NOTA is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language political thriller film directed by Anand Shankar. It stars Vijay Deverakonda, making his debut in Tamil cinema and Mehreen Pirzada, in the lead roles. Produced by Studio Green and with Sam C. S. as the music director while Ravi K. Chandran’s son, Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran handles the cinematography. The film premiered on 5 October 2018 in India and on 4 October 2018 in the United States. The film was adapted from novel Vettattam by Shan Karuppusamy who is also involved in the film’s screenplay.
Varun Subramanyam (Vijay Deverakonda) is a video game designer living in the UK. He is the son of Vinodhan Subramanyam (Nassar), the current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. When consequences make Vinodhan resign his post, he decides to pass it on to Varun, who is visiting Chennai for his birthday to be celebrated in the orphanage which he runs and also to see his little stepsister. Now being made the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Varun, who has no idea about all this, accepts for it, provided that his father will be out in two weeks and he being remained as house arrest. However, Varun actually does nothing except play video games in his room. Unfortunately, consequences turn plates negatively to Vinodhan who is sentenced to prison. After Vinodhan gets arrested, riots take place in the city. In the riots, a bus gets burnt in which a little schoolgirl dies in the fire. Varun, who was out to meet his guru Mahendran (Sathyaraj), goes to the spot where the bus was burnt. He asks Mahendran to meet him at the spot. He is heartbroken upon seeing the wails of the little girl’s mother. He then realizes the importance of his position and stops the riots, by threatening, in an immediate press meeting on the accident spot. Unfortunately, this is not liked by the opposition party. Varun then gains the name “Rowdy CM” given by the opposition party after being mocked as “Dummy CM”. This incident paves way for Varun to gain support.
On the other side, Vinodhan thinks the reason why he passed on the post to his son reason was due to the advice of a Swamiji who predicted that there is a threat to Vinodhan’s position and that he has to resign, while the position has to be taken up by someone of his own bloodline. Vinodhan doubts if Varun is his own son because years ago, Varun’s mother realized that Vinodhan was a famous actor at that time and was cheating on her with other co-actresses. During a heated argument, she tells him that she might also be cheating on him, which angers him, and he almost chokes her to death. The next day she is found dead, having taken 23 sleeping pills. Thus, Vinodhan never got the answer if Varun was ever his son. Also, due to sudden heavy rain, a dam was required to be opened without prior notice opening. The dam opens, thus killing many lives. It turned out that the officials were waiting for the CM’s order. Varun mocks them by telling them to wait until Vinodhan is released from jail, but he later he acts immediately, creating awareness and asking the youths to help; thus, when the dam was opened, it only destroyed properties but not lives. Also, Mahendran talks to Varun and his daughter Swathi (Mehreen Pirzada) about his first love, which was broken due to his friend’s selfishness. When Varun stands for the post as CM, a video of him which was took earlier that had him kissing a foreigner in a nightclub party is released, but in reality, he was drugged by the opposition party. Varun cleverly clears his name with the help of director A. R. Murugadoss. Also, the foreigner tells him that she is an actress who joined Varun to do a short film.
Meanwhile, Vinodhan is attacked in a bomb blast by some anonymous men and gets admitted in the hospital, which leads him into a coma. Now, since Varun has to take the responsibility as the CM, he goes through his father’s things, in which he finds a diary with codes and bank accounts. Varun comes to know that the case that his father was fighting for involved a property of 10,000 crores. He, along with his friend Wong (Priyadarshi Pullikonda), investigates about it. Varun sends Wong to Panama to hack the account of the fake owners of the property and transfer the money to his account. Vinodhan, hearing his daughter Narmada (Arputha) talking to his step-wife about Varun winning the temporary election and the clean sweep of the bank accounts, wakes up from his coma and asks for Varun. Thus, when he visits, Vinodhan acts in a way to gain his son’s pity. Believing this, he tells it to Mahendran, to which he replies that his father was an actor and there is yet to come. Meanwhile, a chain of events begin to happen: Swathi is met with an accident; Wong ends up being caught in Panama but somehow escapes; and the foreigner commits suicide and blames it on Varun, who is is searched by the police to be arrested, but Varun, with the help of the opposition party’s daughter Kayal (Sanchana Natarajan) stays in her house, where treatment is given to Swathi. Now, the cunning Vinodhan announces one of his goons as the CM instead of the very well-experienced friend of his. Vinothan and his friend then have a heated argument. Varun, who has hacked the CCTV footage of the hospital, calls and tells his father’s friend to tell the followers to vote for him because he has all the money of his party’s followers. It is also shown that it the Swamiji brainwashed Vinodhan for a $20,000,000 deal.
Varun wins the elections, and Mahendran tells him that he loved Vinodhan’s wife before they got married, but Vinodhan broke their relationship to marry Mahendran’s lover for her wealth. Vinodhan admits that he did not meet her after that. He also said that Varun was Vinodhan’s own son and not any other’s. Vinodhan realizes his mistake and asks Varun to forgive him. Varun then continues his duty as the CM and decides to bring many changes in the State and also win the next election by people’s true votes rather than bribing them .
Directed by Anand Shankar
Produced by K. E. Gnanavel Raja
Written by Shan Karuppusamy
Story by Vettaattam by Shan Karuppusamy
Starring Vijay Devarakonda, Mehreen Pirzada
Music by Sam C. S.
Cinematography Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran
Edited by Raymond Derrick Crasta
Production Studio Green
Distributed by Freeze Frame Films (Telugu & Tamil USA Territory)
Release date 5 October 2018
Running time 153 minutes