Poomaram review: a movie that spreads savouring fragrance

Poomaram review: a movie that spreads savouring fragrance

The significance and beauty of Abrid Shine’s campus drama Poomaram is in the fact that it isn’t peripheral or pretentious like most so called campus films we have seen in recent past. Utilizing a very simple and small space of an inter college arts festival, this movie has clarity and with subtlety in treatment it sort of achieves its intention of presenting that Buddhist thought.

The union Chairman of Maharaja’s college Goutham has a task in his hand to make Maharaja’s bring back the university arts championship after five years from the current champions St. Teresa’s. Irene, the captain of St. Teresa’s team also wants to retain the cup. So Poomaram shows us the efforts of both colleges and things that happen in those 5 days.

Recreating an arts festival set might be a production designer’s work. But creating a genuine ambience is pretty much a director’s ability. I was fascinated by the way Abrid Shine managed to do that. It was as if they secretly captured visuals by fooling people that it was an actual arts festival happening there. The usual one team against another kind of cliché was broken here when the conflict of the movie came late and it was a statement that had to be addressed in the current socio political scenario. With the Buddha concept chipping in nicely to the movie, I felt the movie attained a shape with that element. 

In his first Malayalam movie as a mainstream hero, Kalidas has chosen a role that typically isn’t that heroic and I would like to appreciate him for that. His performance has elegance and he can improve his diction of Malayalam. The girl who played the role of the chairman of St. Teresa’s was a fine talent and hopefully we will see much more from her. A lot of memorable characters are there in the movie in small roles along with some veterans like Joju George.

The director is truly the star of the film. Abrid Shine sort of silently answers the trolls about the delay of Poomaram. In the first half you can see a lot of montage shots that gives us the feeling that we are in the middle of an arts fest. Extensively covered visuals had a lot to do in that. The editor chopped them perfectly to create the atmosphere. The music and background score carries the film strongly and the way a minute element in the movie grew and became the statement of the film was a fine concept. Gnaanam has not gone for cinematic visuals and instead went the rough way of capturing moments. The ambitious climax was executed neatly.

Poomaram is not a typical campus story. Its conflict is more ideological and it is not really relying on a usual story format. Poomaram has got a feel to its credit which I find missing in most campus films these days.