Yesterday, the Kerala state film awards were announced. Curiously, Premam, the movie that created waves across south India, did not win a single award. Not even in the technical categories.
The awards was dominated by Dulquer Salman’s Charlie and RS Vimal’s Ennu Ninte Moideen. Dulquer won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of a free-spirited Charlie, and Martin Prakkatt, who directed the film, won the award for Best Director. Ennu Ninte Moideen won the award for the Best Popular Movie.
However, according to the state award jury chairman, director Mohanan, Premam wasn’t a strong contender in any category at any stage of the selection process. “Although Premam is a good entertainer, it didn’t match up to the standards of [the] State Awards,” he said, according to a Southlive report. The jury said that the film had a lazy and lacklustre style of filmmaking.
Ironically, a noted film-maker had praised Premam for precisely this reason: “But in the mainstream space, I find that Malayalam cinema – among the cinemas I get to see here – is the most cinematic. Premam maybe be lightweight, but at least it’s not just a script masquerading as a movie. It’s real cinema.”
Premam, directed by Alphonse Putheren, starred Nivin Pauly and was a coming-of-age drama about the life of a small-town man named George. From his teenage years to adulthood, the film explored his ambitions and relationships. Premam was a giant critical and commercial success not just in Kerala, but in neighbouring states as well. The film’s direction and technical work were widely praised, and the lead actors garnered a huge fan following after the film’s release. Recently, Premam also became the first Malayalam movie to complete a run of 200 days in Tamil Nadu.
The film has gained cult status in many parts of the country. According to a report from The Hindu, by July 2015, one month after the film’s release, “Youngsters are literally mobbing theatres, cash registers are ringing without stop, theatre owners are being pressured into squeezing in an extra show, and even recommendations are being made for tickets.”
Premam is currently being remade in Telugu, with Naga Chaitanya in the lead. Recently in Tamil Nadu, a group of fans compiled a list of reasons detailing why no one should remake Premam in Tamil. The list went viral on the Internet.
The Kerala Awards snub hasn’t gone down well with fans. Director-producer AR Murugadoss expressed his disappointment as well. Fans and admirers of the film took to Twitter to register their protest against the award committee’s act.
Was hoping #Premam to feature among winners in Kerala State Awards 2015. No Premam. Surprised & shocked … !!
— bharathnt (@bharath1) March 1, 2016
— VamsiKaka (@vamsikaka) March 1, 2016
No awards for #premam !! It’s nt fair !!
— A.R.Murugadoss (@ARMurugadoss) March 2, 2016
Blockbuster #Premam completely avoided, wos expected in Popular Movie category
— Mr Gokul (@_MrGokul) March 2, 2016
#premam Biggest award fa dis movie is, it reached millions of hearts. Even from other languages. Sure the team would never bother abt dis 🙂
— sarathviji93 (@sarath_kumr) March 2, 2016
— #Thala Da (@VedhalamThala) March 2, 2016
— badcow (@realbadcow) March 2, 2016