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‘Premam’ versus ‘Premam’

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We are Telugu audience, and unabashedly admit our weakness for masala films, punch dialogues and those whistles stirring moments. We love our heroes to be unrealistically heroic. Yet, that didn’t stop many of us from watching the Malayalam movie Premam starring NivinPauly, SaiPallavi……a cute romantic film rooted in Kerala nativity did strike a chord with Telugu audience of all ages, despite the language barrier. It was a charming movie to say the least, and definitely with no remote resemblance to the masala genre we are used to.


However, when a remake is made, will the same audience watch a repeat in Telugu with just a change in the star cast? And if they will not, then will the rest of the audience – in theatre language – those B centre audience –all those others who did not watch Malayalam Premam – those which contribute to a major mass of film revenue – will they like the simple Malayalam format (by the way it was mostly city-based audience – those multiplex kinds who watched original ‘Premam’, not once but many times). These were the doubts that cropped up as soon as a remake was announced, and most predicted (let’s admit) that the remake will be a flop. And the trailer released to some very bad to nasty reviews. We hated Shruti Haasan in the place of Malar. Except for the beard we didn’t think Chaitanya was a patch over Nivin.


And the movie released. And quickly, notwithstanding a few luke warm reviews, it attracted audience to the theaters in droves. Those who watched the original already went to see if all the good things they heard were actually true and others went because they heard so much about the film. In the cabs, at offices, over chat, on Whatsapp groups – it was everywhere the discussion on Telugu ‘Premam’ Vis a vis the Malayalam one that had above all the major USP- the effervescent girl next door ‘Malar’.

That prompted me to make a note of what I liked and what I missed…believe me that’s what the entire world (or so it seems) is talking about and definitely not US elections (well a little exaggeration, but doesn’t hurt, I guess) . Here I go…

  • Styling – hero’s look through the growing years, AnupamaParameswaran’s styling (taming those heavy curls, the half saree touch) et al; those subtle but important touches that made it a Telugu film.
  • Humour – Oh…we Telugu audience love our humour and that is evident since ages now. According to me we have had the best set of comedian actors at all times. And the movie had many such moments that made the audience crack up.
  • Mass Moments – That cycle chain episode (won’t reveal more than this), and the awesome entry of Venky from ‘Gharshana’ and the last scene and several others will bring back audience: believe me, we love them.
  • Pace: A quicker screenplay and editing judiciously done so that the actual feel of the movie is not lost.
  • Music/lyrics: Music for all the songs is the same, but sensibly done lyrics enhance the songs, and the additional song towards the end is amazing. Evare especially is soul stirring.
  • Chaitanya – In college was amazing. Looked dashing.
  • What I missed was definitely Nivin and Malar. But again, Telugu audience does not mean just me and my other Internet savvy friends. Shruti Haasan did a great job minus the comparisons.
  • Madonna’s Role: Nice touch there too as the length of the character is increased in Telugu film with some fun scenes added.


Finally, why this second week commentary on an already released film? To begin with I usually do not watch a film until I collect some data from people who already watched it. And, secondly it’s weekend again, and if you have not watched it, please go and see the film with family. You will all love it. Never mind if you start comparing; atleast it didn’t matter for me. Chandoo Mondeti did a great job at diverting people’s attention with some over the top scenes just custom made for us all.

PS: If you care and if you have time then you too share what you liked and what you didn’t about Telugu ‘Premam’ either on my page – RajeshwariKalyanam on Facebook (you see that will make me famous)…or here on my blog. 

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