Poomaram Movie Review
Reviewer : Chandra Mohan Gopinath
Finally it happened. Poomaram, the debut movie of Kalidas Jayaram in a leading role in Malayalam gets the much needed green signal. Yes, the movie has finally reached cinemas amidst all the indefinite delays that was associated with it after nearly two years of the release of one of the song in the movie. Abrid Shine’s third directorial project after the hugely successful 1983 and Action Hero Biju, Poomaram garnered lot of curiosity and enthusiasm from moviegoers right from day one when it was announced which was quite natural when one looks at the films and track record of the director.
This expectation and interest only went up with the release of the first song that became viral in social media that culminated with and paved the way even for trolls and jokes in social media connected with the indefinite delay in release. Quite often, when postponements and delays happen, the freshness in a film is lost and the initial interest gets a backseat. It is quite natural for this to happen.
Two years is a pretty long time and lot of changes on many aspects during this period only makes matters worse. The norm these days in tinsel town for a movie before release covers the first look followed by songs,teaser,trailer and some colorful posters to give that extra edge.In Poomaram’s case, nothing of that sort happened except the release of two video songs. May be the makers did not want to reveal or divulge many things paving the way for guessing games or there may be other reasons for that.
Anyway since the movie has finally landed in theaters, the next big thing that everyone is keenly looking forward to know is how the movie is and whether it is worth a watch. A big yes is my answer. This film is realistic just like how Abrid Shine treated Action Hero Biju. What I felt is Poomaram is a semi-documentary (without a steady plot) on college youth festivals going deep inside to festival village and into the campus showing how it is organized, how the participants from various colleges rehearse and get ready for the events and how they react when they win and how they show their emotions when they end up on the loosing side.
The film is campus based but very different from the conventional fun, romance and action oriented campus films we have been seeing all along. For people who have associated with youth festivals before and who were part of such events, Poomaram will give you nostalgia and help in rewinding sweet memories of such a gala event. And for people like me who have never been part of or never ever participated in any college festivals too, the film give you a positive energy and feel.
Abrid Shine takes us to the Mahatma University College Youth festival where St. Teresa Women’s College (an obvious reference to St. Teresa’s College at Ernakulam) is the overall winner for the last five years. Giving them a tough competition this time is Maharajas College. The film gives an insight into how the planning and preparation for the event takes place within the campus and ends up with the culmination of the festival.
The treatment is not conventional for a campus film. So the fun, romance and thrill of a normal college film is totally absent here. A realistic approach is what gets importance and the situations and scenes that we see is presented with a natural flavour. On the flip side, pace of the film is sluggish and that is something that can give a test to the patience level if one cannot adjust to it. Also as a story, there is nothing concrete and deep that the film has to its credit. Its just the University festival and related events being shown that can make one form an opinion. And that opinion is it would be better to go and watch the real festival instead of spending two and a half hours inside a closed hall.
Kalidas Jayaram is entrusted with the role of chairman of Maharajas college. He looked elegant on screen and whatever was given to him, he has performed it well but honestly there is nothing in the film to showcase his talent as an actor. Apart from a speech in the initial part and few scattered dialogues here and there, rest of his role is just being part of the long line up of songs and walking from one stage to the other watching the various events. But one cannot complain also since he just went in with the limited space he had in the film. All the rest of the actors were fresh faces who all did really well especially the girls representing St.Teresa college. College chairperson of the ladies college was a standout performer among the females.
Among the familiar faces, we only have Joju George as the Sub-Inspector and the extended police station scene which he was part of was a replication from Action Hero Biju. Kunchacko Boban and Meera Jasmine appear as themselves in guest roles. All the remaining actors are totally fresh and new and among them, some of them really deserve to get another chance in extended roles.
So in a nutshell, Poomaram with a basket full of songs and poems is a realistic campus film devoid of loud fun, comedy and colorful songs. It is a slow moving film that doesn’t have a bigger story to tell. But the movie makes you motivated and gives you a different experience altogether. I had trouble in getting used to the pace and flow of the film initially but once I got used to that, it was a refreshing and poetic experience for me.
Rating – 3.5 / 5