30 May 2015 | TejasNair
A Visually Appealing Chronicle Of Love. ♦ 71%
What do we talk about when we talk about love? One can expect a detailed answer from Alphonse Putharen's visually stunning second feature aptly titled Premam.
Nivin Pauly plays the ubiquitous lover George whose eventful life, from the age of 17 to when he grows into an adult, is what basically the film talks about. Other than his supportive and hugely carefree friends, there are 3 to 5 characters that play pivotal roles in his life. I will abstain from mentioning who and what they are because I think the makers purposely avoided publishing a trailer or showing them in the colorful posters. George is shamefully flirtatious and we, as an audience, almost empathize for him towards the end. Because he is one man greatly affected by love, and all that comes with it.
It starts by showing the rawness of the college-school scene that is prevalent in Kerala, where lungi-clad boys await their chosen girls to come out of their protective dens just so they can blow a whistle or pass that atrociously written love letter. Brilliance is the only word that can be used to describe the exceptional writing that introduces us into the film, hinting at what would be a long journey, in parts. The parlance, the neighborhood (Aluva Puzha, et al), the country behavior, and the relatability factor is so deliciously palatable. You will be swooned over by the photography and the inventive camera work, which reminds us about the creative person at the helm.
There is an ocean of humor with great timing that will definitely bowl you over. The small talks, those rejection slurs, those native semi-expletives, and wonderful situational comedy are what many sequences of the film made of. The textual graphics and arresting rock music will first intimidate you, and then numb your senses as you stay hypnotized in your seat.
Pauly has grown glamorous and confident since his Malarvadi Club days and with this, he has really included himself in the top actors currently working in Malayalam cinema. I could even say he surpasses Fahadh Faasil in terms of character portrayal because he is just too damn good. The supporting cast is equally competent, including the débutantes.
Great sound mixing, great editing, great music, great direction, great art setup, great everything, unless one starts to wonder about the story's movement. 3 songs stuffed in the first 40 minutes points to the most dangerous fact about the film, which is the absence of a measurable story. The second half blows a little, but soon picks up. The story, told in three parts, is a linear outline of a 5-second account of George's life, and thus, looks stretched. Of course, it manages to salvage the problem with a good climax that is followed by Putharen's remarkable crediting style.
Yes, when we talk about love, we usually talk about a bed of roses. But, Premam as a film that talks about the proposals, the rejection, the anticipation, the competition, the tragedy, the happiness, and the pleasure that is derived out of a sweet thing called love. The writing is immensely powerful if one manages to stay hooked, which the filmmaking factors do ensure.
It is definitely a watchable film that will brighten you up, but won't change anything. Because people still believe that love is calculated, when it is usually just random.
BOTTOM LINE: Premam is a kaleidoscopic narrative of a man's life as he goes on a wide search for love, which is sure to make even the most serious man laugh like a drain. Recommended!
RATING: 7 stars out of 10. 2015's best film yet.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES