With the release of a healthy family movie like Nandanam, one gets a feeling that hopefully Malayalam films are slowly coming back to the old footage. Nandanam is one such movie that seals that feeling, it is a simple love story bordered on fantasy but handled really well by director Ranjith.
The story revolves around the young Balamani (Navya Nair) an orphan who comes to Guruvayur to work as a servant maid in a big 'tharavadu' (ancestral house) near the Guruvayur temple. All she yearns is for a 'darshan' of Lord Krishna. But some how she never makes it to the temple, although she could daily hear the sound of the poojas, bhajans and the crowd from the temple while doing her chores. She shares her sorrows and worries with the picture of the idol kept in her room. Her employer is an old lady Unniamma (Kaviyoor Ponnamma) and besides her, three other old ladies live in the house.
Balamani has a dream of marrying a man of high stature. She feels this is what her Lord has in store for her and she starts believing in her dream. Likewise, when Unniamma's only grandson Manu (Prithviraj) arrives to spend a few days with his grandmother before going abroad to pursue his studies. Balamani realises that he is the man of her dreams. Both of them are drawn towards each other and soon fall in love despite Balamani's reservations about their difference in status. Unfortunately, their happiness does not last long as Thangam (Revathy), Manu's mom fixes his wedding with her friend's daughter and it is too late when Manu confesses his love to his mom.
Manu and Balamani decide to part ways not to hurt his mother's feelings. Balamani finds it really difficult to forget her dream and strives hard to hide her grief. But there is this man Unni (Aravindan) living next door who understands her feelings for Manu and constantly assures her that miracles do happen and dreams are achievable.
The simple story has been deftly handled. The director takes us on an emotional journey through the mind of the young Balamani who is in love, her insecurities, hurt, rejection, faith and happiness that anybody can relate to. It is a positive change from the super-human characters and loud dialogues that we commonly see in movis these days. The cast has given their best. The lead pair gives a wonderful performance. Debutant Prithviraj as Manu and especially Navya as the lively and young Balamani is excellent. Revathy and Kaviyoor Ponnamma as the mother and the grandmother are a delight. Jagathy Sreekumar as the fake 'Sanyasi' is hilarious.