Melbourne Film Festival.

Plot

Wildlife photographer Venkat Ramakrishnan (Srikanth) receives a phone call from his college-mate Srivatsan, better known as "Silencer" (Sathyan), telling him that their lost college friend Panchavan "Paari" Paarivendhan (Vijay) has been located. Venkat stops the flight he is on and hires a car. Along with Sevarkodi Senthil (Jiiva), Venkat goes to their college water tank, where Silencer had asked them to come. After boasting about his success in life, Silencer reveals that he wants to know whether Paari won or lost a bet he made with Paari during their college-days which was to see who of the two would become more successful. Then the trio go by car to Ooty, where Paari is believed to be. On their way, they recall their moments with Paari. Paari was a brilliant student, who believed in studying by understanding, while Silencer was involved in meaningless rote learning. Venkat pursues higher studies for his father's ambition of making him an engineer, burying his interest in Wildlife Photography while Senthil studies to improve his poor family's financial status and to get his elder sister married. But Paari studies only to gain knowledge. Paari has a constant tussle with the college's principal, Virumandi Santhanam (Sathyaraj), whom students refer to as "Virus".

One day, when Virus doesn't approve the project of student Paneer Selvam, Paneer commits suicide. Paari tells Virus that he is the cause for the suicide, thus making Virus write letters to the families of Venkat and Senthil. The fury and rage of Virus towards Paari increase when the trio crash Virus's elder daughter Swetha's (Anuya Bhagvath) marriage. He is caught by Virus and his younger daughter Ria (Ileana D'Cruz). Soon, Ria falls for Paari after seeing his kindness. Virus becomes more infuriated and asks Venkat and Senthil to shift to Srivatsan's room, and cut their friendship with Paari. Senthil briefly distances himself from Paari, but they eventually reconcile. Meanwhile the trio pass their exams and Virus challenges Paari that neither Venkat nor Senthil would get a job in the college's campus placements.

During their final year at IEC, the trio ends up drunk in Virus's house as Paari proposes to Ria. Venkat and Senthil urinate at the entrance of Virus's house and create ruckus. Virus, having noticed Senthil during the act, threatens to expel him or Paari. Senthil attempts suicide and ends up paralysed. Following his recovery, Senthil gets a job at the campus placements, while Venkat goes to his father and tells him of his interest in photography and his father accepts it.

On learning this, an infuriated Virus creates a tough exam paper, to fail Senthil. Ria tells this to Paari, and he and Venkat fetch a copy of the question paper from Virus's office. Virus comes to know of this and expels the trio from IEC. Ria hears this and she tells Virus that his deceased son committed suicide, due to Virus's enforcement on him to pursue engineering. Ria leaves for her hospital. Meanwhile the pregnant Swetha goes into labour. When the ambulance stops due to heavy rain, Paari, Senthil and Venkat help Swetha deliver her baby successfully. Virus informs the trio that they will not be expelled. Paari and Senthil pass their exams while Venkat becomes a wildlife photographer.

Returning to the present, Venkat and Senthil reach Paari's house, where they are shocked to see a different man with the name Paari (S. J. Suryah). Silencer tells them that when his secretary Lara came to Ooty to get the appointment for meeting Kosaksi Pasapugazh, the great scientist, he found Paari in a photograph. They go to Paari's house and ask the other man where their friend is. He tells them that, their friend is not Paari, but Pappu, and that the real Paari made Pappu study engineering under his name. He reveals that Pappu, their friend, is at Dhanushkodi. They go to Coimbatore and get Ria from an unwanted marriage and go to Dhanushkodi. They eventually reunite with their long lost friend, who is requested by Silencer to sign a declaration of defeat on losing the bet. Venkat, Senthil and Ria ask their friend what his real name is. He tells them that it is Kosaksi Pasapugazh. Pasapugazh calls Silencer and reveals to him that he is the world-renowned scientist that Silencer had hoped to create a business deal with, proving Silencer had in fact lost the bet.

