At a time when campus movies are becoming mere exaggeration of things that happen in campus life and also a bland exploitation of political bias, Poomaram from Abrid Shine offers a breath of fresh air with clarity on what it wants to communicate. For anyone who has been a small part of arts festivals during college life, this movie has abundant moments that will make you nostalgic. Abrid Shine uses this possibility skillfully to make a statement.
Goutham is the union Chairman of Maharaja’s College Ernakulam and he is leading his college in the inter college arts festival. St. Teresa’s college are the current champions and they are also there giving a tough competition. The movie is taking us through the events of this 5 day arts festival where one college is trying to keep the trophy and the other one is trying to regain it.
What is so fascinating about this movie for me is the way Abrid Shine recreated an entire arts festival. It was as if they just placed a lot of cameras here and there and captured every moment of it. Just like how he was able to present an authentic police station in front of us in Action Hero Biju, this time he pushes the envelope and shows us a genuine arts fest. He doesn’t try to make it a one team versus another team kind of movie and instead uses the ideology he wants to convey as the central conflict. Abrid Shine infuses the Buddha ideology neatly in the plot to give it the shape it required.
This is not a conventional star launch vehicle. And one should appreciate Kalidas Jayaram for choosing subject over screen space. He has got that grace by default and the movie sort of requires that for the character of Goutham as he is more of a calm leader. The girl who played the character of Irene (St. Teresa’s captain) was a really impressive casting. I am guessing she did the dubbing herself, and if that’s the case she is one more to the list of promising talents. The film has a lot of characters whom you will remember for sure. I sadly don’t know the name of any of them, so let me say the characters they played. Firstly the dance teacher of St. Teresa’s, the other teachers who questioned the judges, Meenu and the boy who had a crush on her, the mime performers and a lot of others are there. Joju George chips in with a really funny cameo.
You have to give the credit to the director here. Almost everyone has been trolling the delay of Poomaram and once I saw the film’s first half, the reason behind the delay was evident and genuine. Counting the number of shots in this movie is a really difficult task. The editor has included lots of shots of the various events, things happening outside the venues and several other small bits to give us the feeling that this is happening within the span of 5 days of a university arts festival. At a time when political stands are essential for the students, this story doesn’t verbally lecture that and instead shows the power of that campus life along with a statement against the violence which needs to be addressed. Gnaanam has placed cameras at various points and allowed people to perform. I loved the way the Buddha aspect grew in the film from one small bit to a driving factor. The climax is a bit ambitious in terms of what they have shown, but the conviction was there in execution. The music and poems blends in with the feel and adds more grace to the narrative.
To those who have scrolled down all the way to check the ratings, it’s not a story driven hero centric movie. I would compare it with a Rakshadhikari Baiju, as I felt that movie also wasn’t that verbal about its agenda and showed us slices of real life to realize what it communicated.
Poomaram from Abrid Shine offers a breath of fresh air with clarity on what it wants to communicate.