Oru Yamandan Prema Katha movie review: Dulquer Salmaan cannot charm his way out of this messhttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/movie-review/oru-yamandan-prema-katha-movie-review-dulquer-salmaan-5696596/

Oru Yamandan Prema Katha movie review: Dulquer Salmaan cannot charm his way out of this mess

Oru Yamandan Prema Katha movie review: The writers' efforts to give easy solutions for complicated problems takes the fizz out of what otherwise could have been a decent film.

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Oru Yamandan Prema Katha
Oru Yamandan Prema Katha movie review: In Oru Yamandan Prema Katha, Dulquer Salmaan steps out of his comfort zone.

Oru Yamandan Prema Katha movie cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Soubin Shahir, Vishnu Unnikrishnan
Oru Yamandan Prema Katha movie director: B. C. Noufal
Oru Yamandan Prema Katha movie rating: 1.5 stars

Dulquer Salmaan is the go-to actor for coming-of-age characters in the Malayalam film industry. His good looks and boyish charm makes him a perfect candidate to pull off NRI/rich kid roles.

In his new film Oru Yamandan Prema Katha, Dulquer steps out of his comfort zone. The actor ticks off playing a mass hero from his to-do characters list. However, he still gets to be the beloved kid from a well off family. That’s non-negotiable. The star trades fancy modern clothes for colourful lungis and shirts in the film, representing his character’s inner joy and vitality. Screenwriter Vishnu Unnikrishnan’s (he has also played a key role in the film) script is so flimsy that debutant director BC Noufal and Dulquer’s charms can only do so much to lift the dull scenes.

Oru Yamandan Prema Katha exists in the realm of cosmic connections and it is established in a weak opening sequence that feels forcefully injected into the film to justify the film’s rather blunt title. A baby is declared stillborn and by some miracle, it comes back to life. That boy soon becomes the heartthrob of everyone in the town. Every girl wants to marry him and more so when that boy grows up to be Dulquer Salmaan.

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Dulquer’s character is lovingly called Lallu. The director and writer withhold the real name of his character from the beginning until the end. The suspense is overstretched for a little payoff. Lallu is an old soul in a young body. He is detached from the materialistic lifestyle and makes a living by painting walls. He has a younger brother, who is the exact opposite of his personality. Lallu’s brother Paappi (played by Arun Kurian) has no deeper purpose to serve in the screenplay. He is just there to show how Lallu’s unambitious, living in the moment lifestyle is so far better than a job that pays a fortune.

Paappi’s realization of the ills of running behind money plays out in a scene, which feels like a statutory warning. If it were an anti-tobacco showreel, the script would read something like this: “What happened to this city? A demanding boss here, a nagging girlfriend there. So always keep a whistle handy for you never know when you will suffer a heart attack. You will have to pay a heavy price for taking the stress.” Suddenly, Lallu’s daily wage job looks more desirable.

There are also a couple of good things in the film that deserves due credit. For example, the way writer Vishnu Unnikrishnan underlines how society is oblivious to reason and reality owing to one’s obsession with modern gadgets and social media. Vishnu’s Denny Sebastian sneaking into girls hostel through the main entrance without anyone noticing brings out this point very well.

Oru Yamandan Prema Katha has a good central theme. But, the filmmakers were unable to imagine a strong enough story to sustain the idea through the film’s more than 150-minute run time. The writers’ efforts to give easy solutions for complicated problems takes the fizz out of what otherwise could have been a decent film.