STARRING: ‘ILAYATHALAPATHY’ VIJAY, JIIVA, SRIKANTH, SATHYARAJ, SATHYAN, ILEANA
Director Shankar is back after his world acclaimed ENDHIRAN with SS Rajinkanth with the remake (yes, you read it right!) of perhaps the biggest Hindi blockbusters of all time ‘3 idiots’. Remaking a movie and making it work is always difficult, since it will eventually bring in comparison of performances. But Shankar not only remakes a world renowned movie, he actually makes it an enjoyable ride.
The story is nothing new and even the scenes are a frame by frame copy of the original, except for the actors and the language of course. The movie begins with 2 friends Sevarkodi Senthil (Jiiva) & Venkataramakrishnan (Srikanth) along with their arch nemesis Srivatsan (played brilliantly by Sathyan), who wants to prove a point to them going in search of their long lost close friend Panchavan Parivendan aka Pari (Vijay) who had changed their lives forever. During the course of the movie we are told how Pari had won their hearts over with his unusual methods and happy go lucky attitude, how he expresses displeasure against the current educational system, their ordeals with their director of the engineering college Virumaandi Santhanam aka VIRUS (Sathyaraj), how Pari falls for Ria (Ileana), daughter of VIRUS and then a happy reunion of the friends.
It is hard for the first few minutes to avoid comparisons with the original, but once the movie crosses the half an hour mark, the actors take centre stage and makes you forget the original. Full marks to the actors there. Vijay graduates from a mass to class hero. He fills in for the role made immortal by Aamir Khan, and although he falls short of emulating Aamir, he does a very good job. Be it in emoting, in cracking jokes with friends, giving free advice, Vijay delivers nothing short of a stellar performance. Jiiva excels as the usually fearful Senthil, pulling off his hilarious one lines with ease. Srikanth does a decent job with his performance, as the narrator of the story, his voice is a perfect choice. Legendary actor Satyaraj hams a bit as Virus, but does a decent job. Ileana does what she has been asked to, with the voice over of Andrea spicing up her character a bit. But the revelation and the best performance of the film comes from Sathyan, who not only fills in the role of Srivatsan perfectly, but brings the house down with his antics and expressions. A career best performance.
With Shankar at the helm, you do not need a better person behind the camera. Full marks for keeping up with the original and not ruining the essence. The camera work by Manoj Paramahamsa is soothing to the eyes as are Harris Jeyaraj songs to the ears. Dialogues by Shanker & Madhan Karky are witty and add to the essence of the film. Full marks to Shankar for again crediting Raj Kumar Hirani & Abhijiat Joshi for the screenplay. Something all directors can learn from. Overall Shankar dishes up what you can call a PERFECT REMAKE, which not only keeps the essence of the original but also is an engagingly entertaining watch even though its over 3 hours long.
Nanban- A Friend for all Seasons! Pong”all izz Well”