Premasoothram review: it has the vibe of an engaging folklore
Directors who have managed to grab the milieu of rural Kerala have seemed to have gone from the popular filmography of Malayalam and then comes this man named Jiju Ashokan who manages to capture it effortlessly. After sleeper hit success Urumbukal Urangarilla, Jiju now makes his second film based on love and even though the presentation of the village backdrop with peculiar characters is interesting, you will sort of sense a hypocrisy in the politics of the idea.
Premasoothram is set in the time where the radio was a luxury. Preman is desperately in love with Ammukkutti, his classmate from 5th standard onwards. His classmate and rival Suku is also after her. The movie talks about how this obsession takes a new shape when a man called VKP arrives in the village. How this Dr. Love character influences that love is the story is what Premasoothram dealing with.
There are a lot of elements in the movie that will sort of make you root for it occasionally. The finely detailed characters and the texture of the village etc have that x-factor to grab your attention. The issue is with the statements and its self-contradictory nature. It is traversing through that fine line between romance and misogyny and you will feel confused about the intent of the content. Women are depicted as both brave and opportunist. When the Kamadeva theory is finally applied over all this, the experience becomes a bit cringy.
The nuances created by the director is impressive. The characters have traits and arcs. The slightly old-fashioned making of Jiju Ashokan this time meets the fantasy element. All these factors does create a peculiar curiosity in you. But the conclusion this movie provides isn't that overwhelming. VKP's final message to Preman feels like a weird one as we perhaps question the logic of someone saying that after all that has happened in the movie. The cinematography is visually lush and the music here is also a soothing one.
Chemban Vinod Jose easily becomes that Dr. Love VKP and delivers the dialogues with grace and authenticity. Balu Varghese slightly tweaks his typical performance. The actor who played the of Preman's friend needs a special mention. Lijo Mol was convincing as Ammu. Vishnu Govindan makes a really strong impression as the antagonist. Vettukili Prakash, Bitto Davis, Anu Mol, Dharmajan, Chetan, Vijilesh, Sreejith Ravi, Sudheer Karamana etc. are the other main actors in the cast.
Premasoothram has the vibe of an engaging folklore. But the lack of conviction in the statement it wants to make puts it in a slightly confused state. And thus you won’t get that eternal feel it wants to convey.
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