The Love Run
Everything started on 29th May, 2015. I was getting non-stop raving reviews about Premam. Nowadays, everyone with a Facebook account write reviews. I really got frustrated and my inner self told, "**a kaelambu. Padam yepdi irukunu paapom." I went to Escape Cinemas, watched the movie wearing a 'frustration filter.' I could grasp few things but left out around 90% the movie offered. After I came to my room, I felt bad about myself.
Me, being an aspiring filmmaker, how could I be manipulated by others' personal opinion about a movie. Let it be positive reviews, but how can I get frustrated? I should've ignored and watched the movie with an open mind. I didn't do that. This is not right.
I went to watch it again. I could sense a silence in me. Everything changed. The movie not only offered great characters, visuals and music, it delivered an immense amount of technical brilliance. For a general viewer, he/she might be satisfied with the entertainment quotient alone, but for people like me, who pay immense attention to details and post production works, this movie is a goldmine.
I went to the same theatre again, again, again, and again. I watched it in theatre for six times.
"Will watch it one last time," that is what I told myself and went to the theatre. :-P
I had friends trolling me for this. :-P After the movie got pulled out of theatre, I even bought the original DVD. Why I watched it multiple times? Continue reading this blog till the end. You will know.
P.S.: Continue reading by listening to 'Premam' songs and scores. You will really get into the mood.
DIRECTION: Alphonse Puthren
"Cinema is a matter of what is in the frame and what's out." - Martin Scorsese
The Director has made sure what should be kept inside the frame. Being just the second movie in his resume, the amount of work done for every aspect of the movie is to be appreciated. A very sincere effort.
Flirting with reality
Audience get involved in a movie when they begin to relate themselves with the movie. This involvement requires the onscreen characters to go through the same life instances and emotions that the audience have been through or still undergoing. Let us have a look.
The Best Buddies
Not all are lucky enough to have the same best friends right from childhood, but some do.
The 'Lime' Connection
Some things never change. That is what makes being a close friend special. They remain always the same.
This is constant for everyone. Parents have a theory. I call it 'the parental theory.'"Whether you are good at studies or not, you must go to tuition." A stupid theory by the way.
A tea shop.
Guys waiting for girls to come out. Following one's crush. Friends encouraging the poor fellow to propose. You know the deal.
I bet there is not a single guy who hasn't made this call. If one hasn't, then he has missed one of the best adrenaline rush.
The thing is, the girl doesn't attend. It's always the father. Do you hear me? IT'S ALWAYS THE FATHER!
The Love gang
Guys have a rule. "Everyone can follow a girl till she decides her boyfriend. Then not to interfere with her personal life." Though guys follow this, it really is a killer feel inside, seeing your crush being followed by others. It freaking hurts.
The Pseudo-Gangster Phase
We all begin as a Johnson & Johnson baby boy at college and after we step into the second year, it's all..
" Kannu chuvakkanu pallu kadikkanu
Mushti churuttanu aake viyarkkanu"
Though banned now, it once existed. Devastating for some and exciting for few.
"Enter thy woman"
This one exists for 18 years somewhere in an unknown place, enters your life suddenly, hits your eyes, grabs your heart and changes how you view the world upside down. <3
Aaaaaaaannnnd drum roll.....this happens! Love at first sight. And it is dope.
College staffs are peculiar creatures. Some project themselves as very strict, but no matter how much they project they'll always be students' Mr. Bean.
Caught in the Act
For college students, especially last benchers, visiting the Principal or HOD's room is like falling asleep in class. Happens all the time. Messaging while the staff teaches. Writing assignments. Eating. Playing games. :D
The void that always existed in us never gets filled until the one whom we love accepts us.
One must know, many guys pursuing engineering hide behind love to find solace from the enormous stress and rainstorm the course offers.
The Speed Breaker
Every single guy would've come across someone like this guy Arivu. These guys are vultures. Metaphorically speaking. They circle around your girl and wait for the right time. Then they....then they....you know the drill. :-(
The Last Stop
Remember me saying, "love at first sight is dope." Well this heart break is the exact opposite of that. The once existed void becomes existent again. The emptiness. The dullness.
The Rescue Team
No matter what the hardships one goes through, his/her friend never allows that person to walk that path alone.
