KERALA

When simplicity is the essence

Nivin Pauly in ‘Premam.’

Nivin Pauly in ‘Premam.’  

Film: Premam

Director: Alphonse Puthren

Cast: Nivin Pauly, Anupama Parameshwaran, Sai Pallavi, Madonna Sebastian

Newcomers to the film industry are known to have such a practised contempt for the normal, tried and tested storylines that they sometimes end up trying outlandish ideas which are doomed from the start.

Alphonse Puthren, on the other hand, has made it some kind of a trademark to keep it simple as far as the story thread is concerned and drawing most often from tales we are familiar with.

He even tells the audience beforehand to not step into theatres expecting a ‘war.’ His ace is in the packaging, in taking the unexplored routes through familiar terrains.

In his first film Neram , he took us through the happenings in the life of a struggling youth over the course of an eventful day.

In his second film Premam , he expands time, taking us through fifteen years in George’s (Nivin Pauly) life, from his pre-degree days to his becoming an entrepreneur.

We go through three phases of his life, when George falls and fails in love, successively, and literally grows up right in front of our eyes. Mary George (Anupama Parameshwaran), Malar (Sai Pallavi), and Celina (Madonna Sebastian) represent the three phases in George’s life — the tender school-ish phase, the angst-ridden youth phase, and the mature adult phase, though his soul is really visible only in the middle-Malar phase. The initial parts are bound to remind us of Nivin’s recent hits, with the same 1990s village milieu and the protagonist facing failure after failure with a set of lovable friends.

One thing that shines through as we watch this set of youth on screen, many of them being newcomers, is the camaraderie between them. They give out the vibes of a real-life friends circle. The strong point of Alphonse’s script is its humour, which is very organic and does not stick out as a separate track.

Be it the ‘Java’ classes by the lecturer played by Vinay Fort or the group giving random bashings to a character for all ills of society, from fuel price hike to potholes, there is an element of lightness through the film.

Rajesh Murugesan’s lyrics and music is used effectively to convey the narrative progression. For Nivin, though the character of George has shades of some of his recent roles, it is sure to bring him closer to the audience.

Alphonse Puthren’s understanding of the medium is evident and he does not appear to try hard at any point. Let us hope that he continues to make more ‘films without any difference.’

S.R. Praveen

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