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Premam (transl. Love) is a 2015 Indian Malayalam-language coming-of-age romance film written, edited, and directed by Alphonse Puthren. Produced by Anwar Rasheed for Anwar Rasheed Entertainment, the film stars Nivin Pauly, Sai Pallavi, Madonna Sebastian, Anupama Parameswaran, Shabareesh Varma, Krishna Sankar and Siju Wilson in the lead roles. The film featured 17 debutant actors. Rajesh Murugesan composed the music. The plot follows George and his friends from their teenage to adulthood.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alphonse Puthren|
|Produced by||Anwar Rasheed|
|Written by||Alphonse Puthren|
|Music by||Rajesh Murugesan|
|Cinematography||Anand C. Chandran|
|Edited by||Alphonse Puthren|
|Distributed by||A & A Release|
Produced on a budget of ₹40 million, Premam was released on 29 May 2015 and grossed ₹600 million. The film was included in The Hindu's top 25 Malayalam films of the decade. The film garnered awards and nominations in several categories, with particular praise for its direction, screenplay, Nivin's performance, music, cinematography, and editing. It became the first Malayalam film to run for over 250 days in Tamil Nadu. The film had a theatrical run of 175 days in Kerala and 275 days in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The film was also remade in Telugu in 2016 with the same name.
At the 63rd Filmfare Awards South, Premam was nominated in seven categories, winning Best Female Debut (Sai Pallavi) and Best Male Playback Singer (Vijay Yesudas for "Malare"). At the 5th South Indian International Movie Awards it received fifteen nominations and won seven, including those for Best Film, Best Director, Best Music Director, Best Lyricist, Best Male Playback Singer (Vijay Yesudas). Nivin and Sai Pallavi won the Best Actor Critics and Best Debut Actress awards respectively. At the 1st IIFA Utsavam it received nine nominations and won four, including those for Best Performance in a Comic Role, Best Music Direction, Best Lyricist and Best Male Playback Singer. Among other wins, the film received six Asianet Film Awards, six Vanitha Film Awards, three Asianet Comedy Awards, four Asiavision Awards and two CPC Cine Awards. But the movie was not considered by the Kerala State Film Awards, which is official state film award given by Government of Kerala.
In 2000, George David , a 16-year-old pre-degree student, is infatuated with Mary, the prettiest school girl in his area, a small region of Aluva, Kerala. George along with his friends Shambu and Koya, often follow Mary around in an attempt to talk to her but he is afraid of her father who beats up boys pestering his daughter. Mary is famous for her beauty, and is followed by other men too. Nonetheless, every time he gathers the courage to talk to her, something or the other comes up and George ends up disappointed. He is eventually heartbroken to know that Mary is in a relationship with another boy, also named George. She also asks his help to date safely without her family knowing. He helps her with a painful heart. The seriousness of life finally sinks in when George, Shambu, and Koya introspect about their academic future after a dismal performance in their year-end examination.
Five years later, in 2005, George and his friends enroll in college. One day, while on a ragging streak, George and his friends meet Malar, a new lecturer in their college, who happens to have a Tamil background. George instantly falls for her and seemingly gets her to feel the same about him. He is also impressed by her dancing talents as she performs an outstanding dance with his team. Convinced about their love for each other, he extends their relationship and contemplates marriage. Simultaneously, George's college teacher, Vimal Sir also falls for her and tries to woo her with the help of his friend, a PT teacher, Shivan sir. Later that year, Malar goes to visit her family in Kodaikanal, accompanied by her cousin, Arivazhagan. who by tradition is supposed to be her would be. Weeks later, it is announced in the college that Malar met with an accident and consequently had left her job as the lecture. George and his friends immediately ride to Kodaikanal to see Malar. It turned out Malar lost part of her memory due to the injuries suffered in the accident. She fails to recognize George and is not able to recall her relationship with him. Subsequently, Malar marries her cousin, Arivazhagan and George attends her wedding reception with his friends.
In 2014, George, now 30, runs a café, with his childhood friend Jojo. George meets 22-year-old Celine in his café and feels an affinity towards her. He later comes to know that , she is the girl who used to walk with Mary and they became friends. Despite the age difference, George decides to propose to Celine, but she is about to get engaged to a man named Roney Varghese, a cocaine addict who continuously insults Celine, which results in the wedding being called off. Roney's obsessive behavior in pestering Celine upsets George, who in response teams up with his friends and beats up Roney.
Finally, George marries Celine. During their wedding reception, Malar arrives with her husband. Celine called Malar herself. Even though Malar had regained her memory, she did not reveal this to George as he was happy with Celine and she needed to let things be the way they were.
