NOTA (film)

NOTA (transl. None of the above) is a 2018 Indian political thriller film directed by Anand Shankar.[3][4][5] Shot simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu, it stars Vijay Deverakonda, making his Tamil debut, playing the lead role along with Mehreen Pirzada. Sathyaraj, Nassar, Karunakaran, Priyadarshi Pullikonda, Yashika Aannand, M. S. Bhaskar, and Rajendran, among others portray supporting roles. Produced by K. E. Gnanavel Raja, under his production house Studio Green, the film was adapted from novel Vettattam by Shan Karuppusamy who is also involved in the film's screenplay.[6]

Nota film poster.jpg
Directed byAnand Shankar
Written byShan Karuppusamy
Story byVettaattam by Shan Karuppusamy
Produced byK. E. Gnanavel Raja
StarringVijay Devarakonda
Mehreen Pirzada
CinematographySanthana Krishnan Ravichandran
Edited byRaymond Derrick Crasta
Music bySam C. S.
Release date
  • 5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)[1]
Running time
153 minutes
Box officeest. 25.50 crore[2]

The film revolves around Varun, the son of a chief minister, who rises to his father's position after corruption charges are brought against the father. Varun, who has no political experience, soon finds himself stuck to the chair for a longer time.

The musical score and soundtrack are composed by Sam C. S. and the cinematography and editing were handled by Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran and Raymond Derrick Crasta. The film premiered on 5 October 2018 in India[1] and on 4 October 2018 in the United States.[7] The film opened to mixed reviews from critics and was a failure at the box office.


Varun Subramanyam (Vijay Deverakonda) is a video game designer living in the UK. He is the son of Vinodhan Subramanyam, (Vasudev in Telugu) the long-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Andhra Pradesh in Telugu). Varun, visits Chennai (Hyderabad) for his birthday to be celebrated in the orphanage which he runs and also to see his little half-sister. Later he goes out partying, but a heavy police convoy nabs him by 1am and brings him home for a shocking news: Varun is to be sworn in as the new Chief Minister by 5am to protect the party, as Vinodhan is to be sentenced guilty in a corruption case the next day. Despite his reservations, Varun is sworn in as Chief Minister.

Despite being head of government, CM Varun, who has no idea about all this, accepts for it, provided that his father will be out in bail within two weeks and remains confined in a self-imposed house arrest. Varun actually does nothing except play video games in his room & signs the documents provided by the Chief Secretary. Unfortunately, consequences turn plates negatively to Vinodhan, who is sentenced to prison in the high court appeal until end of case. 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 (Mahindra in Telugu), 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 led by Varadarajan (K. S. G. Venkatesh). Varun then gains the name "Rowdy CM" given by the opposition party after being mocked as "Dummy CM".

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. 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. He, along with his friend Wong, investigates about it. Due to sudden heavy rain, a dam was required to be opened without prior notice opening. 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 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 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 taken 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 Murugadoss. Also, the foreigner tells him that she is an actress who joined Varun to do a short film.

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 talking to his second-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 trouble yet to come.

Meanwhile, a chain of events begin to happen: Swathi meets 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 searched by the police to be arrested, but Varun, with the help of Varadarajan's daughter Kayal, stays in her house, where treatment is given to Swathi. Now, the cunning Vinodhan announces one of his goons as the CM instead of Bhai a 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 the swamiji brainwashed Vinodhan for a $20,000,000 deal.

Varun wins the trust vote 122 to 110 (in absentia) and retains his job as CM, 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. Mahendran 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 .



Principal photography of the film was officially launched on 9 March 2018, but the shoot was cancelled due to the standoff between Nadigar Sangam and Digital Service Providers on the increase of Virtual Print Fee charges. The shooting was resumed after the strike called off. Vijay Deverakonda nailed an immense Tamil dialogue scene in one single take, which impressed the crew members.[8] He shared a picture from the film's shoot through the social media.[9] It was revealed that he is playing a role of the powerful politician in the film.[10] And it is also known that director A. R. Murugadoss, is playing a cameo role in this film.[11] Filming completed in August 2018.

Themes and influencesEdit

While the film is based on a novel Vettattam, written by Shan Karuppaswamy,[6] the film also features scenes which parodies the current political happenings in Chennai, which includes the 2015 South Indian floods,[12] hospitalization of Chief Minister[13] and MLA's in resort etc.[12]


The musical score and soundtrack were composed by Sam. C. S. The audio rights of the film were secured by Lahari Music and T-Series. Vijay Deverakonda released the "Shot Number" song on 20 September 2018.[14] The full album was released in both Tamil and Telugu versions on 4 October 2018.