The Reverse Effect
This slow motion reverse sequence depicts the visits we pay our old memories after break up. We tend to think about the times we were together with our loved ones. To think back, one must go back. Hence the reverse effect.
The above screenshot can be compared to Shakti dancing in 'Kadhal Sadugudu' from 'Alaipayuthe.' The sole difference is, Shakti dances in reverse out of joy. Malar's memory dances for the opposite. The most beautiful, uncanny resemblance is the long, and curly loose hair. <3
This is a devastating phase which almost everyone goes through. One's ex getting married. Imagine being invited to the wedding. Though one becomes an ex, the memories that have been made become a scare. A scar always leave a mark.
Remember the vulture I spoke about earlier. Yeah, the one that circled around your girl. I will leave the imagination of your ex getting married to that vulture. :-/
The Job and The Girl
As an Ex-Mechanical Engineer, I have heard some guys from my class say, "I will get into an IT company where I can find a girl to love." I am not joking. This is real. This happens. :-D
And enter thy second woman.
There are lucky ones who really do find their other half in IT industry. True story!
We as humans, go through variety of emotions and phases in our life. At the end, we will always reach the place we always wanted. All is well. :-)
I don't believe angels look after us from the sky, but I do believe we all have friends who will never let us take the fall and suffer. Friends are hard to find, once found, they are never lost. :-)
Come on, everyone loves comedy. We don't see any mindless ones here. Every single comic delivered are from the character itself. Innocence can be used to make acceptable comedies. The staff duo, the buddy duo, the hometown gang, dummy dance master, everyone. Nothing can brighten a movie like how laughter can.
No one hates slow motion walks accompanied with mass background score. It's in our blood. \m/
These "mass" touches stirred the commercial element which resides in everyone.
Casting is of utmost importance in the pre production because these are the artists who are going to showcase the Director's vision to the people through the 35 mm screen. Premam is one of the movie which had the best casting right from main leads to the supporting ones.
The Director's decision to make a Tamizh character is to be appreciated. This not only added the necessary essence to the movie but also made Tamizh audience love Malar and the movie much more.
Everything I mentioned above helped the audience relate themselves to the entire movie. Not to a particular character alone. This is what I felt so special about the movie and where the Director succeeded where many Directors fail. Gethu pantaaru Alphonse! \m/
EDITING: Alphonse Puthren
"I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil." - Truman Capote
The scissor and the pencil are wielded by the same person here. Maybe that's why the Director was able to bring out the same vision he had in his head. Not saying editors can't do that, but when the Director is also an Editor for the same movie, things are a bit different.
I haven't seen any Indian movies with such editing experimentation. Jump cuts, fast forwards, slow motion, inserts, you name everything is right there.
Songs that involved Mary and Celine have fast forwards especially the'Contra' song. Now, if you take Malar, songs dedicated to her have intense slow motion shots. Her songs don't move fast because for a guy in his early 20's, everything revolving around his woman happens in slow motion. Watch 'Malare' and 'Unfinished hope.' You will know what I mean.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Anand C. Chandran
"Cinematography is infinite in its possibilities...much more so than music or language."- Conrad Hall
Damn true! Infinity becomes definite through cinematography. Places that you haven't been to, places that are always in imagination, the inner thoughts, everything can be portrayed through the lens. The Cinematographer is the right hand of the Director who must know every bit of detailing the Director knows, so as to bring in the necessary output for the characters and it's surroundings.
The moment movie started, I could feel the depth. I figured it might be the 4k resolution.
For those to understand 2k and 4k resolution clearly.
So you see the regular full HD you have been seeing is kind of a younger sibling to 4k resolution. The number of pixels is twice the amount. Imagine the depth and details one could extract from Quad HD.
And later I found the Director's post saying..
It is disheartening to see when a Filmmaker feels bad when he/she can't get the expected output. Though many theatres lack 4k projectors, the theatre where I watched the movie had 4k projectors. I don't know whether the 4k projectors projected 'Premam' in 2k, but I could clearly feel the depth in the visuals.
Entire movie had moving foreground objects.
Foreground enhances the beauty of the frame. And if you notice, every shot will have motion. Movement and foreground added the necessary aesthetics to the entire movie.
