Direction: Alphonse Putharen
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Anupama Parameshwaran, Sai Pallavi, Madonna Sebastian
Love is like the fragrance of a flower - you can only feel it. For some, love evokes the feeling of ‘butterflies in stomach’.
When George David (Nivin Pauly) sees Mary George (Anupama Parameshwaran) for the first time, he immediately falls head over heels for her. The catch for him was that she wouldn’t have to change her second name even after their marriage. Studying in 12th grade, George and his buddies Koya (Krishna Shankar) and Shambu (Shabareesh Varma), ‘burn the midnight oil’, not for exams but to win Mary’s love.
Set in 2000, Premam sketches the life of George and the other loony line of youngsters, who have fallen for Mary, the most charming girl in their village. Initially, it looks like George was hitting it off, but his wishes slip off the hands like a butterfly.
The movie then slowly traces George’s life through his adolescence, and into his adulthood. An impish and troublesome teen in college, he finds love in Malar (Sai Pallavi), the guest lecturer. George’s experiments with love continues, and with scenes sprinkled with music, it goes on. But, it stops all of a sudden (bad luck for George again), leaving him totally devastated.
His heart, still badly in search for true love, falls for Celine (Madonna Sebastian).
‘Premam’, Alphonse Putharen’s second outing after ‘Neram’, portrays George’s triple tryst with love. The highlight of the movie is the realistic narrative style and striking songs by Vineeth Sreenivasan and Shabareesh Varma. The music by Rajesh Murugesan is very much in sync with the pace of the movie. Nivin Pauly, who enacts three stages of a man’s life, delivers a convincing performance. Altogether, 17 new actors have debuted through the movie, and interestingly, they all have done their parts well. Alphonse Putharen, who plays a cameo in the movie, besides writing, editing and directing it, has proved his mettle with panache through ‘Premam’.
The multi-tasking do not end there as Shabareesh Varma, who wrote the lyrics and sang in the film, also acts as Shambu, George’s friend.
If you look with a cynic eye, the latter half of the movie is a tad lagging. At times, one might feel that Nivin Pauly was trying to imitate characters played by Mohanlal in the 80s and 90s (but falls short!). Also, there are deliberate attempts by Putharen to adopt the Kollywood style of storytelling. But, these are only thin jet streaks on a bright sky of pure entertainment.
The movie would have been much better, if Alphonse Putharen, as editor, had wielded the scissors more precisely to trim the 164-minute movie, especially in the second half.
‘Premam’ is a watchable flick for its realistic treatment of the plot, performance of the newcomers, wits, good songs and for Nivin Pauly (skip the overall resemblance to Cheran’s 2004 film, ‘Autograph’).