Poomaram: Film Review – Refreshingly Honest

Verdict: The rush of youth, a simple, delightful script and beautiful music.

Poomaram is a movie that was in the news almost a year before it actually made it to the silver screen. One, for the star kid making his comeback as the quintessential ‘hero’, two for its song that found its way to the average Malayali’s playlist and three, for its director’s craft. After Action Hero BijuPoomaram was director Abrid Shine’s much-awaited offering. The movie, which marks Kalidas Jayaram’s entry into Mollywood as lead, is produced by Abrid Shine and Paul Varghese. The highlight of the movie is its music which had the contribution of many, including Gopi Sundar.

What’s the movie all about:

Poomaram is a simple story that revolves around the five-day Mahatma Gandhi University Arts Fest. Abrid Shine’s scripting celebrates the age-old rivalry between Maharaja College and St. Teresa College and the tight fight for the much-coveted trophy. Gauthaman (Kalidas) is the poetry-loving firebrand chairman of Maharaja’s and Irene (Neeta Pillai) plays the strong leader of the Teresians. While the points on the leaderboard keep swaying to either side, a turn of events seals the fate of one of the teams. The movie ends on a note that maybe winning is not everything.

What works:

The fresh and honest take on the life on campus is what makes Poomaram stand out. It is not your conventional movie that screams the need for a solid storyline, peppered with drama, sob stories, and fabulous sets. The movie is a refreshingly lazy and candid take on the atmosphere at the university arts festival. Crushes, love stories, fights, wins, losses, dedication—the movie covers it all. Like his previous movies, Abrid Shine has kept this script, too, down to earth. Like the scene where a first-year undergrad crushes over the college chairman. Or the one where the participants are packed like sardines in the seminar hall of the college to catch some shut-eye before the big day. The highlight of the movie is its beautiful music and poetry. From Balachandran Chullikad’s lines to lesser-known poets, the movie is dotted with a spell-binding score. Kalidas does justice to his role as chairman and so does the newcomer Neeta Pillai. The movie has introduced many fresh faces and all of them have done a fabulous job just being average college students, sans makeup, sans drama. The movie has Kunchacko Boban and Meera Jasmine as themselves in cameos. Joju George and the movie’s producer Paul Varghese, too, appear in minor roles. 

What could have been better:

For a movie that is heavy on poetry, some of it seems out of place. Big names like Byron and Shakespeare are thrown in good measure but is lost in lengthy dialogues. The final scene borders on being Utopian as opposed to the rest of the movie, but doesn't take anything away from the film.

Why you should watch this movie:

Poomaram is unlike the usual campus fare we are used to in our movies. What you take home after the movie is good music and a twinge of nostalgia. 

– Review By Jan Varghese