Note: Originally written in January 2016
To get the 'not-so-good' out of the way, firstly, the heroines in the film, solve little more than the purpose of being plot pushers and dare I say it, even eye-candy to an extent. Though the performances by Madonna Sebastien, Sai Pallavi and Anupama Parameshwaran are ample, they fail to evoke a quality in their characters that feels grounded in reality. But I do see promise with each of these actors as they make denser movies with more character to bite. I say that because, the movie itself, secondly for my 'not-so-good' things, doesn't chew a lot in terms of depth in emotion or character development.
Premam majorly seems content with one objective. To explore, and celebrate the probably superficial yet definitely jubilant tryst of a guy falling head over heels for girls, at several stages of his formative life. If you've been through these phases in life, you'd surely recognize the exuberant joy, the fantastic enthusiasm, the adrenaline rush, and the pulsating pain involved. Premam is a suave, stylistic and thorough ode to this zesty infatuation a guy has for a girl. Writer-Director Alphonse Putharen, also in a Tarantino-esque cameo, employs himself thoroughly to this ode. I invoke Tarantino because, in terms of stylization and attention to environmental detail, if a young Tarantino had actually made a rom-com, this is how it would look.
This tale of fervors is insanely littered with little details, quirks and subtextual humor. For instance, the cafe that the lead runs towards the end of the film is called 'Agape', which is Greek for love, according to iMDB. Anand C. Chandran's camera quietly follows the charming narrative Alphonse takes us through. Rajesh Murugesan's rustic soundtrack comes with tremendous gusto and is given its worthy due. In recent times, I've seldom seen lip-sync songs done and blended into the overall narrative with so much appreciation for that art. Much can be said about the flick, but I have to doff my hat to Nivin Pauly's finely layered acting. He's grown so much as an actor who can anchor an entire film around him and he makes this pleasure ride all the more enjoyable.
As a teenager, trying to woo my first love (whom, I'm thankfully with, in Life), I had a great infatuation for this lady, writing her love notes, singing her songs, and putting out my most gentlemanly-flirtatious self, with the minuscule hope of winning her heart. Premam made me sit back and cherish all that naive unadulterated fun.
Read more on the film at IMDB and Letterboxd.
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