Cast: Lal, Asif Ali, Shweta Menon, Mythili, Nedumudi Venu
Direction: Aashiq Abu
Production: Lucsam Cinema
Music: Avial, Bijibal
Director Aashiq Abu would have realised from his debut film ‘Daddy Cool’ that the recipe for a winning motion picture is neither a oversize financial plan, arresting locales and a massive star cast. This time with his new ‘Salt N Pepper’, he has gone for a low cost film that reiterates and restates the fact that content always reigns supreme.
A movie that definitely would fulfil you appetite for fresher themes and executions, the movie have shaped into loafs of superior tastes with the captain of the shop proving that he is a competent storyteller. A movie that makes you smile sporadically, the scripts by Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair isn’t garnished with that much of unpredictability, but the way it is treated is better than its culmination. From the selection of a theme with food as it’s backdrop, to the sequencing of events and assorted characters played by a bunch of gifted actors who do the right trick, the director is in complete control of a movie that may start a trend, in its own terms. At the same time, though the film has the exact running time, it could’ve done with some sharper editing at places.
The movie has Lal as Kalidasan, a chronic bachelor working in the state Archaeological department. With an only companion in Babu, his cook and housekeeper, Kalidasan is more obsessed with tastes than anything else. Manu Raghav played by Asif Ali is Kalidasan’s nephew who arrives into his house in search of a job.
In another corner of the city is a spinster Maya (Shwetha Menon), who had towering aspirations but is currently leading a life as a high profile dubbing artist for movies. She lives a customary, non happening life with her friend Meenakshy (Mythili) as a paying guest in a house which also shelters a beauty parlour( run by kalpana). The movie takes a different turn as kalidasan gets a phone from Maya, thinking that to be a number a food hub. Maya asks for a Thattilkutty Dosa’ and the fun begins.
The movie made in a stylish manner has plenty of quality humour that is well integrated into the sequence. The emotional moments and satirical gags are aplenty with many scenes living in our memory. Sure, the pace drops in the second hour, but the proceedings has the power to keep you glued to the seats till the finale in ‘Aanakallan’ song.
Lal as Lalidasan is the star of the show. He once again proves himself to be a fine actor, and plays his part without overdoing it one bit. Aashiq Abu is sure, not to have find an easy replacement for him, as he does every nuances of the character to perfection. Shwetha is once again in a superb role in which she displays anguish and sorrow with amazing maturity, though her dubbing artist in a couple of scenes fails her from a perfect portrayal. Asif Ali scores with his perfect timing while Mydhili appears right for her role. Baburaj, in a surprisingly simplistic role as Babu is a complete departure from his violence-laden roles
In the technical front, everything is perfect with Shyju Khalid coming up with excellent visuals and V Saajan with effective cuts. The songs by Biji Bal offers pleasant hearing with ‘Premikkumbol’ sure to emerge as an all- time favourite.
On the whole, ‘Salt N Pepper’ is a pure and tasty film that should instantaneously strike a chord with the youth mainly. A metro-centric film, ‘Salt N Pepper’ should attract its target audience, as its distributors have very rightly released the film at select centres of metros and mini-metros, instead of flooding the market with wide release. Mollywood cine lovers, in all probabilities will give this one with genuine and honest efforts, a chance to mature as a welcome hit.