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Premam Movie Review & Ratings

By - October 07, 2016 - 11:58 AM IST

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Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Aravind Krishna, Shruti Hassan, Madonna Sebastian, Anupama Parameswaran, Chaitanya Krishna, Praveen, Srinivas Reddy, Prudhvi Raj
Banner: Sitara Entertainments
Story: Alphonse Putharen
Music: Gopi Sunder & Rajesh Murugesan
Cinematography: Karthik Ghattamaneni
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Producers: S Radhakrishna, PD Prasad & S Naga Vamshi
Director: Chandoo Mondeti

Haven’t watched Malayalam Premam? This is for you! A decent attempt & worthwatch!

Plot:

Vikram aka Vikcy is a happy-go-lucky yet deep and intense guy-next-door and this is the story of his three love stories with three girls Suma (Anupama Parameswaran), Sithara teacher (Shruti Haasan) & Sindhu (Madonna Sebastian) in his three phases of life. Every time he fell in love with a girl, fate had a twist for him. So how did Vicky grow and whom he did finally marry forms the rest of the plot.

Performances:

We admit watching Telugu Premam without the Malayalam Premam hangover was the next thing to impossible but writing the below section without comparisons..how? Ah..how I say? Anyways we’ll try!

Naga Chaitanya: He was convincing enough with his looks and performance as ‘Vicky Vathsalya’ in three age groups. Chay indeed grew as an actor and stood unique & original with this performance! (we know what you expect – Nivin Pauly was unarguably‘the best’ as George but this is Vicky my dear)

Anupama Parameshwaran: Meet Miss Suma (not Mary) and she was probably the best choice for this role – indeed a dream girl for any boy! And cheers to her dubbing in Telugu (see..we didn’t forget that!)

Shruti Haasan: Sorry.. Can we skip this name please?

Madonna Sebastian: Another key pretty girl in Vicky’s life and the way Madonna reprises her role in the original (Celine) was cool. Got her dialogues and managed to get the diction right – impressive! But we wonder why is her makeup rather overdone? (We thought she is a natural beauty)

Praveen, Chaitanya Krishna were brillaint as Vaasu & Shiva (again different from Koya & Shambu).

The rest of the cast including Srinivas Reddy, Jeeva, Narra Srinu, Brahmaji etc got roles with some meat and significance.

Two surprises are awaiting for you in the ‘Others’ section.

Shruti Haasan: Hmmm.. Her position in the film was the most challenging one and Sruthi just tried to be ‘Sithara’ teacher (half Tamil-half Marathi). But on a frank note, she couldn’t mesmerize even if ‘Malar’ is put aside for a while. Her role was indeed the heart for this remake and Shruti couldn’t help us feel proud anyway. Now the bigger question than 'Why Kattappa killed Baahubali?' is 'Why did they cast Sruthi Haasan in this role?'

Analysis:

Taking up ‘Premam’ remake should speak volumes about the guts of young director Chandoo Mondeti (of Karthikeya movie fame) and his love for challenges. Though he couldn’t recreate the magic of original Premam, it can be said that he made a commendable attempt. He once again proved that remaking is not all about CTRL C + CTRL V. He just took the essence of the original and tried to re-tell the story with the aid of the basic framework. In the place of Mary, George, Malar, Celine, Koya & Shambu, you’ve Suma, Vicky, Sithara, Sindhu, Vaasu & Shiva here. And the lone difference is that you cannot forget the former characters and you would hardly remember the latter (if you really got what we mean!)

Malayalam Premam was not only about a boy’s crush or love but indeed about the life around him and how he grew along – hence the beauty! But the Telugu version is rather a remodelled version with its share of improvisations and adaptations but largely focussed on the hero. It was trimmed, levelled, added with some situational fun and dialogues with punch, logic and (not to forget) rhyming – just like the way masses would love it.

Though slicing the story into three halves is not legitimate, to keep it straight and simple – the first love episode ?, second one ? and third track ?. While the performances and content tries to engage you all the while, you might start feeling disconnected right from Shruti Haasan’s episode (of course, we can imagine the state of Premam addicts). However, once you can get rid of Premam hangover, you can feel the merit of Chandoo Mondeti’s efforts to make some difference – especially some elements like modification of Suma (Mary) episode, Akhil reference, trimming of Kantha Rao Sir (Mava lecturer) episode, establishment of Sindhu (Celine) track, dialogues, Srinivas Reddy episode at the end etc are few fine examples.

Having said all the above, the storyteller (as we would prefer to call in this context) couldn’t do any magic (forget about recreating the magic). Perhaps because the original came from life but this remake came from the original, hence the beauty is missing! The original fruit has been peeled off, sliced and fried (to some extent) and no wonder the nutrients are lost. Besides this Karthik Ghattamaneni’s cinematography, Kotagiri Venkateswar Rao’s editing and the art direction department manage to grab a mention.

On a whole this may not be a phenomenon like the original but certainly not a lame clone! And we felt Chandoo just gave confidence to makers in attempting remakes!

Merits:

- Story and engaging screenplay

- Performances of the lead cast

- Dialogues

- Music and background score

- Cinematography and Editing

- Production design

De-merits:

- Shruti Haasan’s episode

- Treatment that is devoid of the ‘Premam’ feel.

- Lack of regular commercial elements might disappoint the masses

Music:
 
Nonetheless to say the Songs by Rajesh Murugesan and Gopi Sunder were brilliant. And the backgroundscore was largely retained (yet another obvious yet smart move). But could have got a better song in the college episode (in the place of RockanKuthu)

Others:

Cameos by Nagarjuna and Venkate share indeed pleasant surprises for the fans. But Venkys cameo was just kickass and Nag’s voice over is a key addition.

Verdict:

Telugu Premam stands apart with high on fun and low on feel. A decent watch for anyone who hasn’t watched the original. You’ll miss the butterflies & Malar for sure.

Finally classics can’t be remade but can be attempted – hence proved!

Avg User Rating - 3/5