The movie revolves around Dr. Ajay "AJ" Kumar (Siddharth) who comes to Chennai (Hydrabad in the Telugu version) and introduces himself as Mano. He rents a house owned by elderly couple S.V.S Murthy (T. S. B. K. Moulee) and Jayam (Geetha). A do-gooder, Ajay lives life with a purpose. He gets along with everyone and wins the hearts of those whom he is close with. D. "Vidya" Vidyalakshmi (Nithya Menen), a newspaper photo journalist gets acquainted with him. Ajay is the sort of person who finds satisfaction in helping others. He sponsors the education of street children with the help of Vidhya who is attracted by his good nature. Things take a turn when she tells him about her feelings. Ajay, without informing her, decides to leave the city.
Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal that Ajay was a doctor in San Francisco and meets to Renuka "Renu" Narayanan (Priya Anand), an interior designer. They get married only to be told months later, that Ajay has Pancreatic cancer and he has about six months left - hence the title 180 (180 days). As Ajay is about to leave Chennai, Vidya meets with an accident and has to be operated upon immediately. Ajay takes Vidya to San Francisco for treatment. While in the San Francisco,he meets his friend,RJ "Sam" Sambasivam (Sricharan) who asks him to meet Renu, but Ajay leaves as he sees her life happier without him. It is revealed that earlier Ajay had faked his death to make Renu believe that he had died so that she would not suffer thinking about him every day. Now seeing her content, he decides not to meet Renu. He misses his flight to India and goes to Brazil instead. Now in Rio de Janeiro, he goes by the name Jose. He is seen playing football waiting for his death.Siddharth as Dr Ajay "AJ" Kumar aka Mano and José, a doctor in San Francisco, he goes by the name Mano when he visits Chennai (Tamil)/Hydrabad (Telugu) and by José in Rio de Janeiro.
Priya Anand as Renuka "Renu" Narayanan, an interior designer in San Francisco, both she and AJ met at his hospital and shortly after that they got married.
Nithya Menen as D. "Vidya" Vidyalakshmi, a photojournalist in Chennai (Tamil)/Hydrabad (Telugu), she meets Mano when he visits India.
T. S. B. K. Moulee as S. V. S. Murthy
Geetha as Jayam
Sricharan as RJ "Sam" Sambasivam, a Radio Jockey in San Francisco, he is also Ajay's friend.
Misha Ghoshal as Julie, Vidya's friend and roommate in Chennai (Tamil)/Hydrabad (Telugu).
Tanikella Bharani as Narayanan, Renu's father.
Lakshmi Ramakrishnan as Ajay's mother.
Janaki Sabesh as Annalakshmi (Tamil)/ Annapurna (Telugu), Renu's mother.
M. S. Narayana as Vidya's boss in Chennai (Tamil)/Hyderabad (Telugu).
Cees Van Toledo
The soundtrack for 180 was composed by Malayalam composer Sharreth. The film was his third project in Tamil (after Magic Magic 3D and June R) and second project in Telugu (after Kalavaramaye Madilo). The Tamil version of the soundtrack was released on 14 April 2011, coinciding with Tamil New Year, at Sathyam Cinemas, with noted film director Mani Ratnam, cinematographer P. C. Sreeram being present along with actors Arya, Jayam Ravi and Shiva and the entire film crew of 180. On 7 May 2011, the album was released in Telugu. The album consists of 7 tracks, primarily performed by Malayalam playback singers.
As an interesting experiment, the music studio had launched an e-store, where the tracks could be purchased for the price you quote. This is a new concept for Indian Music industry.
All lyrics written by Madhan Karky (Tamil, except where noted).
The soundtrack received positive reviews. Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff gave the album a score of three stars out of five and quoted "Sharreth seems to be a music composer who doesn't play by the rules; he veers this way and that in his songs, which actually provides spice and makes for an interesting listening experience. Nee Korinal and AJ make for pleasant listens, while the rest offer something out of the ordinary. Go for it". Behindwoods.com gave a rating of three and a half stars out of five and said that the album was "Novel and worth listening to", further citing: "The music arrangement is again different. Very situational, with right visuals, the song has good chances of making it big. Overall, Sharreth and Jayendra have gone full throttle in experimenting with music in 180's album. Such initiatives should be welcomed with both hands". Indiaglitz said: "The songs are new, refreshing and nice to listen to. Sharreth has ensured that he delivers with different sound, apparently to reach the target audience - the youngsters. Jayendra seems to have extracted what he wanted to from the music composer. The lyrics too are simple and catchy. A blend of new and seasoned singers gives solidity to the songs".
The Tamil version opened to mixed critical response. Behindwoods.com gave two and a half out of five, claiming the film had "great visuals, wonderful colors, weak screenplay" further citing that "one gets a feeling that the screenplay, especially in second half might be the weakest link". CNN-IBN rated it two and a half, claiming that "Jayendra has made a stylish film using the essentials of an ad film" and that the film had come out as a "finely made film with some good performances without novelty or the gripping element". Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff also gave two and a half out of five, concluding: "180 is a visual feast, no doubt about it. Sadly it falls prey to clichés and lagging pace". Sify.com noted the film was totally different from the "assembly line mass masalas that is flooding the screens" and "worth a look for its superior packaging with a touch of class". Karthik Subramaniam from The Hindu criticized that the film lacked is in its screenplay and narration, that the story failed to engage and that the pace was slow. He summarized that the film felt like a "present with more attention paid to the wrapper than what's inside". N. Venkateswaran from The Times of India gave two and a half stars out of five and said "The weakest link in the story/screenplay (by Jayendra and Subha) is the character of Dr Ajay Kumar – though he is shown to be a highly educated doctor, he loses the plot when he finds out that is suffering from pancreatic cancer". However, Rohit Ramachandran of Nowrunning.com rated it four out of five stars, stating that there was not "a flash of brilliance in Nootrenbadhu but instead, a big heart and an empathetic soul giving it honesty, meaning and eloquence", further citing it had "both high and low spirits but it tugs at your emotional chords mainly in the second half". He also hailed it as the best film of 2011.
The Telugu version received mostly negative response. Idlebrain.com gave three out of five and stated that the plus points of the film were "casting and technical aspects (cinematography, music and post-production). On the flip side, the narration of the film is very slow and the last half-an-hour of the film is a bit confusing". Daily News and Analysis gave one and a half and said: "180 feels like there was an explosion at the sob story factory and little pieces from dozens of different films were jammed together into one dreadful mutant. The whole terminal illness melodrama attacks your chest so relentlessly, that by the time it's over you’re forced to beg for a defibrillator".
The film collected ₹ 8 million in Chennai in the first three days with theaters reporting around 90% occupancy. After two weeks, it collected ₹ 12 million with occupancy going up to 90%.