CAST: Jayasurya, Aju Varghese, Govind Padmasoorya
DIRECTION: Ranjith Sankar
MUSIC: Anand Madhusoodanan
Mollywood audience have been shy when it comes to accepting horror films per se, and it’s probably why a majority of the movies in the genre comes with a dollop of humour. In his latest movie Pretham, director Ranjith Sankar packs it to the brim with fine funny moments and camaraderie between its characters, making the so-called horror elements much easier to digest.
The movie centres around three friends – Denny Kokken (Aju Varghese), Shibu Majeed (Govind Padmasoorya) and Priyalal (Sharafudheen) – who pool in their savings to run a coastal resort. The first half is dedicated to the trio’s friendship with each character comically pulling the other’s leg at every given opportunity. The happy lives though take an expected turn after two of them tries to hit on a Zumba student (Pearle Maaney). A series of eerie events occur at the resort, forcing them to approach a priest who introduces them to a mentalist named John Don Bosco (Jayasurya). The investigation on the possibility of a ghost haunting the resort takes the plot forward.
The movie’s strength is its comic lines between the friends, who talk in movie references and take digs at each other. Sharafudheen and Dharmajan Bolgatty shine among the lot with their clever quips and questions, respectively. Aju, Govind and Pearle seamlessly fit into their roles. As for Jayasurya, his character of a person who could read people’s minds needed him to be subtle and that’s where he delivers. The role could have been become bland real fast, and that’s where Ranjith scores again inserting mentalist tricks every few scenes to flesh out the character.
The horror-comedy gets extra points for serving up a smart plot, which seems predictable by the end of first half. But the director turns it on its head by bringing in a relevant tale that makes it easy for the skeptics of the genre to stomach it as well. The use (and misuse) of technology is elemental to the story. The ending though, is a bit stretched, as the filmmaker indulges too much in showing off the aspects of mentalism.