For cineastes who have breathed and lived cinema all their life, who animatedly discuss all things filmy while sitting huddled in the tiny tea stalls of Chennai, this is a dream-come-true moment. Many of them make their entry to tinseltown through Neram, the bi-lingual movie starring Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazreen, the Malayalam version of which will hit the theatres this Friday. And, the director Alphonse Puthren, as excited as his young bunch of cast and crew, says, “We developed the story of this film three years back, therefore it is the outcome of strenuous effort by a group of like-minded people.”
While this is his directorial debut, Alphonse is not exactly a newbie to showbiz, as he began his career as an assistant cinematographer through the Vinayan movie, Boyfriend. The man who has some short films to his credit, got noticed for the music video album Yuvv which was released last year. The album starred the pair of Nivin and Nazriya, and their chemistry was palpable. However, the director clarifies that the film does not toe the line of the album. “Neram is a ‘dark comedy’ that has all the quintessential elements including joy, sorrow, mirth, and anger. It unravels the life of an unemployed IT engineer who run up debts to marry off his sister,” says Alphonse.
Nivin plays the role of the jobless youth Mathew and Nazriya plays Jeena, his employed girlfriend.
Alphonse, who completed his film education from S A E College, Chennai, has been living in Mandaveli in Chennai for five years, and much of the film has been shot in the area. He says, “Neram is a recollection of my own experiences and those of some others I know. My struggles while chasing the dream of success in the cine world have also influenced me while helming it.”
The film has a rather engaging catchline which is sure to draw attention. It has been labelled as ‘the first film in the world without any novelty.’ In an age where no efforts are spared to sell every other movie as ‘different’ and ‘full of novelty,’ this is certainly a new trend. “The film does not belong to any genre. I have made it in an experimental fashion,” explains the director.
Manoj K Jayan, Lalu Alex, Shammi Thilakan S V Krishna Shankar, Wilson Joseph and Deepak Nathan are the other actors in the Malayalam version.
Rajesh Murugesan is the music director of the film. A promo song, titled Pistah: The Run Anthem, the lyrics of which have been taken from the 1983 Sathyan Anthikkad film Kinnaram featuring Jagathy Sreekumar, is already making waves. It has been sung by Shabareesh Varma and S V Krishna Shankar. The Tamil version of the film will be released at the end of this month.