Right from the opening credits which quotes Quentin Tarantino: “I steal from every movie made” to the unusual dedication where the director thanks his girlfriends, “especially the last one”, Neram promises a fun ride.
A business tycoon in the US loses his business and his wife – after an episode of flatulence – and then it follows that software engineer Vetri (Nivin Pauly) loses his job.
Vetri is now forced to borrow money from Vetti Raja, a real Shylock who will go to any length to get back his pound of flesh. Vetti Raja fixes a time limit within which to return the loan or else face dire consequences.
When the day of repayment dawns, Vettri is still unemployed and has no money to clear the loan. His deadline will expire at 5pm and the clock is ticking away. Adding to his woes is his childhood sweetheart Veni’s (Nazriya Nazim) father who refuses to allow his daughter to marry an unemployed Vetri. He’s really up against time when the money that his friend John arranges for him gets stolen.
Filmed based around the events of this one day, Puthren narrates his story in a non-linear way, taking viewers through hilarious moments and thrills. With tongue in cheek humour, lines and characters remind you of people around you, (Manickam, for example, who prefers to converse in English and be known as ‘Manick’).
Puthren’s heroine Veni is a mature girl, who does not buckle under difficult circumstances and is a great support to Vetri.
Actor Nivin as the boy next door comes out a winner. Nazriya’s cute expressions impress. Nasser, makes a brief appearance in the second half slipping into his character with the ease of a veteran. Thambi Ramiah as Veni’s father and John Vijay as a cop perform well too.
Walking away with the honours is Simhaa as the much despised Vetti Raja. We last saw this newcomer in Nalan Kumarasamy’s Soodhu Kavvum, where he played a Nayanthara fan, timid and unsure of himself. This role, clearly a contrast to that taps the performer in Simhaa.
Puthren joins the league of a growing number of young directors in Tamil and Malayalam who are making a mark with their fresh ideas and novel presentation. Neram is a delightful way to while away time. Don’t miss it.