Premam is obviously a love story, as the title suggests. Written and directed by Alphonse Puthran, viewers are treated to not just one love story but three within one film.
Premam traces the life of George (Nivin Pauly), beginning in his teens when he falls in love with Mary (Anupama Parameswaran), and how he pursues her to give her a love letter. This phase will connect with the young generation and take others down a nostalgic road of love and heart-break.
George faces his first rejection when Mary introduces him to her lover and even seeks his assistance to keep her father at bay.
In college, George falls in love again, this time with Malar, (Sai Pallavi) a young lecturer, who reprimands him on her first day at college.
George is unlucky in love again.
George is in his thirties and managing a cake business when he meets Celine (Madonna Sebastian). Celine happens to be the little girl from the neighbourhood who accompanied Mary to school. Is she the woman meant to be in his life?
Puthran’s signature style is visible from the minute the curtains rise and the credits roll. You are reminded of his debut film, Neram, and the expectations for a good evening soar.
Puthran’s unconventional style of narration and the freshness in the humour that abounds throughout is amusing.
Pauly does a brilliant job. He transforms himself completely, going through each phase perfectly. Undoubtedly, Premam rests on Pauly’s shoulders. From a giddy teenager to a tough student to finally emerging as a mature and responsible man, Pauly has packed in quite a punch.
Vinay Fort plays a lecturer who is besotted with Malar. His scenes with Soubin Sahir as the PT instructor are a roar.
Several newcomers that have been brought on are a talented bunch. Krishna Shankar and Shabareesh Varma as George’s close buddies lend the right support to Pauly. Their on-screen chemistry rocks.
New find Parameswaran has few lines to deliver and conveys mostly through her eyes and her smile. Her curly locks give her a distinctive and attractive look.
On the other hand, Malar is talkative and brimming with energy with a smile always playing on her lips. Pallai on debut steals the thunder. There is a positive air about Malar, and Pallavi’s natural performance enriches the beauty of her character.
Sebastian as the third woman in George’s life is another talent to watch out for. Don’t miss Puthran making a guest appearance as Roney, Celine’s groom.
Cinematographer Anand C Chandran’s camera captures beautifully the small town ambience as well as the classy interiors of George’s restaurant.
Premam is a fun film, a simple love story of the boy next door, like its tagline that reads “nothing extraordinary in it”.
However Premam stretches a tad too long, often indulging in itself, especially in the second half and with many unfunny jokes. It called for better editing. By the way, why bring Malar back just when all seems to be going well?