When Ed Sheeran said, “We keep this love in a photograph. We made these memories for ourselves“, a lot of us couldn’t help but smile at how beautiful these lines were. Although, some people are not bothered by the idea of photos, in Photo Prem (a wordplay for photo frame), directors Gayatri Patil and Aditya Rathi give us a peep into the life of one such photophobic person.
Amazon Prime Video’s Photo Prem, a Marathi film, stars Neena Kulkarni, Amita Khopkar, Vikas Hande, Chaitrali Rode and Pradnya Jawle-Edke. Aditya Rathi has written the story, and the cinematography is by Kedar Phadke. For non-Maharashtrians, subtitles are available to understand the dialogues.
When Maee (Neena Kulkarni) and her husband, Mr Kulkarni (Vikas Hande), attend the funeral of his colleague’s wife, the former is shocked to see how the family is unable to find the deceased’s photo. So for the next 2-3 days, she checks the newspaper to see the woman’s photo and obituary. But there is none. It leaves her worried as she realises when a person dies, it is their photograph that will help coming generations to know their legacy and existence.
As a viewer, you will wonder why Maee is so much bothered. Writer Aditya Rathi gives us the answer by getting us closer to Neena Kulkarni’s character and her discomfort for clicking pictures. She’s worried that the family won’t have a good picture to put up when she dies, and she will be forgotten.
Photo Prem movie has a humorous tone to it. For at least 5 minutes at the beginning of the film, Maee’s newlywed daughter Mayuri (Pradnya Jawle-Edke) and her husband click many pics. As we know, in Indian weddings, they hire a photographer specifically to click pictures of the married couple. The makers have shown us how Mayuri is addicted to clicking pics, and her mother is entirely the opposite.
It will be strange for today’s millennials and Gen Z generation to see that a woman is not comfortable with clicking pictures. But she’s 55 and from an era where not every person had a phone or DSLR in their hands. Maee belongs to our parents’ generations, and while watching Photo Prem, I finally understood why my parents look like they’re held at gunpoint in the photos. They hardly smile and have stiff body language. That’s everyone’s parents, isn’t it? We’ve seen memes!
Gayatri Patil and Aditya Rathi take their own sweet time to show Maee’s fear and hesitance. It was essential; otherwise, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the subtle humour and understood the importance of a picture as we belong to a generation that clicks at least 5 or more selfies in a day. But to our elderly, pictures mean more than just a good hair day, flaunting a bike or make-up on point selfie!
Neena Kulkarni does a wonderful job throughout the film. You really want to say to Maee – just let go of your fear and smile for that picture, queen! But it’s not that easy for everyone. It’s a simple story, yet you learn so much out of it. There are two songs, and the lyrics focus on self-love and photography. The supporting cast plays their part well.
Photo Prem: Is it worth it?
Overall, the latest Amazon Prime Marathi movie captures your mind and heart. It’s a feel-good watch and will take away your stress for some time. This one should definitely be on your watch list.
Photo Prem is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Loved Photo Prem review? Check out more such reviews here.