Labels can be deceiving, especially in the times of misguided marketing. A film might arrive with the label of being a ‘youthful entertainer’, but would end up having the sensibilities of the youth from another distant era. It is thus a joy to savour when the rare film comes along exuding the tone and tenor of the then and now. In Premalu, there is no visible effort to place anything or anyone in the present; everything and everyone is just in place, as if they belong there.
One can easily draw more than one parallel line from Girish AD’s first two films, Thanneer Mathan Dinangal and Super Sharanya, to his latest film Premalu. For instance, there is the down and out, low on confidence protagonist. Sachin (Naslen) of Premalu will certainly find a kindred spirit in Jaison from Thanneer Mathan… or Sharanya. All three are yearning for love, but it all seems doomed right from the beginning. Even the antagonist whose serious antics are designed to draw laughs gets repeated here in the form of Aadhi (Shyam Mohan). Reenu (Mamitha Baiju), the feisty IT professional whom Sachin, the jobless engineer, is wooing is perhaps one of the few characters to not have a parallel.
Director: Girish AD
Cast: Naslen K. Gafoor, Mamitha Baiju, Sangeetha Prathap, Akhila Bhargavan, Shyam Mohan
Duration: 156 minutes
Storyline: Sachin, a jobless engineer, falls in love with Reenu, an IT professional, but it is not going to be an easy journey for him to win her heart
Yet, even with all these obvious elements from his previous films, freshness is the one thing that Girish’s latest film does not lack. It is not achieved just with the setting, but in how differently he treats almost the same story every time. As for the setting, it has moved from school life in the first film to college days in the second, to now to the life of young adults easing into their first jobs or desperately trying their luck to land one and discovering the recently-attained independence of being away from home. Along with the parallels, there exists a continuum in his filmography.
A lot of work has gone into the script, co-written by Girish and Kiran Josy, into ensuring that there is no dull moment and they do succeed to a large extent, thanks in no small measure to the sparkling chemistry between Sachin and Reenu, as well as between Sachin and his constant companion Amal Davis (Sangeeth Prathap), who is a key element in all the situational humour that the movie constantly throws up.
At 156 minutes, Premalu is longer than the average film these days, but it justifies that duration with its engaging narration, even when we are sure of how it will all turn out in the end. The feverish pace set early on never slackens, with scenes shifting constantly and rhythmically, and Vishnu Vijay’s music complementing it all. Naslen, Mamitha as well as much of the young cast fit into their roles organically.
Though Thanneer Mathan.. was quite a winning debut for Girish, Super Sharanya was only half as satisfying. He has upped the game in his third outing, as Premalu is a winner with its fresh, humorous treatment of a run-of-the-mill story.
Premalu is currently running in theatres