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Prem Tame Review: Not Your Average, Run-of-the-Mill Puppy Love Story

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Director: Anindyo Chattopadhyay

Cast: Soumya Mukherjee, Sweta Mishra, Susmita Chatterjee, Tommy

Despite its Valentine’s Day release date, Prem Tame is the ideal date movie for dog lovers, not so much for young couples in love.

Director Anindya Chattopadhyay takes us on a cute, mushy trip of puppy love where Pablo (Soumya Mukherjee) finds true love in his ex-girlfriend’s pet dog Khogen (Tommy), after dating introverted, conservative Arshi (Sweta Mishra) and outgoing student activist, research scholar Raji (Susmita Chatterjee).

The world of Chattopadhyay’s Prem Tame is inhabited by unrealistic characters who spout unrelatable and pretentious dialogues. Pablo is supposed to be a first-year student but looks old enough to be a PhD student. Raji is supposed to be a research scholar and a feisty student activist but looks too urbane to be studying in Serampore College. She fights for students’ rights, represents her college in dance and sports, roams around Serampore and Kolkata informing Pablo about the cities’ history, enlightens him about famous dogs, and also gives him a detailed tutorial on how to kiss; making one wonder what her research subject is. While Chattopadhyay sheds no light on her backstory, he drops hints suggesting that she has a troubled past. However, none of that is explored as the film progresses.

Even the basic plot of the film feels unbelievable and unrealistic. Pablo falls in love with his classmate Arshi. When he gets caught trying to kiss her in an empty classroom, the principal suspends the both of them for indulging in obscene acts in the college. Raji takes up their cause and fights for their suspension to be revoked. By the time their suspension has been withdrawn, Pablo has fallen in love with Raji and wants to live in with her. Raji is cool with the idea but has one condition- she will be moving into his house with her “baby” Khogen. Pablo, who is deathly scared of dogs, reluctantly agrees. On the day Raji moves in to Pablo’s home, his furious conservative and pious mother walks out. Just when a cautious Raji falls for Pablo, she deserts him but leaves behind her beloved Khogen with Pablo. A wounded Pablo now wants to return to Arshi but has to fulfil her only condition- get rid of the mutt. In this constant yo-yoing affections for Arshi and Raji, Pablo finds love in Khogen and realises only dogs can offer pure, unconditional, and true love.

The film masquerades itself as a frothy, college romance and it does have some of the typical elements that remind you of the giddy feelings of young love. In an interesting sequence, hit music composer, lyricist and singer Anupam Roy makes an appearance as himself during a stage performance at the college and recreates one of his super hit songs. As the song progresses, it showcases Arshi and Pablo’s evolving relationship – from exchanging looks during boring lectures to bunking classes to spend time with each other. The rest of the film, however, is far less charming than this one stray enjoyable sequence.

Khogen is the actual hero of this film. Just like Dil Dhadakne Do’s Pluto (voiced by Aamir Khan), Khogen narrates the story of the three characters and is voiced by the director himself. Not only does Khogen effortlessly claim a spot in Pablo’s heart, he’s also the only character that forces viewers to endure the absurd yet predictable film. While Khogen initially comes across as just another eccentric character in the film (which dog has Baby Horlicks for dinner?), it doesn’t take long to warm up to him and root for him to win over Pablo’s affections.

The film starts off on a promising note but the plot soon begins to fizzle out. There are too many inconsistencies that the film overlooks, which further adds to the bizarreness of the characters. Why would Raji agree to live in with her boyfriend, a first-year college student, and his unwilling mother? Why does Raji suddenly desert Pablo but leave behind her precious pooch? And the biggest question of all- how come these kids are always roaming around? Don’t they attend classes or is college attendance just another under-written concept in the film?

****

The Prem Tame review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreenindia.com and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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