Cast

Production

La Defense Office was one of the highlights in the song "Asku Laska"

Development

Following Gemini Film Circuit's purchase of the remake rights for 3 Idiots in January 2010, there was much speculation in regards to the three title roles essayed by Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi in the original.[10] Gemini Film Circuit approached noted directors Shankar, Vishnuvardhan and S. Dharani to replace Rajkumar Hirani as the director, with the approval from Shankar leading to him being signed.[11] Despite speculation that he was set to pull out from directing his first remake as it would be a step down from his previous film, Enthiran, Shankar stated his commitment in October 2010.[12][13] He later added that, "he came across 3 Idiots during the making of Endhiran, and it was that moment he decided to break his self-imposed rule – making only original movies – and decided to direct his first remake venture."[14] As Shankar's norm music director, A. R. Rahman couldn't be retained for the project due to his busy schedules. Harris Jayaraj and Yuvan Shankar Raja were approached to compose the soundtrack,[15] with Shankar settling for the former with whom he had worked in the 2005 action film Anniyan earlier.[16] Meanwhile, Manoj Paramahamsa, whose work in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa and Eeram had been critically acclaimed, was signed on as the cinematographer.[17] Sound designer Resul Pookutty and visual effects designer V. Srinivas Mohan joined the crew, following a successful collaboration in Enthiran.[18]

Casting

The Crystal Palace in Buen Retiro Park, another highlight in the song "Asku Laska"

For the lead role enacted by Aamir Khan, initial reports suggested that Suriya was the front runner, who however dismissed the link citing that his commitments had left him busy.[19] A special screening for the film industry included Vijay, who expressed his desire to work in the film, and was subsequently signed up by Gemini Film Circuits to portray the lead role.[20][21] However, by mid-December 2010, soon after trial shoots were held, Vijay walked out the film following disputes over his dates, with Suriya being labelled as his likely replacement.[22][23] Reports claimed that talks with Suriya failed, since the actor had demanded salary increase and dubbing rights for the Telugu-version of the film.[24] Suriya's reasons for refusing the offer was later confirmed not to be true, with Suriya himself revealing that he had opted out only because of other film commitments and "did not want to keep Shankar waiting".[25] As a result, Vijay was once again finalised for the role.[24][26]

The roles of the other two titular characters took considerably longer to confirm. Madhavan was initially approached to reprise his role from the original but made it clear that he was unwilling to be a part of the remake, citing the film had already "gone down in history".[27] Early indications suggested that Udhayanidhi Stalin had replaced him but the claims were false.[20] In November 2010, reports emerged that Vinay Rai or Nakul were set to play the role, however Vinay cited that he refused the project as the role was not as meaty as the other two characters.[28] Consequently, the production house signed Srikanth to play the role, after seeing his performance in Drohi, which had come after several box-office failures for him.[29] Sharman Joshi's role was originally offered to Silambarasan, but after discussions, it was revealed that Silambarasan could not associate himself with the character.[30] Subsequently the role was offered to Siddharth, a protege of Shankar, who also went on to refuse the project.[31] Despite further reports that Arya and Jiiva were being considered, the latter signed on and agreed with Shankar that he would play Joshi's role instead of Madhavan's.[32][33] The role played by Kareena Kapoor in the original was reported to be played by either Shruti Haasan or Asin. However Ileana D'Cruz was signed on for the film after attempts to cast Katrina Kaif in the film had failed.[34] The college professor's role was given to Sathyaraj, despite early indications that Prakash Raj would be approached. Omi Vaidya was unable to reprise his role from the original and comedian Sathyan Sivakumar was signed on to essay his role, while S. J. Surya signed on to appear in a guest role, portraying the role enacted by Javed Jaffrey.[35] Anuya Bhagvath was signed up for a supporting role.[36]

Filming

The first schedule of filming was held in Ooty, where scenes involving Ileana, Srikanth and Jiiva were shot.[37] During the second schedule scenes involving the lead cast were canned at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun and a car chase at various places in Chennai,[38][39] while two songs were filmed in London and Buckingham during the third schedule.[40] Some significant parts of the film were shot in Chennai at Sun Studios and the Ampa Skywalk Mall,[41][42] as well as in the Koyambedu water tank for three days, for which an Akila crane was used.[43] Further filming, including the climax, was held at various locations in Europe, Andamans and Coimbatore.[44] Filming was wrapped-up in October with a song featuring Vijay and Ileana, which was choreographed by Farah Khan.[45][46] The filming process lasted for eight months.[47]