For the theme song "The Rise Of A Leader" composer Sam worked with the Macedonian Symphony Orchestra with 150 live musicians, were a part of the film's background score, especially for this song.[15]

The background score of the film was appreciated whereas the songs were criticised. Writing for The Times of India, Thinkal Menon reviewed the song "Yethikka Yethikka" as an "energetic party song which celebrates the spirit of youth" and "Raja Raja Kula" as "an average one", while "Hey Amaicha" is stated as "neither exceptional nor a tiresome one and "Yaar Kalikku as "a poignant track" - calling the album an above average fare.[16]

Soundtrack album by
20 September 2018 (Single)
4 October 2018 (Album)
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelLahari Music
ProducerSam C. S.
Sam C. S. chronology
Vanjagar Ulagam
Adanga Maru


All lyrics are written by Madhan Karky, except where noted.

1."Yethikka Yethikka"Benny Dayal, Sunitha Sarathy3:55
2."Raja Raja Kula"Anirudh Ravichander, Swagatha S. Krishnan3:46
3."The Rise Of A Leader" (Performed by the Macedonian Symphony Orchestra)Instrumental2:47
4."Power Play" (Performed by the Macedonian Symphony Orchestra)Instrumental3:30
5."Hey Amaicha"Arvind Srinivas1:02
6."Yaar Kalikku" (Lyrics written by Sam C. S.)Sam C. S.1:38
Total length:16:38


1."Yeththara Yeththara"Sri ManiYazin Nizar & Swagatha S. Krishnan3:55
2."Raja Raja Kula"SrimaniAbhay Jodhpurkar, Nithyasree Mahadevan3:46
3."The Rise Of A Leader" (Performed by the Macedonian Symphony Orchestra) Instrumental2:47
4."Power Play" (Performed by the Macedonian Symphony Orchestra) Instrumental3:30
5."Hey Minister"Rajesh A. MoorthyArvind Srinivas1:03
6."Yevari Papam"Rajesh A. MoorthySarath Santosh1:37
Total length:16:38


It was earlier announced that, the film will be released on 4 October 2018.[17] Later, speculations were clarified that the film releases on 18 October 2018, due to the delay in post-production works, clashing with Vada Chennai, Sandakozhi 2 and Telugu film Hello Guru Preme Kosame.[18] However, the post-production works were completed earlier and the film was released on 5 October 2018.[19]

The distribution rights of the Tamil version were bought by Abinesh Elangovan under the banner Abi & Abi Pictures. The US distribution rights were acquired by Freeze Frame Films and the film was released on 4 October 2018, a day before original release.[20]

Home MediaEdit

The Telugu version of the film was made available to stream on 4 November 2018 on Prime Video.[21] The Tamil version was released on the same platform on 27 February 2019.[22]


The first look poster was released on 8 March 2018, with Deverakonda showing an inked middle finger.[23] A sneak peek was released on 2 September 2018 and the following day, the theatrical trailer was unveiled.[10] The makers promoted the film via mock campaigns and mock public meetings, in Vijayawada on 30 September and in Hyderabad on 1 October. A pre-release event was not held.[24][25]


Critical responseEdit

The film received mixed reviews from critics and audience.

  • Regarding the Tamil version,The Times of India rated 3 out of 5, stars stating "The political scenes are the film's strengths; in fact, its only strengths, while the emotional drama between the characters is quite weak."[12] Regarding the Telugu version, The Times of India gave the film the same rating and noted that "NOTA may not be your run-of-the-mill political drama, but it's gripping and keeps you entertained".[26]
  • Firstpost gave the film 3/5, stating "The film belongs to Vijay Devarakonda who has given a riveting performance. He is there in almost all frames and along with Nasser and Sathyaraj, the young superstar holds the film together. NOTA, by and large, is enjoyable, racy and relevant to its time."[27]
  • India Today, gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars stating NOTA could have been a great political thriluler if the director had done away with cinematic clichés. Vijay Deverakonda is the only saving grace in director Anand Shankar's NOTA, which has many unfeasible ideas."[28]
  • Behindwoods rated the film 2.5 out of 5, stating that "Vijay Deverakonda's 'NOTA' is a watchable political thriller. More focus on the political factors could have made the film intense."[29]
  • Sify rated the film 3 out of 5, stating "NOTA is thrilling and gripping. Its a film that we recommend for the superb acting, and for the exciting dramatic highs. Watch it to understand why Anand Shankar is one of the most exciting voices in Tamil cinema today."[13]
  • Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion reviewed it as "The film is now merely a watchable one, kept afloat by scenes like the one where the city's youths become government officials. It gives you hope. It's only a movie. It's a band-aid on a gushing artery. But it gives you hope."[30]
  • Hindustan Times rated the film 2.5 out of 5, stating that "Vijay Devarakonda's political drama works purely as the scenes rely more on reminding audiences of real life situations than showing them splendid performances."[31]
  • The Indian Express rated the film 2 out of 5, stating that "Vijay Deverakonda plays his role with a swag. And Nassar stands out with his performance as a corrupt politician with a grotesque nose. Mehreen Pirzada is nearly non-existent. Anand should be appreciated for not including a dreamy song just so she will get something to do in the film. Sanchana Natarajan and Sathyaraj play their given roles without any rewarding moment to shine. NOTA is a better political drama than Bharat Ane Nenu. But, is that enough?"[32]

