: Ramachandran, a young man who is preparing for his IAS exam, battles his id, which keeps getting him into problems.
: The high-concept premise of Nambiyaar is filled with promise — what if a film can give a name and form to a character's id, and let that character run amok? Jim Carrey's Me, Myself & Irene explored a form of this concept (where the lead character had split personality) to greatly enjoyable results. Ganeshaa tries something similar (though, this isn't an 'inspired' film). Here, Ramachandran (Srikanth), an ordinary young man preparing for his IAS exam, gives a name (Nambiyaar) and form (taking features from the people he hates most) to his id, and tries to control it. And it is in this battle between Ramachandran and Nambiyaar (Santhanam), that Saroja (Sunaina) gets caught.
But the film is far from enjoyable. The problem is that Ganeshaa wants us to take the actions of Nambiyaar only as humour, but the jokes here make you squirm as they are sexist remarks and ill-mannered actions disguised as comedy. Also, in the second half, even when the onscreen happenings suggest something serious (a drunken Ram beats up his dad and brother in public), the director goes for a comic tone, that is jarring.
Some of the scenes are amusing, though — Ram and Saroja being seen together at various places out of sheer coincidence (which her father misconstrues as a romantic relationship), Ram's sister-in-law's every line coming across as if she is acting, and Ram's frequent run-ins with a cop (John Vijay, who gets to play weird yet again). Even the cameos are pleasantly surprising.
The film's delayed release is evident at times (in one scene, we see a poster of the 2013 film David), but MS Prabhu's cinematography ensures that the film doesn't feel dated visually. The leads are passable, though Srikanth, at times, tries too hard. Agreed he is playing the id, and has to convey a man's base desires, but most of Santhanam's dialogues are cheap and tasteless. Be it dialogues like 'Sandhegapatta dhaan true love' (justifying Ram's doubting of Saroja's character), 'Silent-a cooperate panna naan violent-a panna maaten' (when Ram tries to molest Saroja), or his description of the character of girls based on how they ride pillion on bikes, and his reasoning that the heroine is in an agitated state because she's wearing a tight bra, they are quite in bad taste. This has got to be his most irritating role till date. And to think that this film was made at a time when he was in good form!