Poomaram review: A half-hearted tribute to college days

Poomaram deserves to be celebrated as Kalidasan Jayaram’s comeback. His performance doesn’t disappoint one bit, writes Deepa Antony.

Lo and behold, as it is finally here.

A subject of multiple trolls and memes on social media for its legendary delay in release, Abrid Shine’s next and Kalidas Jayaram’s comeback as a lead, Poomaram is finally out in the theatres.

What cricket is to ‘1983’ and what Kerala Police is to ‘Action Hero Biju’, Mahatma Gandhi youth festival tries to be that to ‘Poomaram’. With no central plot, the film is set about the Mahatma Gandhi Youth Festival, but it really is about the rivalry between Maharajas College and St Theresas College in Ernakulam. Poomaram sets out to evoke a warm and fuzzy nostalgia for anyone who has ever been around a youth festival. And, on its way to the massive nostalgia inducing mission it subtly tries to pay ode to every “new generation” film-maker who has ever been the arts club secretary of Maharaja College (case in point, Amal Neerad, Aashique Abu, etc.)

However, it still fails to touch many key points in the struggles around a youth festival. The film even misses in addressing the students’, parents’ and teachers’ struggles around a youth festival. Poomaram also, not so subtly, paints a rosy unrealistic picture of a Maharajas college in 2016. Inspite the vacant corridors, winding stairways, the quintessential grandfather shade tree Abride Shine’s Maharajas College is void of the ‘selfie generation’. The film shows Maharajas College as the abode of students with yesteryear vigor for poetry and socialism. Majority of them are clad in a politician’s attire of ‘mundu’ and shirt. None of them are seen using smartphones or even their mobile phones for anything but to call, i.e, no facebook, no whatsapp, no selfies. Everyone, especially Kalidas Jayaram, is made to speak sanskritised and staunch Malayalam. That, while the St Theresas girls are free to speak English and Malayalam at their liberty.

Quite frankly the nostalgia bit works only thanks to Gnaanam’s camera. His shots of the wide and winding corridors, and the grand ol’ shade trees, and the smiling faces of students so young take us into an era of our lost innocence. The music plays a role not small too, thanks to Gopi Sundar.

Poomaram deserves to be celebrated as Kalidasan Jayaram’s comeback. His performance doesn’t disappoint one bit. The handsome young man has a body language that commands your attention and a cadence that demands to be heard. Kalidasan Jayaram has arrived! Equally worthy of her role as Irene was newcomer Neeta Pillai who showed no signs of being a novice. She fit into her role like second skin. Police roles seem to be Joju George’s stronghold. However no two police roles of his are like the other and that’s where the artist in him deserves praise. On his entry Joju lifts the story, that had begun to drag, and turns it around on his shoulder.

But frankly, with a climax solely riding on fluff, the film doesn’t offer anything more than 3 hours of nostalgia wrapped in a whole lot of lengthy poetry.


reviewed byDeepa Antony

21 Mar 2018 | 03:26 PM

  • directed by
  • Abrid Shine
  • Starring
  • Kalidas Jayaram
  • Genres
  • Musical
  • Drama