Box officeEdit

The film has reportedly collected 11.10 crore Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,[33] 4.50 crore in Tamil Nadu,[33] 5.15 crore in Karnataka,[33] 1.70 crore in other parts of India[33] and 2.45 crore in the US in the opening weekend.[33] It has reportedly collected 25.50 crore gross at the worldwide box office on the first weekend and earned 11.50 crore for its distributors.[33] The film was a disaster at the box office.[34]

Regarding the criticisms on the film, Vijay Devarakonda wrote on Twitter reading "I will not make excuses, I take responsibility, I am proud of NOTA. It's a story I wanted to tell, a character explored and a performance delivered."[35] The film was a failure at the box office.[34][33]


  1. ^ a b "Release announcement".
  2. ^ Hooli, Shekhar H. (9 October 2018). "NOTA box office collection: Vijay Devarakonda's film fails to live up to expectations in weekend 1". International Business Times, India Edition.
  3. ^ "Vijay Devarakonda's bilingual film titled 'Nota', first look poster unveiled – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  4. ^ "After 'NOTA', Vijay Deverakonda signs his second bilingual film". The News Minute. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Vijay Deverakonda's NOTA gets a release date". India Today. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b Krishna, Murali (27 September 2018). "Vijay Deverakonda's NOTA  based on a novel". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  7. ^ "NOTA Telugu Movie Review {3/5}: NOTA is a gripping political that keeps you engrossed, it shows Vijay Deverakonda's versatility as an actor". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  8. ^ "NOTA: Vijay Deverakonda nails three-page Tamil dialogues in a single take". India Today. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Vijay Deverakonda shares a pic from the sets of 'Nota' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b "'NOTA' trailer: Vijay Deverakonda plays a powerful politician - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  11. ^ "AR Murugadoss to make a cameo appearance in 'NOTA' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "Nota Review {3/5}: The political scenes are the film's strengths; in fact, its only strengths - Nota Tamil Movie Review". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  13. ^ a b "NOTA review: Subtle but hard hitting & entertaining!". Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Vijay Deverakonda releases Shot Number song from NOTA - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Sam CS creates Symphonic Magic with 150 Live Musicians for NOTA | New Movie Posters". 4 October 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Music Review: NOTA - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Vijay Deverakonda-starrer 'NOTA' likely to release on October 4 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Vijay Deverakonda's political-thriller 'NOTA' to release on October 18 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Vijay Deverakonda's NOTA set for a massive release on October 5 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  20. ^ "'Nota' overseas theatres list USA". 2 October 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Watch Nota | Prime Video". Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  22. ^ "Watch Nota (Tamil) | Prime Video". Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  23. ^ "Vijay Devarakonda's bilingual film titled 'Nota', first look poster unveiled - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Vijay Deverakonda begins his campaign for NOTA - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  25. ^ "NOTA to kick-start promotions with public meetings - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  26. ^ "NOTA Telugu Movie Review {3/5}: NOTA is a gripping political that keeps you engrossed, it shows Vijay Deverakonda's versatility as an actor". The Times of India.
  27. ^ "NOTA movie review: Vijay Devarakonda is riveting in a political drama devoid of commercial trappings- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  28. ^ ChennaiOctober 6, Janani K.; October 9, 2018UPDATED; Ist, 2018 13:25. "NOTA Movie Review: Vijay Deverakonda shines in an impractical political thriller". India Today. Retrieved 8 February 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ "Nota (aka) Notaa review". Behindwoods. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  30. ^ "Attention to details could have made NOTA a great film". Film Companion. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  31. ^ "NOTA movie review: Vijay Devarakonda is a rowdy politician in this topical drama". Hindustan Times. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  32. ^ "NOTA movie review: Too many subplots spoil Vijay Deverakonda starrer". The Indian Express. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g Hooli, Shekhar H. (9 October 2018). "NOTA box office collection: Vijay Devarakonda's film fails to live up to expectations in weekend 1". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  34. ^ a b Ravi, Murali (27 October 2018). "NOTA Closing Collections : Disaster". Tollywood. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  35. ^ Deverakonda, Vijay (9 October 2018). "Idi". @TheDeverakonda (in Hindi). Retrieved 8 February 2019.

External linksEdit