The saga of small moments
If you are looking for a movie with heavy romantic one-liners and a dramatic, over the top plot then this isn’t the movie for you. Premam the movie is how Premam the emotion should ideally be, plausible and real. The movie follows George David during various stages of his love life from his adolescence; his relationships with three women, Mary, Malar, and Celine. The narrative might remind us of Autograph, a similar story of a man through different phases of his life; however the similarity ends there. Premam, unlike Autograph, for the most part, is light and breezy. Even the few twists in the plot aren’t dramatic; the story flows unassumingly and that is why it clicks.
Subtlety is the prevailing trait of the movie and the script. One look at your phone and you might miss an important line in the movie, especially for Non-Malayalis. The most important moments in the film aren’t pictured through long cheesy monologues rather are conveyed through understated moments. Take the scene where Mary (Anupama Chandrasekar) asks George to help her boyfriend (whose name is also George) make calls to her. George’s hopes are snuffed before he could make a move and that too with tangible nonchalance. Similarly, the entire relationship between Malar and George, in fact, lies in the subtext; the conversation between Malar and Arivu at George’s reception being an example. There is no explicit acknowledgement of the good and the bad, but we get the gist. This scope for interpretation which the screenplay gives is one more reason the movie holds the attention of the audience despite a simple, straight forward plot.
The movie is a bit long, but one doesn’t notice the length especially when it is backed with strong performances. The characters look natural on screen, especially malar. It is a bold decision for the director and the actress to appear on screen devoid of makeup but it works. Imperfections on screen make cinema more representative of actual life; nobody walks around with layers of makeup all the time. The viewer realizes the fact that perfection on screen isn’t mandatory anymore and that is a milestone in the evolution of cinema.
Exemplary cinematography and good music; the movie is a classic example of the current crop of Malayalam movies which rely on the execution rather than the plot. Such treatment of usual stories is fresh making us look out for directors like Alphonse Putharen. To sum up, if you are in the mood for a feel good, nothing really happens but yet it’s engaging kind of movie, Premam is definitely your pick of the week.