Oru Yamandan Premakadha Review: Dulquer Salmaan is charming, the film not so much
The film presents a fresh concept, sure, and yet, everything else feels so familiar in Dulquer's return to Malayalam cinema after two years
Oru Yamandan Premakadha. It's only after you've seen the film that you get the significance of such a title. I'm not sure I've seen a "love story" like this before. It presents a fresh concept, sure, and yet, everything else feels so familiar in Dulquer Salmaan's return to Malayalam cinema after two years.
Director: BC Naufal
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Samyuktha Menon, Soubin Shahir, Salim Kumar
It's a film that utilises Dulquer's charm to the fullest. It's his character Lallu's story. It's about his quest to find his soulmate after seeing her photograph in a newspaper -- a girl whom he has never met. It may seem far-fetched to the ordinary guy, but Lallu is no ordinary guy -- well, he is and he is not. Let me explain.
This is a man who was born in a privileged household but prefers hanging out with boys who come from economically backward families, much to his barrister father's (Renji Panicker) chagrin. Lallu wants to live like a simpleton. This is why he chose to become a painter (of homes), unlike his white-collar younger brother. He also has a love for all things old. "He has a nostalgia disease," remarks one character. He enjoys sipping tea in an ordinary tea stall while listening to a song by Johnson master. But he also doesn't mind shaking a leg to a dappan kuthu number. He is a new age dude with a vintage soul. His problem, according to everyone around him, is his refusal to get married in spite of every girl in the neighbourhood lining up to marry him. One of these girls is played by Samyuktha Menon. But Lallu simply hasn't found anyone with that 'spark' yet... that is, until he stumbles upon the aforementioned girl's photograph.
This film belongs to Dulquer and Dulquer alone. As Lallu (his real name is revealed in the climax), Dulquer is eminently endearing. Lallu is the most fleshed-out character in the entire film. You wish you had someone like that as your friend. But that alone doesn't do much when the overall script is not up to par. Though some jokes are quite clever, they don't stick with you.
The two lead female characters don't have much to do other than show up now and then. Considering the caliber of the actors playing them, one wishes they were cast in stronger and more substantial roles. The makers have kept the name of the second female lead a surprise, and there is a good reason for that. The name of the actor playing the villain is also a surprise. Though this actor is playing the baddie for a second time, it's just another stereotypical performance. It's his presence that leads to a pivotal emotional moment in the second half. This half is supposed to move you, but it doesn't affect you the way you want it to because of the unconvincing build up.
Oru Yamandan Premakadha is yet another addition to a list of Malayalam films that are trying hard to emulate Tamil and Telugu entertainers. It's also filled with a lot of familiar cliches. There are moments that feel like they were written to pander to a certain section of the audience. In one scene, a Bengali character is mocked, and in another, a tribute to the two reigning Malayalam superstars is paid. Soubin Shahir's character reveals himself to be a fan of Allu Arjun. At one point, two characters run into a Che Guevara poster. But thankfully, there are no wedding songs in this one. That should offer some relief.