Tamil heroes have donned the roles of students in several films with extended plotlines of college politics, psychological disorder, love triangle, campus murder, and more. As we await the release of Don, check out these Kollywood heroes and their celebrated school or college-based films.
Jayam Ravi made his debut with Jayam (2003), where he plays a college student who falls in love with his classmate. It is a remake of a Telugu movie with the same title. Though the film received mixed reviews, it opened up a new avenue of opportunities for Jayam Ravi in Tamil cinema.
Later in 2019, Jayam Ravi acted as a school student in Comali. After an accident at the age of 16 years, he happens to fall into a coma and regain consciousness only in his mid-30s. The film narrates how he comes to terms with reality, and shows the drastic changes that have taken place between those twenty-odd years.
The school day scenes and the song 'Hi Sonna Pothum' echo the 90s vibe and bring back some beautiful memories. Though the climax and the portions leading to it were underwhelming, the school romance and the comical take on the changes make Comali a good watch. You can watch Jayam on Amazon Prime Video and Comali on SonyLIV.
Neethaane En Ponvasantham is a coming-of-age love story that navigates through the friendship and love life of two childhood buddies — Varun and Nithya — played by Jiiva and Samantha. It portrays their life at four different stages — childhood, high school, college, and post-college. The film's first half narrates their school and college life, depicting school fests, break time fun, college culturals, etc., and exploring how they accept their differences and fall in love with each other. Since it shows different stages, the romance, arguments, and fights sometimes feel repetitive and slow-paced. But the chemistry between the lead pair, the soothing songs, and a few moments here and there keep the audience engaged.
Vijay shared screen space with Jyothika in SJ Suryah's Kushi (2000). The film tracks how love blooms between two college friends but is hampered as they prioritise their egos. Kushi is an entertaining romantic comedy that depicts friendship, love, misunderstandings, and college fun. It is also a notable film in Vijay's career and was remade in Telugu, Hindi and Kannada.
Nanban stars Vijay, Srikanth and Jiiva in the lead roles as engineering students. Vijay's character has a different perspective on studies and life and stands out among others. It is an engaging narrative that starts off as a reunion of college friends and traces each of their stories through flashbacks. You can watch Nanban on Disney+ Hotstar.
Kamal Haasan's intuitive and curious doubts as a medical student are entertaining and quite relatable. The major portions of the film are set within the medical college and the scenes involving Kamal Haasan and Prakash Raj are a laughter riot. You can watch Vasool Raja MBBS on JioCinema.
Ninaithale Inikkum translates to sweet memories. It is about a college reunion and narrates the college life of the characters through a series of flashbacks. This is a remake of the Malayalam film Classmates.
On the outset, it is an exploration of friendship and love during college days and takes you on a nostalgic trip with the song 'Nanbanai Partha'. But it soon turns into a murder mystery where one of the students has come back with a revenge plan. The film provides you with a complete package of love, friendship, and college memories.
Aarya is a romantic comedy starring Madhavan and Bhavana as medical college students. Bhavana plays the sister of a local goon (Prakash Raj) who falls in love with a soft-spoken Madhavan. How they both find a common point and unite with each other is the plot. Though the performances were solid, a weak screenplay and a generic plot in Aarya fail to keep the audience engaged. The film is available on JioCinema.
Dhanush has played a student in many films, but the two films that top the list are Kaadhal Kondein and 3. In the former, he plays an orphan who is forced to go to Chennai, leaving the church he grew up in, to pursue his engineering degree.
He is initially treated differently in the class because of his appearance and behaviour, but his classmates soon warm up to him. Even though the film later takes a different turn as a psychological thriller, the scene where Dhanush is hit by a duster for sleeping in class, and later solves a complicated math problem remains a classic to date.
3 is another psychological thriller film that stars Dhanush and Shruti Haasan in lead roles; Sivakarthikeyan also plays a student in the flashback scenes of school days. Their high school and tuition days are a beautiful mix of romance and comedy. The happy school day memories lighten the heaviness of an otherwise serious film. Thulluvadho Ilamai is yet another film that features Dhanush as a school student where a bunch of students run away from home only to realise the dangerous world that exists.
Gautham (Suriya) and Kundhavi (Jyothika) are a happily married couple. But Kundhavi soon learns about her husband's past love during college days. In the flashback, we get scenes of Gautham, who is a college don and has complete control of the campus. He falls in love with Iswarya (Bhumika Chawla).
The film then becomes a love triangle where Gautam battles between his past and present, or that's what Kundhavi thinks. The flashback scenes are a treat to watch and the famous 'Munbe Vaa' song from this sequence rules many playlists even today. The film explores the emotions and sentiments in intimate relationships in a compelling manner. Sillunu Oru Kadhal is available on SonyLIV.
Chinna and Chella played by Ajith Kumar and Jyothika in Poovellam Un Vasam are two childhood friends who fall in love. The major track takes place during their college days when they drift apart due to a misunderstanding created by a fellow college friend. This also creates a rift between their families who share a very close relationship. You can tune into Jio Cinema to enjoy the likeable plotline and interesting performances of Poovellam Un Vasam.
In the 2008 release Aegan, Ajith Kumar plays a CB-CID officer but goes undercover as a student to hunt down a terrorist. He shares screen space with Nayanthara, who plays a teacher in this film.
Like Don and Neethaane En Ponvasantham, Silambarasan TR's Vallavan is also centred around both school and college days. It is a love triangle narrative that travels through the timelines of STR's school days with Reema Sen and his college romance with Nayanthara. The film is best known for the chemistry between the lead pair STR and Nayanthara and the performance of Reema Sen as a sadistic lover out on revenge. You can tune into Amazon Prime Video to watch Vallavan.