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Times of India
Vikram (Naga Chaitanya) falls in love with Suma (Anupama Parameswaran), Sitara (Shruti Haasan) and Sindhu (Madonna Sebastian) at different stages of his life. Every time, he’s faced by a hurdle but he’s destined to meet a soul mate who’s name starts with S!
Remakes aren’t easy… Especially when hit films are involved. Expectations, apprehensions and criticism notwithstanding, comparison is bound to creep in at every juncture. Well, it’s no wonder then that Premam has gone through all this even before the release. But now that the film has hit the theatres, one thing is for sure, all the detractors will think twice and think hard.
Because Director Chandoo Mondeti has done something very special with Premam. He has managed to partially own the film to an extent by skillfully adapting the film to local sensibilities by weaving in elements which weren’t there in the original. While it would be overdoing it if we say he retained the soul of the original, we can guarantee that he has put forward a spectacle, a delightful one at that on the whole and if you decided to watch the film without judgement, there are high chances you might like it. At no point does this film seem to attempt to be better than the original. In fact, at every juncture, you understand that the director has put in a great deal of effort to tell the same story in a fresh way. We’ll first tell you why he mostly passes the test.
First things first, he has catapulted Naga Chaitanya from the status of star son to the position of a star in his own right. So much so, the variation he portrays leave you in awe of him and makes you wonder why he never showed the prowess before. Be it the boyish charm and mischievous grin of the teenager or the unrestrained attitude and charm of a college goer, he makes it seem very easy. He’s the show-stealer here.
Chandoo makes interesting casting choices like Narra Srinivas and Brahmaji as the lecturers and Srinivas Reddy as the guy who works in Vikram’s hotel, Sathya as the choreographer who all who bring in the required entertainment into the film.
But as we told you, there is some nitpicking to do here. Anupama and Madonna are gorgeous but don’t bring with them the charisma from the Malayalam version. Shruti is graceful but seems to have done a wee bit lesser than her potential. Maybe their performances have got to do a bit with the story as well because as much as the film is beautiful as a package, it does have its adverse moments. There are several times you wonder what’s happening because the ongoings don’t grow on you because of the lack of depth of emotion like with the Sitara episode where at no point do you feel the love between them and just think they are very good friends.
But nevertheless, watch this film. For Naga Chaitanya of course… but watch it more for director Chandoo whose honest approach towards making this film has made it unique. He may not have done a perfect job, but he definitely will grab your attention.
Special mention here to Gopi Sundar and Rajesh Murugesan whose tunes make this film what it is! They have literally helped in elevation of several simple sequences!