As kibitzed in my previous articles, Malayalam cinema is taking a step forward from those old days when it was saturated with family dramas and mushy love. While we’ve seen some great examples of Modern Malayalam movies in the past 2 years, Neram (Time) clearly ain’t one of them.
Neram plays out like this: Handful of characters stitched into a minimal plot (of little concern) and it serves as a reason enough to watch it through. Predictability aint an option here. Life takes mysterious turns and the same applies here. You have to give it to the makers, a bit of thought has been put into the plot as well as the characters here. The characters are memorable too, a villain who is proficient in all things villainous (Simhaa) and his moronic thugs, the pretentious/boasting rich guy (Manoj K Jayan), the absurdly named-cop (Shammi Thilakan), the gooey romeo who hits on anything that moves and amidst all that our hero and heroine has very little to do…apart from act that they were in love. Nazriya Nazim is a sight for sore eyes, her teenage nuances helped her character to be adopted adorably. Nivin Pauly, fresh from Thattathin Marayath laurels, ends up playing the same role over again. What’s unconvincing is his action-hero makeover. It could be so that the the desperation he was in, made him so or the heavy influence of Tamil movies…but it just can’t be bought. Whatever little threads with reality the movie shared, was thus broken.
The Chennai I’d seen is nothing like what I witnessed in Neram, it was visually arresting and brought to life on screen thanks to the brilliant cinematography. Vibrant Hues and Colors seeped in every frame. And talk about editing, its stylish, a lot of creativity has been invested in and it all makes it worth the 109 minutes you’d spent. An excess of slo-mo action-hero montage is nothing new but couple it with a kickass score and some creative tidbits, it does pleases the eye. Rajesh Murugesan’s score was awesome making the innumerable chase sequences enjoyable. They haven’t forgotten what made the movie promos viral either: the punchy PISTAH song was played throughout, along with remixes and rehashes alike.
Neram is nothing but a series of events leading to what is essentially the vicious circle of life. In all its splendor it is indeed ‘modern’ but it never pushes any envelope regarding storytelling. What it does bring is a new style in editing and cheesy direction and in the process it ends up being entertaining as well. As quoted in Neram “there are Good times and Bad times” and clearly this movie is going through its good times.