Cast: Kalidas Jayaram, Neeta Pillai, Kunchacko Boban
Director: Abrid Shine
For those who have participated in youth festivals, especially the Mahatma Gandhi University Youth Fest, Poomaram is a trip down memory lane. Chiefly, it is the story of competitive spirit between two popular campuses in Kochi and their hard work to win the champions trophy. It is a prestige issue for them. Campus and youth festival venues form the backdrop. The camera moves around documenting students' preparations and all kinds of situations that make a youth fest vibrant, accompanied by soulful songs, music notes and poems. Abrid has adopted an unconventional narrative for Poomaram. A musical, each song in this movie is mood enhancer and the director has maintained realism throughout, even in songs. For instance, no instruments have been used when a girl sings light music and a teacher recites a poem during rehearsal time. He has exercised cinematic license only in a few areas like the climax.
The movie that preaches peace takes no sides. There are references to Buddha and that even reflects in the character Gautam played by Kalidas and the mime his college prepares for the fest. Kalidas has done justice to his character as a poised union chairperson. He shows aggressiveness only at one point. Neetha Pillai, who played the character Irin, too performs well. A lot of characters float around the plot. They catch our attention, but at the end, it wouldn't be them but certain moments that linger in our minds. Cinematography and art are two other areas that deserve mention. The frames have exploited the beauty of the Maharaja's campus, where thought-provoking quotes adorn walls. They are embedded with exhortations. And the art installation at the tail end is a visual treat.
We may lose our attention a bit in the second half as there is no change of ambience. However, the police station sequence and the quick wit of the police official played by Joju compensates for it. Thanks to editor. But the telephonic conversation between Gautam and his father in front of the hospital could have been crisp. Also, the audience cannot be blamed if they feel the victory of the winner was belittled. The movie ends on a positive note, sending out a message. Watch it to relive your good old college days....