There is a particular reason why I loved the Malayalam Premam so much. It has probably got to do with the fact that I enjoy reading novels. Because like most well written novels, the original takes it time, slowly unwraps, sucks us into the character of George (Vikram in Telugu played by Naga Chaitanya), his world and his love life. It is simply put, beautiful. The locations, the dialogues, the acting, the cinematography and especially the music, all contribute towards the director playing with the heart strings of the audience all the while.
And remaking a film with such rich following across linguistic barriers is no easy job. But Chandoo Mondeti (the director of the Telugu version) pulls it off decently well enough. Remakes usually are susceptible to receiving some harsh takes from the audience (as was evidenced by the reactions of public during the trailer launch 😛 Damn they were funny though :P). So when somebody like me who is a huge fan of the original says that this was really good, I should tell that I consciously put aside the original film and looked at it as a standalone film catering to the needs of a different set of audience who aren’t used to the art films of Malayalam film industry.
First of all, Chandoo cuts down the movie from a three-hour length time to a little over quarter and two hours. Thus effectively compromising on the ‘Film that is like Reading a Novel’ category but securing the attention of the Telugu audience all the way through with a well written, tight screenplay. This movie has quite a few original scenes in it and is not a copy paste of the original (and that is probably why even those who enjoyed the original can afford to watch it: PROVIDED YOU DON’T DRAW COMPARISONS AND SULK IN THE THEATER)
Naga Chaitanya too was in his element as Vikram. And so were all the other actors. This movie had fine performances from almost everybody. I love Sai Pallavi in the original (I mean who doesn’t? :P) and cannot see anybody else playing and owning that role, but saying that, Shruthi Hassan was watchable and the trolls have been too harsh on her. She does a very fine job. She plays the role in her own sweet way and doesn’t try to do what Sai Pallavi does and that probably swings this in her favour saving her from the possible wrath of die hard fans. So Kudos to Shruthi as well (Y)
One of the most endearing aspects of Premam, both original and this one, has been its music. The music complements the film exceedingly well and gives that additional impact to the story telling process. On the downside though, there were a few scenes in which Premam falls short of giving the punch as much as the original did. It might be because of hasty screen transitions that were required to cut down the length of the film (I know I shouldn’t be drawing comparisons but my subconscious expectations works against this here) But don’t fret about this too much. The film overall has a lot going for it in carrying its central theme and carries forward the aptly captioned tale of ‘Love Stories end but feelings don’t’.
Comparisons with the original are inevitable but putting them aside, Premam (Telugu) stands on its own to be a finely made remake which has enough going to satiate the palate of both sections of the audience: Those who have not watched the Malayalam one and even those who have. It is downright simple, sweet and falls into that ‘absolute feel good’ movie category complimented by great music. Go watch this one and you wouldn’t be disappointed!
I’m going with 3.5/5 for this one with that additional 0.5 rating solely for the amazing music!
Rating: Worth Buying on Blu Ray