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Nandha poster.jpg
Directed by Bala
Produced by Ganesh Raghu
Karthik Radhakrishnan
Venky Narayanan
Rajan Radhakrishnan
Written by Bala
Starring Suriya
Music by Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography R. Rathnavelu
Edited by Suresh Urs
Aparajeeth Films
Release date
14 November 2001
Running time
180 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Nandha (Tamil: நந்தா) is a 2001 Indian Tamil action drama film written and directed by Bala, starring Suriya and Laila in the leading roles, while Rajkiran, Saravanan and Rajshree play other supporting roles. The film also marked the debut of comedian Karunas. The score was by Yuvan Shankar Raja and cinematography by R. Rathnavelu. The film was released on 14 November 2001. It received critical acclaim and was a commercial success.The film dubbed in Hindi as Vaastav The Return.


Nandha is story about a young man from a juvenile jail coming back to a society and his family he had left many years ago. It is about a battle of love and life, and how a misfit tries to fight to fit into the usual social circus, a fight to earn his mother's love, and a fight to live the second chance he has given himself. The story takes place in the town of Ramanathapuram.

Nandha (Surya) is sent to a rehabilitation center for murdering his father as a boy after witnessing his father's infidelity and abuse towards Nandha's mother (Rajashree) when she finds it. He returns home to his mother, who is deaf and mute, and his sister (Sheela), who are still in a state of shock after what has happened to their family.

He decides to get a new life by trying to give himself a college education. Having the record of being an ex-convict, he finds it difficult to get a seat in a college. He meets Periyavar (Rajkiran), a very rich disciplinarian who runs an arts and science college with an iron hand. Periyavar's forefathers were the kings of the Ramanathapuram kingdom and fell in line in with the Britishers. After independence, all of their palaces and titles were taken by India's government, but a lot of other material wealth was in their hands. He still thinks himself a guardian of people and helps a lot of poor people. He even goes to the extent of providing justice when law and police can't or won't.

Periyavar develops a soft corner for Nandha and guides him like his own son. Kalyani (Laila), a Tamil exile from Sri Lanka, meets Nandha and both fall in love. Meanwhile, the villain Saravanan asks Periyavar, who also helps Sri Lankan students in his college a lot, to aid an antisocial element, but Periyavar refuses outright.

Periyavar's son-in-law agrees to help Saravanan. Meanwhile, Periyavar falls sick and gets admitted in the hospital. Nandha stays around to look after his mentor and guide. Fearing what he has done might be out in the light, the son-in-law pulls out the oxygen tube of Periyavar in the hospital when Nandha is not around and blames Nandha for murdering his father-in-law. Nandha, having to deal with the pain of losing the only man who gave him a second chance to live, also struggles the fray of being convicted of murder once again and he chooses to kill Periyavar's son-in-law in the court campus. The case is dismissed due to the lack of evidence. Finally, he is acquitted as there are no eyewitnesses to the murder.

After being acquitted for Periyavar's son-in-law's murder he returns home. His paranoid mother, who still believes that her son still has murder instincts, waits at home to feed a meal, which she has poisoned herself. He finds out that the food is poisoned when he eats it, but continues to do so with a satisfaction that he is being fed by his mother. He dies in his mother's lap and when his sister and Kalyani come out to see what has happened, they realise that both mother and son are dead.



The title role was initially offered to Ajith Kumar, who rejected the film citing that Bala had not fully developed the story and screenplay before narrating the terms to him.[1] Suriya, who had notably also replaced Ajith Kumar in Nerukku Ner to make his debut, was selected as his replacement.[2] The director also tried to rope in Sivaji Ganesan for a character role in the film, but his unavailability led to Rajkiran being cast.[3] Laila was signed on as heroine to play a Sri Lankan refugee, Kalyani.[4]

The role required Suriya to undergo physical change, so production was delayed until Suriya had finished filming for Friends and Uyirile Kalanthathu.[5] The first look of the film created media anticipation, with both Suriya and Rajkiran sporting looks which they had not portrayed before.[6] Post-release, Suriya has stated "when Nandha happened, everything changed. I became a serious actor, and director Bala instilled in me the discipline to work without committing errors."[7]


