First things first! Nanban is a faithful remake of Three Idiots. It's almost a scene by scene retooling of the Aamir Khan starrer, with Shankar's touches here and there. As a result, the film takes you on a roller-coaster ride of various emotions.
Though there are three protagonists, Vijay steals the show, with ample support coming from Jiiva and Srikanth. And though Sathyaraj and Sathyan fail to fit the roles they have played, they provide comic relief in a sense, one has to say.
The movie throws light on the loopholes in Indian education system and provides a solution or two to set things right. All ingredients presented in a neat and colourful package, Nanban emerges a collage of beautiful things, which makes us say 'All is well'.
Venkatramakrishnan (Srikanth) and Sevalkodi Senthil (Jiiva) who studied together in a college a decade ago and successful professionals now, start a journey in search of their dear friend Panchavan Parivendan alias Pari (Vijay).
As the journey continues, they go down the memory lane, recalling various incidents that took place during their college days. While the prinicpal Virumandi Santhanam (Sathyaraj), popularly known as Virus among students, is strict to the core and wants students to be bookworms, Pari stands out in the crowd.
All that Pari follows and urges his friends to do, is to follow their hearts and to pursue studies as an enjoyable experience, and not as a mandatory tool to come up in life. His acts draw the ire of the dean, while Virus's daughter Riya (Ileana D'Cruz) and Pari fall for each other.
At one point of time, everyone understands Pari's ideas and also his noble heart. But he vanishes all of a sudden and Venkatramakrishnan and Senthil are in search of him now. What follows is the climax with a colourful twist.
Vijay is super cool. His performance in this film is a treat to watch. Equally good are Srikanth and Jiiva. Ileana D'Cruz is good but she doesn't have a very meaty role to perform, while Sathyaraj, Sathyan, Anuya, S J Suryah and others do a decent job. Manoj Paramahamsa's camera work is a notch higher than Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya, while Harris Jayaraj's music is a step lower than his last film 7aam Arivu. Need we say about the film's technical extravaganza since Shankar is at the helm of affairs?
All said, Nanban is an enjoyable film which has an interesting and intelligent message too. But it may disappoint those who expect either a Shankar kind of film or a Vijay style of movie. It is a different experience, that's what we can say.