Legendary director Mani Ratnam’s form has been questionable as his last few films didn’t do well at the box office or impressed the audience. But, with Nawab, he has literally bounced back strongly with a message that indicates that he is truly a boss in this business. Nawab's ensemble cast in enough to arouse curiosity and ever since the film went on floors, it did manage to create necessary buzz around the film. It is safe to say that Mani Ratnam has crafted a fitting gangster drama with this talented bunch of actors. Senathipathi (Prakash Raj) is a gangster and business tycoon who indulges in many criminal activities. Varadan (Arvind Swami), the elder son of Senathipathi genuinely believes that he’s the heir to the throne. Thyagu (Arun Vijay) and Ethi (Simbu) are two contrasting characters having their eye set on the throne. The story of Nawab isn’t anything extraordinary. Who. of the three brothers, will sit on Senathipathi’s chair and call the shots, form the crux of the story. Since the storyline isn’t anything new, Mani Ratnam has worked hard in incorporating minute details in this gangster-drama which makes it a gripping tale. The screenplay of Nawab is literally the best in recent times. When four best performers in Kollywood are roped in for a film, it is natural to expect which character would shine the most. Here, Mani Ratnam has given equal importance to all the four lead characters and all the four of them have delivered their career-best performances. Vijay Sethupathi and Simbu’s camaraderie in the film is applause-worthy. Arvind Swami has delivered a nuanced performance like his earlier films. Arun Vijay is the surprise package and will get laurels for his performance. Vijay Sethupathi is easily the underdog in this gangster flick. He is effortless as Rasool and every time he pops up on screen, he puts up a distinctive performance. AR Rahman’s songs didn’t become chartbusters like Kaatru Veliyidai or OK Kanmani. But, Mani Ratnam has done a wonderful job of incorporating them in the film. With Santosh Sivan’s brilliant visuals, ARR’s score is magical to hear. Ultimately, Nawab establishes Mani Ratnam as the director who has nailed the gangster genre. The film stresses upon the family feud, greed, the thirst for power and deception in a wonderful manner. Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh and Aditi Rao look their part and did their best. However, Dayana Erappa’s character had less screen presence when compared to the other three actresses.
Overall, Nawab is a must-watch film for its brilliant filmmaking and extraordinary performances.