The satellite rights of the film were sold to Sun TV.[8]The critic from The Hindu noted that "powerful performance by the lead artists, a neat screenplay and narration without any deviations in the form of dance or song make Nandhaa worth watching. Bala's direction makes viewing a gripping experience." The critic added that "Surya as the young rustic man has reached a new milestone in acting. Rajkiran shines in the role of Periyavar. A surprise, however, is Rajashri, who reveals great histrionic skills."[9] In comparison, stated the film failed to live up to expectations, likening it to Kamal Haasan's Aalavandhan and stated that "the screenplay is smooth and incident-driven. In the final analysis, it is the climax that may be the main reason why the audience does not lap up this film."[10]

Prior to its release film faced many troubles. The film was telecast in TV channels during first week of the film release but the film got a big hit response in theatre. The film has been dubbed and released in the Telugu language three times, firstly as Aakrosham (2006) and then as Pratheekaram in 2009. A third dubbed version titled Bala-Surya was released by Nagamalla Shankar in 2011, shortly after the release of Bala's Avan Ivan.[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2001 Filmfare Awards South Best Tamil Director Bala Nominated [12]
Best Tamil Actress in Lead Role Laila Won
Best Cinematographer R. Rathnavelu
2001 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Best Film (Special Prize) Nandha [14]
Best Actor in Lead Role Suriya
Best Cinematographer R. Rathnavelu
Best Actor in Supporting Role Rajkiran


Nandha CD cover.jpg
Soundtrack album by Yuvan Shankar Raja
21 October 2001 (India)
Recorded 2001 at Kalasa Studio (Chennai)
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Five Star Audio
Roja/Mass Audios
Producer Ganesh Raghu
Yuvan Shankar Raja chronology
Manadhai Thirudivittai
(2001)Manadhai Thirudivittai2001

The soundtrack was composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, son of noted composer Ilaiyaraaja, who usually scores the music for a Bala film. The soundtrack was released on 21 October 2001 at Hotel Connemara, Chennai by actor Kamal Haasan and director Bharathiraja.[15] It features 6 tracks, out of which two were sung by Ilaiyaraaja. The songs "Amma Endrale" and "Orayiram" are based on the raaga Pantuvarali.[16] The lyrics of five songs were written by five different lyricists, while "Maayane Andha"'s lyrics were derived from the Thiruppavai written and sung by Aandaal.

Track Song Singer(s) Duration Lyricist Notes
1 "Mun Paniyaa" S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Malgudi Subha 5:47 Pazhani Bharathi
2 "Or Aayiram Yaanai" Unnikrishnan 3:35 Na. Muthukumar
3 "Engengo Kaalgal Sellum" Ilaiyaraaja 4:09 Pulamaipithan
4 "Maayane Andha" Rajalakshmi, Srimathumitha & Chorus* 2:49 Aandaal Based on Aandal's Thiruppavai
5 "Kalli Adi Kalli" Anuradha Sriram, Srimathumitha & Chorus* 4:06 Thamarai
6 "Amma Endralle" Ilaiyaraaja 4:32 Pa. Vijay
*The chorus consists of singers Ganga, Kanchana, Febi, Feji and Charulatha Mani


  1. ^ "Hot News4".
  2. ^ ", Movies: Gossip from the southern film industry".
  3. ^ "Priyanka Chopra".
  4. ^ "S U B A S".
  5. ^ ", Movies: Showbuzz! Domino effect hits Tamil industry".
  6. ^ "Surya".
  7. ^ "My first break - Suriya". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 9 May 2008.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Nandhaa". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 23 November 2001.
  10. ^ ", Movies: The Rediff Review: Nandha".
  11. ^ "Suriya's Nandha to be dubbed in Telugu". The Times Of India. 21 June 2011.
  12. ^ "The 49th Annual Filmfare Awards Nominees". Indiatimes. 2002. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  13. ^ Times News Network (2002-04-06). "Nuvvu Nenu wins 4 Filmfare awards". Times of India. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  14. ^ "Tamil Nadu Announces Film Awards For Three Years". 2004-10-01. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
  15. ^ "Nandha - audiocassette released". Archived from the original on 6 November 2001.
  16. ^ Mani, Charulatha (30 September 2011). "A Raga's Journey — Poignant Pantuvarali". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 14 June 2012.

External links[edit]