Setting the Mood
Love stories are better told during rain. Clouds and rainfall add flavour to love. Sitting in dark, huge four walled room, how can one know what the characters feel? In comes mood and colour. If you look at the above screenshots, you can clearly see how the mood and colour had been maintained throughout the movie. Feels warm and cold at the same time. Loved it!
MUSIC: Rajesh Murugesan
"If music be the food of love, play on." - William Shakespeare
Yeah. That man in white shirt. He knows how to strike the chord.
'Aluva Puzha,' the first hit. The crush. Innocent love.
'Kalippu' is one of the best mass songs out there.
The classroom score.
'Malare' the most beautiful song in the movie, was love at first listen for me. Music. Lyrics. Expressions. Visuals. One could easily see the work the Director, Cinematographer and Music Director have done to make this song.
The one 'Unfinished Hope,' we all went through our break-up along with George.
Cinematography and colour sets the mood. Music carries it. One can't find the background score outclassing the artists. Everything was on par. Total sync. Music delivered exact emotions what the characters were going through. Lovely songs and excellent background scores. That's success for the Music Director.
That is what a Music Director is supposed to do, to take you along. The sadness. The void. The broken pieces. Reverse effect. Honest tears. Violent calmness. Cold days. Warm nights. Rajesh Murugesan did it all.
Now wait, we are forgetting someone. His name is Shabareesh Varma.The song architect. It's pretty hard to write all the songs in a movie that get gelled with the listener. He deserves each and every credit everyonedeserves. He's a lyricist. He acts naturally. He sings. Wow! That's a whole lot of talent baggage that he carries. I love this guy!
SOUND: Vishnu Govind & Sree Sankar
"Sometimes a well-placed sound effect can be more poignant than a boxing glove-sized punch line." - Jarod Kintz
To show their work, I must take a screenshot of every shot! The technical brilliance I was talking about was this. The camera shows the places. The sounds take you to them. Live sounds create a live atmosphere for the audience. With advanced sound systems installed in theatres, audience could feel the place.
The sound designers have done incredible sound works and these are few examples. Take a look at the scene where George is over the phone with his buddies, his feet keep clapping. That feet clapping sound is so real, you feel you are there hearing that sound.
See the screenshot below, top left, George sitting on floor, throwing his mobile down. When the mobile hits the step, a hard sound, not the real mobile hitting sound, that sound transitions itself to the next scene. Likewise you could see countless sound, music and dialogue transitions in the movie. Watch closely. These transitions help the movie to move smoothly. Sounds and visuals are cleverly juxtaposed.
Apart from other main departments, this sound department is what made me love the movie very much. Indian film industry doesn't take sound department as an important factor. Sound designers generally keep using the same old sounds. There exists no realism and honesty, but what Vishnu Govind and Sree Sankar did was just the opposite. Of course, the Director has a role in it, but providing the required sound as it is, is a big deal.
The Producer, Anwar Rasheed must be given the first and major credit for trusting the crew and providing them with ample amount of time to deliver proper goods. Producer providing time and freedom , that is gold for a Director.
COSTUME & MAKEUP
"You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure." - Zig Ziglar
These two made the characters look as real as possible. You don't see peppy clothes or painted faces. That is the beauty of it. Anything that crosses the line does one thing. It ruins it. If you look into typical Indian movies, you could find the actresses' face in one colour and below the chin, their true skin tone. Our country has been obsessed with being white. Being white means superior. This is how fairness cream companies have manipulated our people. This directly reflects on cinema.
"Makeup can help you capture a moment." - Carine Roitfeld
Take a look at any screenshot above, you will clearly see what I am saying. Makeup had realism in it.
"Lead roles are fun, but I'm especially happy other, more colorful supporting stuff has come along."- Paul Giamatti
A movie is nothing without proper supporting characters and this movie is a clear example of that. Right from choosing the artists and characterization, 'Premam' nails it.
Here's a few who need to be mentioned.
There are such fellows who never tire until they find someone. Fact is, they go behind everyone. :-P
Laurel & Hardy
I don't want to write about them. Better watch them in action. :-)
College rivalry is ubiquitous
I Think This Guy Likes George
Likes in the sense, he "likes" the other way.