- Nivin Pauly as George David
- Sai Pallavi as Malar Arivazhakan aka Malar Miss
- Madonna Sebastian as Celine George
- Anupama Parameswaran as Mary George
- Krishna Shankar as Koya
- Shabareesh Varma as Shambu
- Siju Wilson as Jojo
- Soubin Shahir as P.T. Teacher Shivan Sir
- Vinay Forrt as Vimal "Java" Sir
- Shiyas K. A. as Shiyas
- Maju Mathew as Maju
- Sibu Thankachan as Sibu
- Eva Prakash as young Celine
- Althaf Salim as Jahangir
- Unni Chetan as Unni Chetan
- Vinod Ettan as Vinod
- Vijai Suresh as Kola Kozhi
- Jayesh as Kuttapi
- Anju Kurian as Anju, George's sister
- Sooraj K. Sathyan as Suresh
- Saharafudheen as Giri Raajan Kozhi
- George Kora as George
- Franco Davis as Mary's father
- Renji Panicker as David Kalapparambath, George's father
- Maniyanpilla Raju as College Principal
- Faisal C.M. as Faisal
- Justin John as Justin
- Ananth Nag as Arivazhagan
- Dinesh Prabhakar as Lonappan Chettan
- Sharaf U Dheen as Girirajan Kozhi
- Alwin Antony as Moosa
- Mahadev R K as College Student
- George P. Roy as Aftab
- Sandeep Varma as Murali
- Deepak Nathan as Usman
- Viswajith Odukkathil as Bolt Anoop
- Hormis Paulachan as Nigil
- Samarth as Samarth
- Rinsa as Anjali
- Vimal Kumar as one-sided lover
- Jude Antony Joseph as Dolly D'Cruz
- Jayashankar as Peon
- Vinod Kovoor as broker Shamsu
- Sandeep Kumar as Regular customer
- Aishwarya Raghavan as Aishwarya
- Pramod P. Jayachandran as Pramod
- Alphonse Putharen as Roney Varghese, Celine's ex-fiancé
- Rajani Chandy as George David's mother (voice only)
- Nandini Nair as Nandini, Malar's friend (cameo)
After the success of the bilingual thriller Neram (2013), writer-director Alphonse Puthren announced his next project starring Pauly, titled Premam; would be produced by director Anwar Rasheed. The discussion and scripting of Premam began in 2014 January and filming began in July 2014. Later, they announced the film would feature three heroines, and invited applications from Malayalam-speaking women between the ages of 16 and 25. Later they released an ad in September 2014 saying the film needed only two heroines and they must be aged between 15 and 22 and "both of them should be able to speak Malayalam and English fluently as well as have a very good smile". Director Jude Anthany Joseph appeared in a cameo role in the film.
Puthren said that, the film will feature a number of songs which will have great impact on the film. The film introduced 17 new actors in the Malayalam film industry. Rajesh Murugeshan who has previously composed music for Alphonse's Neram was roped as the music composer. Filming wrapped up in November 2014.
|Soundtrack album to Premam by|
|Released||15 April 2015|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Rajesh Murugesan chronology|
The original soundtrack and background score were composed by Rajesh Murugesan, who had collaborated with Puthren in the film Neram (2013). Shabareesh Varma, beside singing, wrote the lyrics for eight of the nine songs. One song "Rockaankuthu" which had lyrics written by Pradeep Palarr was sung by Tamil film composer Anirudh Ravichander. The soundtrack album was released by the record label Muzik 247 on 15 April 2015.
All the audio songs released prior to the film release went viral on the internet. In April 2015, video for the song "Aluva Puzha" sung by Vineeth Sreenivasan was released and became the chart topper. As a marketing strategy the song "Malare" was released later. "Malare" was released on YouTube and received 1 million hits within 14 hours of release and trended on all social networking platforms.
Writing for The New Indian Express, music critic Vipin Nair noted, "The Neram team's (Alphonse Puthren-Rajesh Murugesan-Shabareesh Varma) sophomore effort in Premam is almost as impressive, but for an occasional let down by the vocal choices." Behindwoods in their first music review in Malayalam gave the album 3.75 out of 5 stars and stated "Fall in love with this wholesome gem!" Apple Music selected it as the "Best Malayalam album" of 2015.
