9 Years of Premam: A most celebrated film in Malayalam

As the Alphonse Puthren film turns 9 on 29 May, South First gives an overview of one of the all-time blockbusters in Mollywood.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 29, 2024 | 1:59 PMUpdatedMay 29, 2024 | 6:51 PM

9 Years of Premam

The Malayalam film Premam, released on 29 May 2015, remains a memorable venture for movie enthusiasts. The romantic drama was written, edited, and directed by Alphonse Puthren.

Even after nine years of its theatrical release, the Nivin Pauly-starrer is celebrated as one of the all-time Malayalam blockbusters.

The flick had a theatrical run of over 175 days in Kerala and 200 days in Tamil Nadu. Made with a budget of ₹4 crore, it raked in a whopping ₹74.5 crore worldwide.

It also significantly expanded Nivin Pauly’s fan base and launched the careers of Madonna Sebastian, Sai Pallavi, and Anupama Parameswaran.

Following its roaring success, the film was remade into Telugu in 2016 with the same name. The Telugu version starred Naga Chaitanya, Shruti Haasan, Anupama Parameswaran, and Madonna Sebastian.

Premam follows George’s love life in 3 phases

Nivin Pauly and Sai Pallavi in Premam

Nivin Pauly and Sai Pallavi in a still from ‘Premam’. (Supplied)

Premam showcases the three phases of protagonist George’s (played by Nivin) love life.

On the surface, it appears as a typical coming-of-age story and follows George’s journey from his school days to adulthood. However, Alphonse Puthren crafts George’s world with a unique blend of irreverence, familiarity, and wit. He invites us to engage, reflect, appreciate, and laugh with the characters.

Sai Pallavi emerged as the biggest revelation in Premam. Her endearing portrayal of Malar, a guest lecturer, swiftly dismantled the unrealistic beauty norms long upheld in mainstream cinema, bringing about a sense of joy and liberation.

Mistaken for a new student, the guest lecturer faces a challenge from George and his two friends upon her arrival at the college. She indulges them momentarily before dramatically revealing her true identity.

This scene, devoid of music, slow motion, or special effects, possesses a subtle charm that effectively showcases the endearing qualities of the character.

Nivin Pauly flawlessly embodies George, authentically portraying his journey from puberty through teenage years to adulthood.

Also Read: Happy Birthday Sai Pallavi — A true performer 

Hit soundtrack & brilliant visuals

Nivin Pauly and Madonna Sebastian

Nivin Pauly and Madonna Sebastian. (X)

After Mani Ratnam’s Alaipayuthey (2000), Premam garnered a massive fan base. The movie retains its exquisite innocence and spontaneity and stays remarkably fresh with each revisit.

The songs from Premam became wildly popular even before Premam‘s release.

The track “Malare” sung by Vijay Yesudas became a viral sensation.

Thanks to Anend C Chandran’s cinematography, the film unfolds almost like flipping through the pages of a weathered photo album.

The frames in this Malayalam movie are infused with a deep longing for a past era, with every dialogue serving as a tribute to the mischief and innocence of that time.

The frames also exude a lingering sense of nostalgia, particularly as they capture the ambience of classrooms: the disorderliness, playful banter, cheeky interactions between teachers and students, and an elusive feeling of freedom.

Produced by Anwar Rasheed under the banner of Anwar Rasheed Entertainment, Premam features an ensemble cast—Shabareesh Varma, Krishna Sankar, Soubin Shahir, Vinay Forrt, Siju Wilson, and Sharafudheen.

The Malayalam movie won the Best Female Debut (Said Pallavi) and the Best Playback Singer (Vijay Yesudas) at the 63rd Filmfare Awards. It also has several other awards to its credit.

Also Read: ‘Premam’ re-release gets a rousing welcome in Tamil Nadu