Kerala

Premam is in the air

Neram , Alphonse Puthran’s debut movie, announced the arrival of a filmmaker with a spark.

But with Premam , his second outing with Nivin Pauly, the young director has literally lighted a fireball, which is on a roll right now consuming the mind space of Malayali audience as never before in over a decade.

Scenes, which were believed to have been relegated to sepia-tinted memories of Malayalam cinema in its pomp, are being played out in movie houses across the State. Youngsters are literally mobbing theatres, cash registers are ringing without stop, theatre owners are being pressured into squeezing in an extra show, and even recommendations are being made for tickets.

The movie seems well on the expressway to becoming a cult, which is extraordinary considering that it broke all conventions and was released without the now standard teasers and trailer to prop it up.

“The movie would have earned a gross of about Rs. 5 crore in a week of its release, with a distributor share close to Rs. 3 crore. What’s really unique about the movie is that it’s having a repeat second show at midnight in many cinemas to manage the huge rush something unheard of in Mollywood for long,” said P. V. Basheer Ahamed, president of the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation, the combine of ‘A’ class cinemas in the State.

Nearly three-fourth of the release centres is having five screenings of the movie daily. Many theatres, which started with the usual three shows, were forced to increase the screenings as footfalls grew. “People are braving the rains and even travelling to nearby districts to watch the film,” Mr. Basheer said. He recollects that a similar euphoria was last seen when Mohanlal-starrer Narasimham hit theatres in 2000.

Siyad Kokker, president of the Kerala Film Distributor’s Association, said that the well-packaged light hearted romantic flick offers a lesson to the Malayalam film industry reeling under a series of flops. “It has the right mix of entertainment. The makers have the pulse of the audience,” he said.

It’s the youngsters who walked in thousands in to the cinemas to watch the film initially. Then as they spread unmatched word of mouth publicity, it drew in families in droves as well despite schools having already reopened.



Delivering hits



As Premam is threatening to break box office records, Anwar Rasheed is proving to be the man with the Midas touch in Malayalam cinema. Yet again.

He may be better known as one of the more talented directors in the younger generation, but he is also the producer of the Nivin Pauly starrer, which is attracting audiences the way very few Malayalam films of recent times have.

This is his second film as a producer; the first one, Bangalore Days , became one of the highest grosser ever in Malayalam. Premam could end up doing even better.

G. Krishnakumar

and P.K. Ajith Kumar





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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 2:59:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/premam-is-in-the-air/article7290979.ece

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