Abishek Raaja



An extensive take on Alphonse Putharen's Premam


It was all hazy and blue but I was blank and cool. The love in me was waiting to explode, came to the brim, then I realized I was almost walking to the most attractive girl in the cinema hall to propose. Until I witnessed Premam, romanticism and love were the most uninteresting areas of discussion for me. I found it fake and overrated. I stand corrected. Alphonse Putharen cheta is my love guru. I’m his Ekalavyan.

The butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. Premam is a series of love-glitches an individual experiences in his life, before he gets hitched. When there is so much to do in life, what does that feeling of liking somebody, of feeling special when he/she smiles back and of being approved, does to you personally. Why do you become a loner, why do you all of a sudden prefer pathos in life and why are you looking into the mirror quite often? May be that’s love?

When enough has been said on the particular through folklore, poems, songs, stories and films, what does Premam has to offer? Prefer to be the fish and go with the flow. Love is a cycle that takes you around life in a circle. You technically begin and end at the same place. From a puppy to a dog at the corner of the street to a companion for life, love repeats in different tenacities and magnitudes. Some scientist friend of mine once quoted that, you secrete the same set of hormones when you are mentally ill and when you are immersed in love. No wonder the saying is, “I am madly in love’’.

When you forget you are witnessing an audio-visual projection and get involved with a director’s narration, that’s when a story takes over the format called film and manipulates you. Alphonse has succeeded in utilizing the best of his craft to ablate our minds and hearts. If something can put a smile on my face when I think about my Ex. ‘Girlfriends’ and make me laugh at myself for being stupid, then it’s Premam. You can’t levy force on the life you live. You don’t have a choice but to be a mere spectator and respond to what happens. You think, blush and fall in love with one of the heroines.

In Premam, the cinematography, the cuts, the dialogues, the music and the performances all mix together like a secret formula that can never be remade. Film-making as a process becomes a picnic spot when you collaborate with the most comfortable people on earth. Team Neram unite again for a different intention this time. With the camera floating around, characters at their natural best, musical element comprehending every little emotion and Putharen’s edit patterns in cohesion with the core story, Premam is an ecstasy. The dialogue-driven film is comically treated and I could see Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino and of course Alphonse in a league of his own. Nivin Pauly and his histrionics of playing a George is a lifetime performance just because of the twitching of his moustache. Alphonse can be the best marriage-assembler if he decides to take up an alternate career opportunity. His eye for casting female artists can inspire any newly-wed couple. With no gaudy costumes, pimple removing makeup and artificial sets, Premam is a realistic take of a dramatized/fun-filled/engaging travel of a character from a clean shaven school pass-out to a bearded brat in college to a well-groomed baker at a cafe.

The girl power in Premam is no less. All the three girls are the types where you can instantly just start liking them. Sai Pallavi, of the three, will probably be the most wanted. Her naive looks and the jaw-dropping dance moves made me Google her the same night. They are the conflict creating factors in the film. Nivin and his encounters with the girls is what Premam is all about. The relative theory, the butterfly effect, the sophistically positioned twists and surprises in the film show the calibre of the maker.

With no set pattern to the screenplay, the scenes are stitched together by the director’s imagination about how and where the central character goes. It is okay to be taken for granted and it is okay to learn life the hard way. What you get out of life before your marriage is from the collective learning through the girls you’ve fallen for. Violence is also spared and music director Rajesh’s nuances add the grit to the visuals. Over-exposed and unusual shot-divisions from DoP Anand coincide with Putharen’s cut-to randomness and save the film from being monotonous. Each scene has a high-point and smooth landing. Without a spoiler, I’m having a tough time expressing my love for Premam.

Post Premam - You will want to be loved. Simple. Period.

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