For the Telugu remake of this film, Murugesan remade four of his songs, into Telugu. While "Evare" the Telugu remake of the original song "Malare" retained its singer Vijay Yesudas, for the version. The rest of the tracks were sung by different singers, with Naresh Iyer and Karthik contributing vocals to the album, whilst Gopi Sundar composed three new songs for the Telugu counterpart.
|1.||"Aluva Puzhayude"||Shabareesh Varma||Vineeth Sreenivasan||3:03|
|2.||"Kaalam Kettupoi"||Shabareesh Varma||Shabareesh Varma||2:47|
|3.||"Pathivai Njan"||Shabareesh Varma||Shabareesh Varma, Rajesh Murugesan||3:31|
|4.||"Scene Contra"||Shabareesh Varma||Shabareesh Varma||2:26|
|5.||"Kalippu"||Shabareesh Varma||Murali Gopy, Shabareesh Varma||3:02|
|6.||"Rockaankuthu"||Pradeep Paalar||Anirudh Ravichander||3:01|
|7.||"Malare"||Shabareesh Varma||Vijay Yesudas||5:16|
|8.||"Chinna Chinna"||Shabareesh Varma||Ranjith, Aalap Raju||2:18|
|9.||"Ithu Puthan Kalam"||Shabareesh Varma||Shabareesh Varma, Rajesh Murugesan||3:46|
The film was originally scheduled for release on 22 May 2015, but was postponed to 29 May due to clash with another Nivin Pauly starrer film Ivide and Tamil film Massu Engira Masilamani. IBTimes called it one of the most awaited film of the year. A & A Release distributed the film in India, which opened in 85 screens in Kerala alone and outside the state it released in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Mysore, Vizag, Delhi, Mangalore, Manipal, Chennai and Goa. It became the first Malayalam film to be released in 43 screens in the UAE on 11 June. Great India Films distributed the film on 12 June in 25 locations in the United States. Indienwood distributed in the Europe, while Tricolor Entertainment released it on 11 June in Australia. Blue Planet Entertainment Ltd handled the release in the UK. Singapore Coliseum released the film in Singapore on 13 June.
After completing over 250 days theatrical run in Chennai box office, the theatres LA Cinema Maris in Trichy and Ram Muthuram Cinemas in Tirunelveli re-released the film on 18 March 2016. It is the first Malayalam film to have a re-release in Tamil Nadu.
In June 2015, a pirated version of Premam appeared online. The copy had a watermark indicating that it was a "censor copy", or a copy intended for censor board officials to review prior to the film's release. Premam's producer, Anwar Rasheed, threatened to resign from Film Producers Association citing their lack of action after the leak was discovered. The police arrested three teenagers in connection with the case, believing them to be involved with film piracy groups. Later cinema theatre owners protested against the piracy issue by shutting down the theatres.
IB Times's reviewer Nicy V.P rated the film 5/5 and stated: "Premam is nothing but entertainment at its best and the movie deserves nothing less than a standing ovation." About the technicalities of the film, she said: "They are just flawless. From background score, songs, sound departments, art, cinematography, editing, costumes and others have come together to make Alphonse Putharen's dream a reality." Veeyen of Nowrunning.com rated the movie 3.5 out of 5 and wrote: "'Premam' elevates Alphonse Puthren onto a pedestal of sharp film makers who have figured out the actual potential of the medium that cinema is. And in their competent hands long-standing tales assume ground-breaking forms and enthuse the viewers in ways and manners never seen before. Much more than an unabashed crowd-pleaser, which it surely is, 'Premam' is a bracingly alive film where almost everything, seems to have fallen right into place." Sify.com rated the film 3.5 in a scale of 5 and said, "Premam is all for some genuine fun and perhaps, a few nostalgic moments as well for 80's and 90's generation. It's a lengthy ride for sure, but it will leave you wanting for more". Paresh C Palicha of Rediff.com rated the film 3 in a scale of 5 and said, "With Premam, Alphonse Putheran proves that he has the knack of presenting themes that have blockbuster written all over." Aswin J Kumar of The Times of India rated the film 3.5/5 and said that Premam is a "movie with a high likeability quotient because it unearths the beauty in trifles." Litty Simon of Malayala Manorama rated 3 out of 5 stars and highly appreciated Alphonse Puthraren's direction, cinematography, music, lead performances, editing and humour. "The simple story is told with amazing visuals. It is humour at its best", "the director has rightly kept his word of expecting nothing big and aptly sticks with the tagline 'The second film in the history of world cinema with nothing fresh'", says the reviewer.
