For a debut attempt with lots of fresh faces in its cast and crew, director Alphonse Putharen's Neram could leave you pleasantly surprised. With a rather okay script, the film scores with a brilliant narration, interesting performances, good visuals and peppy music.
Mathew (Nivin Pauly) is a software engineer, who has lost his job and is in dire straits as he reaches the final day to repay the loan that he has availed from a local don named 'Vatti Raja'. To add to his woes, his lover Jeena (Nazriya Nazim) walks out of her house as her dad Johnykutty (Lalu Alex) wants her to leave him.
On an eventful day, Mathew asks Jeena to wait for him at the bus stop until he repays Vatti Raja with some money arranged by his friend John. But things go horribly wrong as a local thief robs him off his money. The chase with lots of slow motions, repeated visuals and close ups, begin from then on.
Though the first half of the film gives the feeling that nothing much of relevance is happening, Putharen and his team come up with a good show in the second half. At around 110 minutes the film is a cute little experiment that will make you leave the theatre with a smile.
Now, how many of those high profile films made with huge stars and big budgets can actually claim to do this, these days?
The jokes here are mainly made from some nice one liners, some quirky names (like Inspector Ukken Tintu, played by Shammi Thilakan, Manoj K Jayan's Rayban and a talented newcomer's role as Manik or Mani Kunju), some fart jokes, which is mandatory to make the viewers laugh in Malayalam films these days and so on.
But the superb execution has taken care off the shortcomings. Putharen, who has scripted and edited the film besides directing it, shows lot of promise. Anand C Chandran's camera is really good and Rajesh Murugesan's music suits the mood. The 'Pistah song', inspired from Jagathy Sreekumar's comic version in the 1983 film 'Kinnaram', has been used quite brilliantly.
Nivin may not be a versatile actor, but he has good screen presence and a likeable face. Nazriya has to look beautiful, which she does to perfection. The performance of the supporting cast is one of the highlights in the film and each one of them has to be applauded for that.
Putharen has agreed at the beginning of the movie that like Quentin Tarantino, he also steals from every movie ever made. Of course, making such a claim is not a justification for blatant copying, but with his film he explains how passionate is he, about movies.
Neram could have been crispier and even better, but in the current form it is a genuine film worth appreciating. It's a brave attempt by a group of youngsters and such sincere efforts need to be encouraged. Watch this one!