Language: Malayalam

Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Baiju, Dharmajan Bolgatty, Vishnu Unnikrishnan

Director: BC Noufal

Oru Yamandan Premakadha (A humongous love story) is an average film with a disjointed plot that draws from different threads and gets nowhere. The movie’s comedy track and Dulquer’s screen presence can barely paper over the cracks.

Dulquer Salmaan who makes a return to Malayalam after a year’s gap, is lively and sheds his urban tag to blend in with the movie and puts in a decent performance. It’s refreshing to see Dulquer try different things as he dons the role of a mass hero and shakes a leg to a dappankuthu song. Dulquer definitely has got the moves when it comes to dancing.

While most of the comedy is a throwback to the kind from a decade or two ago, the group of friends, Dulquer, Salim Kumar, Soubin Shahir and Vishnu Unnikrishnan, in particularkeeps it light and breezy for the most part. This brand of comedy suits Salim Kumar best and it’s nice to see him do a meaty comedy role after a while.

Lallu (Dulquer Salmaan), is the son of a rich lawyer (Renji Panicker) lodged in the upper echelons of society, and as a kid he constantly annoys his father by playing with kids below his status. He grows up to make friends with Denny (Vishnu Unnikirshnan), Vicky (Soubin Shahir) and Salim Kumar (Paanchikuttan). The group known as Lallu and his chaverukal (those willing to die for Lallu). Lallu is now a painter employed along with Soubin by Salim Kumar much to his father’s disappointment.

As you’d expect from the title and promotions, Lallu is a heartthrob of all girls (every single one), even as a little kid in school and he rejects all of them claiming he is waiting for his one true love and laments not finding the ‘spark’ in any girl. In a corny scene, a line of girls stand holding out roses to an adolescent Lallu and he rejects them all before lecturing them on true love and the ‘spark’.

The plot of the movie has a mind of its own and is constantly wandering but the screenplay is kept light with comedic moments from a host of comedians including Hareesh Kanaran, Dharmajan, Baiju, Molly Kannamaly apart from the lead cast. Vishnu Unnikrishnan, who has penned the script along with Bibin George, is the highlight of the film and his portrayal of a blind man (and a terrible singer) is the funniest bits in the film.

Dulquer’s younger brother Pappi (Arun Kurian) works in the IT sector and is in love but can’t get married until Dulquer does and for a good hour this is the focus of the plot. Renji Panicker calls on Dulquer’s friends to help get his son married at the earliest. The four friends go in search of the ‘spark’ in a women’s college in the guise of a paint job. It is just montages of women ogling at Dulquer and him rejecting all of them. As with scenes of such stereotypic nature, there is naturally a guy in the girls’ bathroom creating a panic but after they find out Denny (Vishnu) is blind, everyone is ok with it.

Jesna (Samyuktha Menon) is in love with Dulquer and keeps letting him know that in the brief screenspace she is afforded apart from a dance sequenceDulquer rejects her compassionately claiming he doesn’t feel a spark. As his friends give up on him, Dulquer finds his ‘spark’, Nikhila Vimal, whose picture is published in the newspaper claiming she is missing. The rest of the plot follows Dulquer’s search and (amateurish) investigation for Tinku (Nikhila), a girl Dulquer hasn’t seen or interacted with but is deeply in love with.

One heartwarming scene is the imitation of popular Malayalam songs at a marriage function. We do not have enough films referencing Malayalam music from the past and this was a pleasing one.

Director B.C. Noufal drops a moral science lesson every fifteen minutes of the film. In one particular duplicitous scene, Salim Kumar is shocked to see his daughter flirting with a boy in a park and lectures her on the dreams parents pin on their children and then in the very next scene, he joins Dulquer in breaking into a girls’ hostel in search of the latter’s love.

The comedy barely keeps the movie afloat. The screen presence and light heartedness of Dulquer, Soubin, Salim Kumar and Vishnu make it bearable but the move is still an exhausting 2 hours 45 minutes. The film is visually very colourful and loud which goes well with the characters and storyline. Nadirshah’s music and bgm in particular is one dimensional and loud.

The tone of the movie is summed up in a scene where a popular Tamil song is playing in a teashop and Dulquer remarks, “In a teashop, FM radio should be playing and switches to FM; Malayalam classic ‘Anuragini’ starts playing against the backdrop of rain andDulquer says, Rain and Johnson maash (composer – Anthass (class/prestige). Oru Yamandan Premakatha is a movie that pretends to be nostalgic about the past, but is only longing to showcase the morality and slapstick that pervaded Malayalam movies in the nineties and early 2000s.

Rating:   star

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