Retro Review - We present the reviews of some of the films that offer great cinematic experience as if they are released now (currently). We present the content in such a way that we have just come out of the theater and penned out our thoughts fresh. You can enjoy the reviews and relive the moments in a different way. And try to watch the films like they're new, once again.
Today's pick is the musical, coming of age, romantic blockbuster from Mollywood Premam.
Director - Alphonse Puthren
Producer - Anwar Rasheed
Music - Rajesh Murugesan
Cast - Nivin Pauly, Sai Pallavi, Madonna Sebastian, Anupama Parameswaran, Shabareesh Varma, Krishna Shankar
Alphonse Puthren's Premam is a film for all with ample dose of comedy, cute romance, breezy music, interesting plot and is packaged as a complete crowd-pleaser. It has all the elements which has fallen in the right place in the right amount. The director has elevated himself to a higher platform with his ability.
Premam takes us through the most interesting and eventful phases of one's life - high school days, college days and late 20s. The film introduces us to George (Nivin Pauly) and his close buddies Shambu (Shabareesh Varma) and Koya (Krishna Shankar) who are his partners in crime. The film makes the audience a part of their daily conversations and life. Such was the realistic feeling the film gave. The three high school students, their tiny pranks, George's infatuation towards the local beauty, Mary (Anupama) make us reminisce the innocent period of 'first love' of one's life. Mary reveals about her relationship with another George and our hero George is left heart-broken but dusts off his feelings and moves ahead.
Enter the three boys into college. The thug look and mannerisms earned the three a cult following among the youth. The black shirt, mundu (dhoti) and dark sun glasses became a fashion trend of most of the young men. Their disinterest towards academics, the ruckus they create in college and their total indifference to their fellow classmates and professors does not offend you as it is camouflaged by the deep close knit bond the trio share that we begin to observe how the friends stand with each through the thick and thin rather than how wayward their college life is.
Enter the calm, composed and beautiful guest lecturer Malar (Sai Pallavi) who the trio mistakes for a fresher and rags her. George falls for the lecturer and she reciprocates his love. Their romance is one of the most beautifully portrayed emotion in recent times. Without any intimate scenes or unnecessary duets (the chartbuster Malare- not the typical duet though), we fall in love with the pair. Malar has also won the heart of another lecturer Bimal sir who seeks advice from PT sir to open up his feelings for Malar. The romance of George and Malar is short-lived as Malar loses her memory in an accident during one of her trips to her hometown and fails to recognize the brooding Romeo - George. Again, our George dusts off his romantic feelings and moves on.
Enter the responsible George, who is now the owner of a high-end pastry and cafe. Again, he falls for one of his customers Celine (Madonna), with whom a sudden spark lit up. But, he is miffed to know that she is already engaged to Rony. Once Celine's marriage with Rony is called off due to his cocaine addiction, George wins her as his wife.
Nivin Pauly as George is out of the world and his effortless performance - be it the lover pining for his lady or the thug he turns into while bashing up his college mates and later Rony, Nivin exudes charisma. As a lover, his eyes ooze unadulterated love for Malar and later for Celine. His friends complement his show and play the perfect friends to the hero. Anupama and Madonna look beautiful in their small roles. Vinay Forrt as Bimal and Soubin Shahir as PT sir are sheer joy to watch with their subtle humor. But, the show-stealer is Sai Pallavi who went on to win the hearts of not only George but the entire audience of South India. Be it her cute smile, her rockstar performance when she teaches dance to the hero's gang for their college fest or as a lover, Sai Pallavi is elegance and beauty personified. No wonder, people still love her as Malar Miss.
Premam would not have been as enjoyable as it is now without music. The iconic Malare or the peppy Aluva Puzha or the rustic Kalippu and many different situation songs gel well with the mood of the film. Kudos to the composer Rajesh Murugesan for giving the best album of recent times. The film has a song for all moods. Cinematography is another highlight capturing the best frames both indoors and outdoors.
Alphonse Puthren has understood the pulse of the audience and has placed himself atop the pedestal of efficient filmmakers. He has tapped a theme that a majority of the audience can relate to - young days, romance, heart- break and memories. He has elevated himself to a higher platform with his subtle attention to detail.
The almost three hour film has not one scene that distracts you. The spell-binding performance of all the pivotal characters that you will be surprised to know that the film has 17 debut actors in vital roles. The main takeaway from the film is the fond memories that fails to leave you and does not wither away by passing time. The songs, though trespass most of the time, do not affect the flow of this refreshingly lovely film.
A film that is fresh and brand new despite multiple viewings - a cinematic gem that ought not to be missed.
Highly recommended - 4/5 rating
Mollywood's Premam and Kollywood's 96 are both romantic musical dramas that went on to win over audience from multiple languages. Though both films were high on romance, what is particularly notable about both is how the lead actors handle romance in a matured manner. Both the films which are high on emotions make the audience root for the protagonists. Despite the difference in ages of the protagonists of Premam and 96, there is an innate maturity in how the actors deal with their romantic feelings. The display of subdued performance when their love brims or the pain when there is a separation are skillfully captured. Such moments are what makes these films captivating and endearing.