Soundtrack

Nanban
Original cover
Soundtrack album by Harris Jayaraj
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Gemini Audio
Producer Harris Jayaraj
Harris Jayaraj chronology
7aum Arivu
(2011)
Nanban
(2012)
Oru Kal Oru Kannadi
(2012)

The soundtrack and background score was composed by Harris Jayaraj, working with Shankar for the second time after Anniyan (2005), while scoring for a Vijay-starrer for the first time. The soundtrack, consisting of six original songs, was released on 23 December 2011, at Hindusthan College of Arts and Science in Coimbatore, before Jayaraj's concert, Harris: On The Edge, commenced at the same venue.[48] Lyrics were provided by Pa. Vijay, Viveka, Na. Muthukumar and Madhan Karky, the latter two penning lyrics for two songs each. Notably, Karky's lyrics in "Asku Laska" include more than 16 different languages.

Tracklisting
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "En Frienda Pola"   Vivega Krish, Suchith Suresan 3:57
2. "Heartile Battery"   Na. Muthukumar Hemachandran, Mukesh 5:35
3. "Asku Laska"   Madhan Karky Vijay Prakash, Chinmayi, Suvi 6:21
4. "Enthan Kan Munne"   Madhan Karky Aalap Raju 2:10
5. "Irukana"   Pa. Vijay Vijay Prakash, Javed Ali, Sunidhi Chauhan 5:10
6. "Nalla Nanban"   Na. Muthukumar Ramakrishnan Murthy 4:25
Total length:
26:58

Telugu version

Lyrics are Penned by Sirivennela Sitaramasastri, Vanamali, Ramajogayya Sastry. The release of the Telugu version album Snehithudu was held on 19 January in Hyderabad. It was attended by Ram Charan Teja, Vijay, S. Shankar, Ileana, Srikanth, Harris Jayaraj, Sathyaraj, S. J. Surya, Sathyan and Dil Raju. Also present were Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Sharman Joshi, who were part of the original film 3 Idiots.[49][50]

Tracklisting
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Mana Friendalle"   Krish, Suchith Suresan 3:57
2. "Heartu lo Battery"   Hemachandran, Mukesh 5:35
3. "Asku Laska"   Vijay Prakash, Chinmayi, Suvi(Rap) 6:21
4. "Toli Adugaina Padalede"   Aalap Raju 2:10
5. "Ileana Chitti Belliana"   Vijay Prakash, Javed Ali, Sayanora Philips 5:10
6. "Ne Vupiri Ne Sonthama"   Ramakrishnan Murthy 4:25
Total length:
26:58
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
600024.com 3/5 stars[51]
Behindwoods 3.5/5 stars[52]
Rediff 2.5/5 stars[53]

The album received positive reviews. IndiaGlitz.com wrote that the music album is "ready to mesmerize you".[54] Behindwoods.com labelled it a "winner all the way", adding that it had "good variety all through the album [...] and ample scope for festivities in the theater".[52] Top10cinema.com wrote that it had three songs that "strike spectacularly with its rich music and commendable lyrics", calling it a "good work by Harris".[55] 600024.com mentioned: "Overall, this Nanban is your well-Known Friend".[51] KollyTalk.com called it "Youthful and refreshing".[56] On the contrary, Pavithra Srinivasan from Rediff wrote that there was "nothing new about the music in Nanban", concluding that Harris Jayaraj had "obviously taken the safe route, sticking to his usual template for most of the songs in this album".[53]

Release

Prior to the release, Nanban was voted the "most expected film" of 2012 through an online public poll conducted by Vikatan.[57] STAR Vijay purchased the satellite rights for INR120 million (US$1.9 million).[58][59][60] The film was released on 12 January 2012 for Pongal in 925 screens worldwide.

