|Starring||Vijay, Ileana D'Cruz, Jiiva, Srikanth, Ileana D\'Cruz|
|Music By||Harris Jayaraj|
|Lyric By||Madhan Karky, Na. Muthukumar, Viveka, Pa. Vijay|
|Singers||Javed Ali, Chinmayi, Vijay Prakash, Suvi Suresh, Vedala Hemachandra, Mukesh, Krish, Suchith Suresan, Ramakrishnan Murthy, Aalap Raju|
Nanban is a 2012 Indian Tamil coming-of-age comedy film directed by Shankar. It is a remake of Rajkumar Hirani's 3 Idiots (2009). The film features an ensemble cast that includes Vijay, Jiiva, Srikanth, Ileana D'Cruz, Sathyan and Sathyaraj.
The plot of the film illustrates the embankment of two friends on a quest for a lost buddy, who was once an optimistic and successful student. On their journey, they recount their college life and special moments that the three shared up until their lost friend secretly parted ways after convocation. During their quest, the two encounter a rival classmate who once made a long forgotten bet with them, a funeral that goes impossibly out of control, and a wedding they must crash.
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. 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. The film was released on 12 January 2012. Its dubbed version in Telugu, Snehithudu, released on 26 January 2012 in Andhra Pradesh. The film was also screened at the Melbourne Film Festival. The film completed 100 days theatrical run and became a commercial success at the box office.
Venkat Ramakrishnan (Srikanth), Sevarkodi Senthil (Jiiva) and Panchavan Parivendan alias Pari (Vijay) are three first year engineering students who share a room in the hostel of Ideal Engineering College (IEC), Chennai. While Venkat and Senthil are average students who come from a modern background, Pari is from a rich family. Venkat studies engineering as per his father's wishes, over his own wish – to become a wildlife photographer, while Senthil, whose family is poor, studies engineering to improve his family's financial situation and get his sister married. Pari, however, studies engineering for his simple passion for machines and devices. He believes that one should follow excellence, not success, as success will take care of itself if excellence is followed. This approach to studies is sneered upon by the dean of the college, Professor Virumandi "Virus" Santhanam (Sathyaraj). Virus and the faculty favour Pari's classmate Srivatsan alias Silencer (Sathyan) who believes in mindless rote learning over understanding to reach his goals of corporate status. Pari constantly spars with Virus and Silencer due to their differences in their educational approaches.
Pari falls in love with Virus' daughter Ria (Ileana D'Cruz), a medical student when he, Venkat and Senthil accidentally gatecrash her elder sister Swetha's (Anuya Bhagvath) wedding reception to obtain a free meal. Ria is not impressed with Pari's antics and complains to her father about them. Virus becomes furious with Pari and his friends and tries to break their friendship by claiming that the "rich" Pari is a bad influence on the "less privileged" Venkat and Senthil. While Venkat refuses to break his friendship with Pari, Senthil believes Virus and distances himself from Pari, though they reconcile when Pari saves the life of Senthil's paralysed father, who had suffered a heart attack, by taking him to hospital on Ria's scooter when the ambulance had not arrived on time. Ria too appreciates Pari's practicality and concern for others and reciprocates Pari's feelings. In the yearly exam, Pari stands first in his class, while both Venkat and Senthil come last.
Three years later, during their final year, Pari, Venkat and Senthil break into Virus's house drunk one night to allow Pari to propose to Ria. Venkat and Senthil, who are both drunk, cause a ruckus and urinate on the front door before fleeing. Virus notices Senthil and the next day, he threatens to expel him unless he snitches on Pari. Not wanting to betray his friend or let down his family, Senthil attempts suicide by jumping from Virus' office window and ends up in a coma. However, Senthil soon recovers and following his recovery, he discards his fear of the future. His frankness impresses the interviewers from a company during a campus placement drive and they hire him. Meanwhile, Venkat successfully convinces his parents to allow him to pursue his wildlife photography dream.
Virus, enraged at Senthil's success, sets an extremely hard final exam to fail Senthil, as the job offer is contingent on graduation. When Ria learns of her father's plan, she helps Pari and Venkat to leak the question paper by providing them with the keys to her father's office. However, Virus catches them and expels them as well as Senthil on the spot. Ria angrily confronts her father, revealing that her late brother committed suicide because he was unable to get into IEC as his father had desired, despite having ambitions of becoming a writer. Meanwhile, Swetha, who is pregnant, goes into labour. A heavy thunderstorm cuts all power and floods the streets, making it impossible for the ambulance to reach Swetha. Pari, Venkat and Senthil deliver the baby using available equipment and an inverter developed by Pari, with Ria instructing him via VoIP. After the newborn baby is apparently stillborn, Pari manages to resuscitate the baby. Virus forgives Pari and his friends, and allows them to write their final exams. After the convocation however, Pari disappears and goes into seclusion.
Ten years later, Venkat, who is now a successful wildlife photographer and Senthil, who is married, has a good middle class life, and works as a software engineer in the company he was ten years ago set out on a journey to Ooty to find Pari, since he is last claimed to be found there by Silencer. They are joined by Silencer, who is now a wealthy and successful professional businessman, who is a vice president in his own company, while also being married and having kids in the United States, who is looking to seal a deal with Kosaksi Pasapugazh, a famous scientist and prospective business associate. Silencer's main intention in finding Pari is to see whether Pari is more successful than him; they had made a bet in their first year of engineering on who would be more successful with their study approaches. However, when they reach Pari's house in Ooty, they find a completely different man: the real Panchavan Parivendan (S. J. Surya).
Confronting Parivendan, Venkat and Senthil learn that their friend was actually a destitute servant boy nicknamed Pappu. Pappu, who worked in Parivendan's household, loved learning, while Parivendan disliked studies. After noticing the boy's intelligence, Parivendan's father (Ajay Rathnam) agreed to allow Pappu to study in his place instead of working as a servant. In return, Parivendan would pocket Pappu's qualifications and after graduating, Pappu should cease all contact with him and his family. Parivendan reveals that Pappu is now a schoolteacher in Dhanushkodi. Later, Venkat and Senthil discover that as "Pari" had disappeared, Ria had decided to marry her former boyfriend – a price obsessed banker whom she had dumped when "Pari" made her realise that he loves his expensive items more than her. Venkat and Senthil rescue Ria from her wedding in Coimbatore and they, along with Silencer, drive to Dhanushkodi.
At "Pari's" school, Venkat and Senthil reunite with their long-lost friend, Ria and "Pari" rekindle their romance, and Silencer mocks "Pari" for becoming a lowly schoolteacher. He asks him to sign a "Declaration of Defeat" document for losing the bet. On seeing "Pari"'s signature, Silencer realises that "Pari" is actually Kosaksi Pasupugazh, and he accepts defeat.