In an air of wit, one of my friends told me – “Kerala is now divided, amongst people who have seen and people who have not seen the massively proclaimed epic – PREMAM”.
After sitting pretty on the latter side for too long (read 2 weeks post release), I decided to take the plunge. The mass reviews, the birth of a superstar, thundering applause, celebrity comments and the Facebook reviews had set the expectations flying sky high.
One evening, my wife and I sat hand in hand, expecting to be showered with love from the screen in front of us. And we witnessed an epic (or did we?).
Let me take the liberty to divide Kerala with one additional cut. People who liked and people who did not like the movie Premam. While the latter seems a rarity, there is a reason if they didn’t.
All of you who are born in the 80’s will relate to the protagonist. The times of the land-line, caller ID, cycle rides, music from the TV (Chitrahaar), a face to face confrontation with the girl you love, and the undying spirit to help the girl you love (irrespective of who she loves).
Moving on, who hasn’t had a crush on one of your teachers? Not for her looks, but for the way she called out your name. Many of us have. However, beyond all that, there was a hero whom we loved and adored. Every girl wished she had a brother like him, every woman wished for a man who could take care of her like him. Every day, in some way or the other, we kept imitating his boldness. The gigantic person who defined machismo in Malayalam cinema. Yes, our very own – “Lalettan”. Who can forget his thick grown mustache and the twist before every heroic act? Even during the time jeans and cotton trousers were gaining popularity, there were a few of us who started wearing a dhoti, just to fold them, tie them, and not to mention the mustache we grew just to twist them up. I would say, Premam struck gold right there, showing us, what we all once did or aspired to do.
Last but not the least, we all fall in love instantly. I fell in love with my wife instantly. Yes, all of us do- at some point or the other. To add fuel to fire, if the girl in question also happens to shake up some nostalgic memories, then there is no looking back. We just go get her. Exactly what the protagonist did.
No qualms there. The movie shows exactly what we want to see. We relate to every scene. Like a puzzle, we match the friends in the movie to the ones we had. We all wonder if the movie is lifted from our lives. And interestingly, it is. Lifted, right from our heart.
Every perception is a contest. A contest – for and against.
Just imagine this. A girl knows how much a boy loves her. He escorts her daily – all the way from school to her house. Smiles at her, calls her on her land-line, braves her father, and almost wins her heart. Just then, all of a sudden, ignoring the tatters his heart would be in, she confides in him, to help her in a relationship with another guy. Are girls so heartless? I don’t know (Or do I?).
Teachers! Now, what do I say? Many of us have had a crush on our teachers (let’s conveniently ignore the world “love” here and call it “crush”). But, but, but, how many of our teachers have had a crush on their students? I know not. Enlighten me. The sanctity of a teacher-student relationship is questioned here.
Finally, a girl, bold enough to break her marriage on the groom’s comment on her make-up, is justified. She is the empowerment that Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly trying to convey in an hour long conversation with Arnab Goswami. However, what does not empower her any further is a flimsy heart that falls for a guy, who smiles at her in a cake shop and later helps her in choosing a shirt for her brother. Especially after a broken marriage, is it really fine to go by a man, whom you hardly know? Where is her character? Where is her individuality? For people unlike me, where one meeting is not enough, this stings.
All said and done. The cash registers are rolling endlessly, surpassing every known record of Malayalam cinema. Reminding us once again that the majority of us, still love to see ourselves on screen. Not the new generation WE – who speak less, think practically and talk intelligently. But the WE, who speaks our heart out to our friends, think from our heart and talk nonsense with perfect knowledge that it’s nothing but complete shit!