Nawab is the Telugu dubbed version of Tamil crime drama film ‘Chekka Chivantha Vaanam’. It features Arvind Swamy, Vijay Sethupathi, Simbu, Arun Vijay and Jyothika in lead roles. Prakash Raj, Jayasudha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Aishwarya Rajesh and Dayana Erappa played prominent roles. Allirajah Subaskaran and Mani Ratnam produced the film. The topmost technicians like music director A. R. Rahman, cinematographer Santosh Sivan, editor Sreekar Prasad and director Mani Ratnam worked on the project. The film released worldwide on 27th Sep, 2018.
Bhupathi Reddy (Prakash Raj) is a don in Chennai who controls the city. After a failed murder attempt on Bhupathi Reddy, the question arises about his successor. Eventually, his three sons, Varada (Arvind Swamy), Thyagu (Arun Vijay) and Rudra (Simbu) try to replace their father fighting against each other to show their supremacy. Who tried to kill Bhupathi Reddy and who becomes his successor forms the crux of the story.
Nawab is inspired from 2013 Korean crime drama film ‘New World’. After the death of a don, the largest corporate crime syndicate of South Korea is engulfed in a succession battle. An undercover cop who rose to a prominent position in the syndicate struggles to protect his identity and work for the syndicate. There are many suspense elements in the story and the central theme is interesting.
Nawab starts with a bang and continues with the repercussions. The trailer shows the premise and the narration is straight forward without hiding information or misleading the audience. The character introductions are perfect. Mani Ratnam establishes every major character on their first appearance. After Bhupathi Reddy gets hospitalized, Varada rushes to the hospital as soon as he gets the News. However, Thyagu reacts but is not much serious and Rudra shows no care or concern. Chitra (Jyothika) brings kids to the hospital saying that they should better know things from their parents. The first appearance of Rasool (Vijay Sethupathi) shows his manipulative nature. This shows the mastery of Mani Ratnam over characterizations.
The first half is fast and revolves around the question of who tried to kill Bhupathi Reddy. The interval block is simple yet effective and leaves so many questions. The second half starts on a promising note and things escalate quickly. However, it slows down at the middle and the last half an hour of the film relies on emotions more than action. The characters become vulnerable and the rivalry becomes personal. The climax is impressive with a slow and intense sequence. Overall, its a brilliant narration with a few dull moments.
Arvind Swamy is superb as a gangster and his performance in second half showcases his skills as an actor. Arun Vijay impresses with his casual acting style and body language. Simbu is good in his role but he looks slow and dull in a role that should have been energetic. Vijay Sethupathi is the show stealer. His character has multiple shades and he performed with ease. Jyothika has a powerful role and she shows what she is capable of. Prakash Raj and Jayasudha are natural in their roles.
Nawab has brilliant technical values which are on par with Hollywood standards. The script has a lot of scope to be an action film but Mani Ratnam restricts it to drama. The dialogues are crisp and simple. The production values are top-notch. The cinematography is a major asset to the film as the visuals are captivating. The background score is engaging and maintained the suspense and intensity in crucial scenes. The editing is good but the film looks uneven at some portions in the second half. The choreography of fights is superb with realistic stunts and limited violence. The Telugu dubbing is bad for many characters. Particularly, dubbing for Arvind Swamy didn’t suit him at all. The direction of Mani Ratnam is superb and reminds us of early 90s where he ruled the industry.
Nawab is an intense crime drama with brilliant technical values. The audience who expect a serious action film may not like it as it has more drama than action. Moreover, the second half has some dull moments. Overall, Nawab is a Mani Ratnam mark film.