Stalking Is Not Problematic According To The Malayalam Blockbuster Movie Premam

Premam is a Malayalam blockbuster movie that normalizes stalking for the sake of love, which is indeed problematic!!

Here is a much delayed review of a block buster Malayalam movie, Premam, released in the year 2015. That was a naïve period in the life of a 24 year old girl like me. Little did I know that the movie is mere glorification of stalking culture which is much prevailing in our culture then and now.

Recently, we had a terrible experience by a stalker from our institute and it lead to all the discussions in and around this topic and the realization doomed on us that ‘stalking is a cool thing’ as considered by most of the men population. Even our movie industry does the same and the very idea is perpetuated to the young generation too. I thank my dear friend, Soniya for coming up with this review of sarcastic realism.

See a human being and declare love, find two wingmen then stalk her, this is the idea of love in movie Premam

Malayalam movies went through a break out hit period in 2015. Premam, a low budget movie directed by debutant with a cast of relatively unknown faces did the impossible. It became a pan-india movie. I was a fresh btech graduate facing the real world for the first time. All of my friends were crazy about the movie. They said it was the ultimate coming of age movie, which will define our generation.

I remember sitting in the theatre and unable to understand what I was feeling.  Movie starts with a group of three boys religiously stalking a girl. They call her on her phone, they walk behind her and they hangout outside her house. Multiple boys are fighting for her attention. Meanwhile she is shown enjoying all of it in the backdrop of serene backwaters of Kerala to the tunes of melodies praising her beauty. The song depicts the plans of the guy to marry her. The minute they find out that she already has a boyfriend, there is a sad song. One of them goes on to declare that she is not pretty.

This is the idea of love. See a human being and declare love. Find two wingmen then stalk her. Don’t know who she is or what she wants. Make the master plan to marry her. Then tell her about it. If she already doesn’t have a man to defend her honor then you can always force her to accept the plan.

The young man goes to college. Meets another girl (actually his teacher), now repeats the stalking cycle. He has to his aid, slow motions of fights and cool alcohol consumption. Then stalks her and is crazy because a man visited her in campus. Sadly, she meets with an accident and forgets about the stalker. He goes to meet her and after seeing this person going through the worst part of her life, comes out crying. He cries his heart out because he lost a non-existent relationship. But leaves her there with no explanation to deal with everything.

According to the movie, the love of hero is enough, nothing else matters

Life comes to a full circle when he meets the destined heroine, a much younger girl when he is 30 years old. She was just 8 years old and used to know him during his initial stalking days. They laugh about it and moves on. They have met literally twice and as soon as he finds out she is engaged, he goes into his devdas mode. Throws a fit and gets drunk. His friends sing in the background about women and woes of dating. They finally comes to the conclusion that half of the population is just insignificant. Life is so much better without half of human race. Thanos will be proud!

Our final heroine is fortunately engaged to a drug addict. On her engagement day, she calls him asking for help. Poor thing can’t even decide her fate without the hero. He proudly says that he  doesn’t talk to “woman who belongs to another man” and hangs up the phone to protect his masculinity.

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Fortune again reunites them. This time she is not engaged or married. Her father decided to end the engagement because the drug addict made a scene during the ceremony. They all knew about him but hoped he will behave properly for the society. So they broke up but the addict keeps calling her. Hero with all his masculinity comes to the rescue of damsel in distress at a time when then men in her own family can’t defend her honor. He beats up the addict and the problem is sorted. They happily get married soon after all the trauma she went through. The love of the hero is enough.

Now enters the long lost love of his life, the teacher. She remembers him all of a sudden and has come to him. But seeing that he is happy decides not to tell him the truth. She sadly walks away as the hero is dancing with his heroine.

I personally think that if this love story cannot not unite one billion people nothing can. My initial confusion had vaporized in the success of the movie. As I am walking in the campus of the best engineering college in the country, scared of the master stalker maybe I should rethink. This stalker has gone after almost all of my batch mates. Has followed them to their hostel, labs or homes. He has threatened people to give their phone numbers. As I recall Premam, maybe he is the hero. Actually a step above the hero, because he can stalk men also.

This stalker could very well be the hero of the sequel to Premam, redefining the gender roles and presenting the art of stalking for gen Z and future generations.

Image Source: Still from Premam


About the Author

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Nidhi is from Kerala currently residing in Chennai. She is in research for the past 3years. She writes about anything that fascinates her and that includes societal issues, relationships, career, mental health, etc. read more...

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