Cast: Nivin Pauly
Direction: Alphonse Puthren
Producer: Anwar Rasheed
Kerals.com Rating -4/5
Alphonse Puthran had once said that one can learn anything about cinema from the internet. His latest movie ‘Premam’ suggests that the internet would not alone suffice. ‘Premam’ will sure turn out to be a superhit considering that such kind of movies (Oru Vadakkan Selfie being an example) has hit the jackpot. But for me, it was a huge let down.
Cinema is not about stringing together some incidents that one has experienced or heard about into a ‘story’. Maybe it may evoke nostalgia and empathy, but cinema has to go beyond that. ‘Premam’ does start off promisingly. We have in ‘Premam’ a school going George David (Nivin Pauly) who like most of the boys his age, tries to woo a girl named Mary (Anupama Parameshwaran). A freshness is felt in the narrative at this point, with a small town atmosphere captured brilliantly. Dingy houses, unpaved roads, dowdy classrooms – it’s a quintessential contented life of an average Malayali.
As the movie progresses on to a college going George, there is a shift as we get to see the youth transition. Girls, booze and smoke rule, and in a way valorize this. You don’t get the girl you wished for, drink till you puke, discuss about her with frieds and get her out of the system. George does all these and more. Nivin Pauly tries valiantly to put on this persona. However, a drunk Nivin looks like a bad imitation of Mohanlal’s similar roles. Another love affair which tragically doesn’t go as planned, more booze, and on to a new chapter.
By this point, you feel you have watched such a movie before, albeit narrated more efficiently. Comparisons to ‘Autograph’ are bound to happen; but then, ‘Premam’ occupies a totally different level. Being Alphonse’s second movie ‘which has nothing extraordinary in it’ as he claims, ‘Premam’ has neither anything ordinary nor anything extra-ordinary about it. By the time, we get to the end of a 2 hour 45 minute saga, the movie becomes a ‘nothing’.
Alphonse has included a lot many interesting touches here and there. Splashes of genuine humour can be caught in the movie. The antics of a teenager, a traditional looking beautiful teacher doing a break dance et al are charming. At the same time, induced humour is also rampant, as with Vinay Fort’s pitiable antics to win his lady love, a few misplaced songs with heavy slangs etc. There are around seven to eight songs in the movie, which is actually a lot. There is a song sequence for anything and everything. Some are bound to stick as with the ‘Aluva Puzha’ song. But the novelty of songs for everything soon wears off and it becomes a hindrance.
‘Premam’ would sure be Alphonse’s baby. He would have had the urge to retain every single thing he conceived. But as an editor, he has not left out or trimmed anything. A sharper editing may have been more desirable. As the movie nears its end, another avatar of Nivin is also shown. As a successful entrepreneur, George is in his third phase of love. At this point, we feel this movie is all for Nivin. And indeed it is, since all the three leading ladies have scant importance. Nivin does impress on a whole, as he gets to do what he usually does. The only thing he messes up as a drunk George.
All said and done, ‘Premam’ surely caters to the taste of the youth in general and can be enjoyed well. There were intermittent rounds of applause in the theater as the youth present, identified themselves with George’s character. The movie will surely become a hit as with ‘Neram’. As an entertainer, it is a decent outing.