1) Gets beaten up by George.
2) After suspension, George and his buddies come to college. This guy Faizal looks at George. I know others were shown looking at Shambu and Koya, but I will show you.
3) Faizal gets impressed by George's manliness. Later one day in canteen, he keeps staring at George.
If it's hard to believe, watch the movie again.
After 'Rockaankuthu,' Jojo demands money rudely. Forgets he is talking to his friends.
What happens then? He later works under George for monthly salary. Jojo becomes Juju. This is what happens. :-D
Life's lesson: Treat everyone with respect. You may not know, one day you might need their help. (y)
This pretty girl likes George. She looks at him always. This is during first day at college. Her eyes! <3
This one during the 'Malare' song.
Here is the twist. There is a guy in the class who likes this girl. He keeps looking at her just like how she looks at George. This too occurs during the first day at college.
One day she doesn't come to college. Poor guy misses her.
At the canteen.
Tons of love stories are gone untold because many guys are scared to confront a girl to divulge one's feelings. Girls are silent in these issues. Not all, but that's the beauty about them.
So guys, man up and talk to the girl whom you like, else your story will be the same as the one above. :-P
There is a guy with Anjali. The one next to her in 'Malare' song and in the canteen. He might be her friend, or...or.. he may have feelings for her too. We don't know. :-/
The Handsome Man
Every phase of George's life starts with a reference to his looks.
1) School phase
2) College phase
3) Bachelor phase
LYING IN PLAIN SIGHT
It is clearly established in the movie that 'Love' means butterfly. We would've seen plenty of butterfly shots but this one looks...dull and sad.
This shot comes just after the song 'Kaalam Kettu Poyi' ends. They say guys don't forget their first love and first heartbreak. For George, this is his first heartbreak. To establish that, a sad and dull butterfly.
If you look in another perspective, it looks like a dried up butterfly. I don't know exactly if the Director tried to convey that, but when I saw this for the first time, I could only sense that. Remember me saying I could grasp a little things during Premam's first show, this is one among them.
She Looks Beautiful
George says this often and whenever he says, he loses that girl. The rooftop scene where George says Mary is beautiful. He loses her.
He tells Malar that she is beautiful. He loses her.
He doesn't say Celine is beautiful in the movie.
I found another reference about how George will never be with Malar. Shambu sings a song 'Kanmani Anbodu Kaadhalan' from the movie'Guna.'
In another scene where everyone are playing cards, we can see a scene from 'Guna' in the television.
What I am trying to saying is, Guna and Abirami get separated in that movie. This is a direct reference to George and Malar that they won't be together.
Back in my film institute days, I had people talking much about Malayalam movies. I didn't pay attention to that. 'Premam' was the first Malayalam movie I ever watched. From then, there is no looking back. I try my best to watch Malayalam movies in theatre. Mollywood has filmmakers who take this art form seriously.
Now back to our blog. Watch the movie with a little more attention, you would be amazed about the detailing.
It can be clearly seen, the movie underwent a serious pre-production work. It had all the necessary elements to make people love a movie.
We shouldn't forget about Nivin Pauly. Leading actors in our industry always want steal the thunder. They want major screen space and attention. One could see how much this movie paid attention to each and every character and their screen time. That is how an actor should be.
Movie had so much realism in it which was shown in a light hearted way. Direction, Camera, Music, Sound, Costumes, Makeup, Props. Everything had realism in it. That is why the audience were able to relate a lot with the characters, there was connection. Of course it had commercial elements too. That is needed. To say it in a powerpuff way, "Art, Commercial, and everything real. These were the ingredients chosen to create Premam." I couldn't resist from saying that. :-D
Premam was made with utmost care and honesty. No wonder it ran successfully for 300 days. We all had a glimpse at our past when we watched 'Premam.'
We must thank the Producer, Director and rest of the cast & crew for giving such a beautiful movie. <3
I won't say 'Premam' is Alphonse Puthren's movie because everyone's contribution is too damn high. Not a single department was left out. This is what is called a team work.
And..............she is beautiful! :-P
Thank you for being patient and reading. Leave your comments and what you noticed in the movie below. :-)
Written by Nirmal Sudarsana