S. R. Praveen of The Hindu said, "Alphonse Puthren's understanding of the medium is evident and he does not appear to try hard at any point." He praised Putharen's script, saying, "The strong point of Alphonse's script is its humour, which is very organic and does not stick out as a separate track." Rejith RG of Kerala Kaumudi said, "Filled with unforgettable moments, characters and song sequences, Premam is a delight to watch. It's after a long time that we got to see such a hugely enjoyable Malayalam film." Mythily Ramachandran of Gulf News called it "A delightful entertainer with Nivin Pauly in the lead" and said, "Premam is a fun film, a simple love story of the boy next door, like its tagline that reads 'nothing extraordinary in it'." Pramod Thomas of The New Indian Express concluded his review saying, "'Premam' is a watchable flick for its realistic treatment of the plot, performance of the newcomers, wits, good songs and for Nivin Pauly."
The film earned a gross of ₹1.43 crore (US$200,000) in Kerala On its first day of release. According to trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai, the net collection in Kerala in 3 days is approximately ₹5.60 crore with a distributor share of ₹3.50 crore. But Rediff.com reported a ₹2.35 crore collection within the first four days. Sreedhar Pillai also reported ₹10.3 crore (US$1.4 million) as the film's collection in Kerala alone within the first week of release, adding that it broke the previous records of Drishyam and Bangalore Days. However Gulf News reported, it collected ₹4.5 crore (US$630,000) at the box office in the first week in India. P. V. Basheer also said that the film "would have earned a gross of about ₹5 crore in a week of its release in Kerala, with a distributor share close to ₹3 crore."
The earnings doubled in the second weekend from the first weekend. The film garnered a producer share of ₹11 crore (US$1.5 million) in two weeks and became the most profitable film produced by Anwar Rasheed. The gross collection from Kerala theatres crossed ₹20 crore (US$2.8 million) in 14 day (June 12) of release. The film experienced a 90% to 100% theatre occupancy in the third weekend. In Eranakulam city the film grossed ₹66 lakh (US$93,000) in two weeks from Shenoys, Padma and Sridhar theatres. It grossed ₹30 crore (US$4.2 million) in 25 days, which is a record in Malayalam film industry. It collected ₹38 crore from 50 days in Kerala box office. The final box office collection is estimated as ₹60 crore (US$8.4 million) worldwide.
The film was released on 12 June in 25 locations in the US distributed by Great India Films. The opening day gross was $26,000 and it raked up over $97,000 in three days in the Us. The US collection reached $106,000 in 4 days, giving tough competition to Bollywood and Tamil cinemas at the US. In two weeks, collection reached $150,000. The film collected $159,398 in second weekend from Australia.
The Hindu reported, "Youngsters are literally mobbing theaters, cash registers are ringing without non-stop, theater owners are being pressured into squeezing in an extra show, and even recommendations are being made for tickets. Due to its right timing in bringing the film onto the screens after a long dullness in the mollywood industry, this love-fantasy film is well accepted in the hearts of Malayalis. The movie seems well on the expressway to becoming a cult movie." P. V. Basheer Ahamed, president of the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation, said that a similar euphoria was last seen when Mohanlal-starrer Narasimham hit theatres in 2000. Nivin Pauly's performance was also appreciated by people inside the film industry.
In Apsara theatre in Kozhikode, a group of audience turned violent and vandalized after some minor technical snag disturbed the screening of the film. The violent mob went on a rampage within minutes and the screening was suspended. The screen was torn apart and chairs were destroyed in the melee. The ruckus continued even after the police reached the spot and resorted to lathi charge. A police officer was injured in the clash. Seven youngsters were taken into custody in connection with the incident.
At least 60 students of various local colleges were caught on Monday, 15 June, by the police for bunking classes to watch Premam. The police action was a part of Operation Gurukulam following complaints that students of various schools and colleges were skipping classes to watch the film. The demand for the tickets led Premam to be the film with maximum additional shows in theatres after Narasimham starring Mohanlal.
In July 2015, reports have surfaced that Premam will be remade in Tamil, with Vijay Sethupathi and Hansika Motwani in the lead role, and Dhanush had bagged the remake rights. However, Dhanush had claimed that he did not have the rights for the film. In January 2016, fans of the original film trended the hashtag #SayNoToPremamTamil in the microblogging site Twitter, claiming that Tamil audience do not want to remake the film.
Fans started trolling Naga Chaitanya and Shruti Haasan after the release of the promo song "Evare" (a remake of the Malayalam original song "Malare"), for its Telugu remake claiming that it spoilt the flavour of the original song, and trended their reactions with hillarious memes. Many fans tagged Chaitanya's performance as "overacting" and claimed that he failed to perfectly reprise Nivin's role from the original.
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