Nanban advance booking opened well in Chennai city and suburbs.[61] It had the highest number of 77 shows in a single day at Mayajaal multiplex in Chennai at that time.[62][63] The film opened in nearly 625 screens in Tamil Nadu.[6] It was released in 50 screens in Chennai[64] and 31 screens in Hyderabad.[65] It released simultaneously in UK, the US, Malaysia and Singapore.[66] Nanban became the first Tamil film to be released with French subtitles in France.[67] It also became the first film to get exempted from the 30 percent entertainment tax in Tamil Nadu by the new scheme introduced by the Government of Tamil Nadu.[68]

Telugu film distributor Dil Raju bought the theatrical rights of Snehitudu, the Telugu dubbed version of Nanban for Andhra Pradesh market. Snehitudu was released on 26 January 2012.[69]

Critical response

Sify called it an "engaging film with noble intentions. It deserves viewing because films like this are hard to find".[70] Behindwoods.com rated the film 3.5/5 and wrote: "Nanban has got more than something for everyone. It is very unlikely that a person finds such a wholesome package unsatisfying. All is absolutely well!"[71] Pavithra Srinivasan from Rediff.com gave the film 3/5 stars, describing it as "the perfect feel-good fare for the festive season, despite minor glitches".[72] Malathi Rangarajan from The Hindu wrote: "Nanban is an enjoyable cocktail of humour with some sentiment and sadness thrown in for that extra appeal. Once again Shankar proves the master craftsman that he is".[73] Anupama Subramanian from Deccan Chronicle gave the film 3/5 stars, while labelling it as a "feel-good film with a larger message and a brilliant feat by Vijay which makes the film a not-to-be-missed one!"[74] Venkateswaran Narayanan from Times of India wrote: "All is well with Nanban because Shankar's retelling of 3 Idiots retains its soul and has its heart in the right place".[75] Zee News wrote: "Nanban is a must watch, grab your tickets now. It’s the best gift Vijay could have given to his diehard fans this Pongal".[76] IndiaGlitz.com named it a "clear entertainer", "a whiff of fresh air from the mindless masala movies" and a welcome change".[77] Rohit Ramachandran of nowrunning.com rated it 3/5 stating that "Nanban is Rajkumar Hirani's 3 Idiots staged and presented by Shankar in a different language with grandeur. The base material is solid and Shankar obediently traces it. Out comes an uplifting entertainer that will draw raves from viewers of all kinds".[78] Oneindia.in gave a positive verdict and wrote, "All is well. It is a Shankar's Sankrathi feast for the audience! Do not hesitate to watch Nanban even if you have seen 3 Idiots".[79] CNN-IBN said that it was "sweet and satisfying".[80] Acclaimed actor Kamal Hassan appreciated Vijay's performance in the movie and lauded the team's effort in making such a good entertainer.[81][82][83] At the Internet Movie Database the film stands up with a rating of 7.8 out of 10 stars.[84] Jeevi from Idlebrain.com with regards to the Telugu version Snehithudu commented that "the magic of 3 idiots is missing", and gave 3/5 stars.[85] Indiaglitz stated that Snehithudu was a "passable remake".[86] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an audience rating of 96% based on nearly 1200 votes.[87]

Box office

India

In Chennai city, the film netted INR22.7 million (US$370,000) in its first weekend and 64% of the takings,[88][89] and INR49.5 million (US$800,000) at the end of the first week, staying at first rank.[90][91] The film accounted for 66% of the takings at the Chennai box office on its second weekend[92] and 64% on its third weekend.[93] The film grossed around INR78.9 million (US$1.3 million) in Chennai after seven weeks,[94] out of which about INR10 million (US$160,000) came from Sathyam Cinemas multiplex.[95] In Coimbatore and Nilgiris area, Nanban opened in 70 screens and netted INR52 million (US$840,000) in the first week.[6] It also got a great opening at the Bangalore box-office,[96] where it was still featured in Top 5 even one month after its release.[97] The film's gross collection after its first week from 4 circuits of Coimbatore was around INR55 million (US$890,000), the highest yield since Endhiran.[98] The film completed a 100-day run at the box-office on 20 April 2012.[99]

Overseas

Nanban was released in 7 screens in Australia and grossed $76,580 in its first weekend.[100] Overall it had grossed $110,422.[101][102] In UK, it collected $173,789 in its first week with a per screen average of $7,241 in 24 theatres. After its 4-week run the film collected £214,735 (INR16.6 million) and became the 4th highest grosser in UK.[103] It also secured the first place in the Malaysian box-office in the first week released in 37 screens,[104] and collected a total of $871,959 after a six-week run.[105] It collected a sum of INR5.8 million (US$94,000) after 18 days at the Australian box office, whereas it had collected INR38.2 million (US$620,000) at the Malaysian box office within the same period.[106]

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