I am a huge short story buff..Honestly I eat them.Every bite of it.Sometimes I see it as my mood maker.Precise talks,I love them.Comprehensive writing,boy,I am passionate about it. What about precise cuts and expressive small scenes in movies ? Well,I virtually grab each of it too..
Here is a beautiful Malayalam movie Salt N' Pepper,that made me write all these for once.My love for movies in general owe much to Malayalam films (80's) and today I almost stopped seeing them.For sure it's a real bad time for film makers out there.Lack of new ideas,increasing budget,horrible theaters,influence of television,fans associations,many to blame,they all say..I just don't care.I DO BELIEVE it's the perspective shift,and that,has to happen everywhere once in a while,finally bringing back the glory ..Well,that's being said,this movie "Salt N' Pepper' is such a perspective shift,a beautiful movie released last year,defintely did best at box office .Then there may be questions like,what is the relevance of one writing something on a last year movie or what's cooking so odd in this FOOD BLOG and so on..Dear reader,I have seen the movie only yesterday and yes,the movie revolves around one's genuine passion on 'food and cooking'.
Now, I hate (or you presume as dislike if you are into skipping 'strong words' like my daughter) Cliches.Perhaps the mean comment someone can make about me is that I am so cliched.God,I hate it in individuals,attitudes,ideas or even music.But this MAN from Kerala,Aashiq Abu has enough to prove that he IS not cliched.Having the strong notion that Film making is primarily a Director's Art,I love to admit the fact that Aashiq Abu is going to be a valuable addition to the Film Industry of Kerala..(Come opportunities,he will prove it outside too)
The tagline of this movie reads "Oru dosayundaakkiya katha" or if I am translating that to rough English,it may be "story made by a pancake" or 'plot emerged from a pancake'.The protagonist in the movie develops interest in the heroine through a special pancake called 'thattilkutti dosa' is what they refer there.Lal,who played the protagonist Kalidasan is completely passionate about the art of cooking.Each bite of his food is been enjoyed in a special way that his single life which otherwise would have been taken away by boredom,is escaped in a bigger way.His cook-cum-friend Babu is another interesting character in the movie.Of course their life is being connected in a unique way; the ever delightful 'food factor'.The entry of his nephew to their house and the changes that bring to his life is what is been precisely said in the movie.
After Cheeni Kum in Hindi,this is for the first time I have seen a movie in which hero and heroine is been connected with the thread of food.If Hyderabadi Saffroni Pulav had done the trick in Cheeni Kum,it's 'thattilkutti dosa' and 'Joan's Rainbow Cake' play the magic here.For the last many years, Malayalam film world might have produced many 'larger-than-life' or 'good-for-nothing' male based stories.Interestingly here the plot revolves around a genuine man called Kalidasan,an archaeologist by profession and yes, a real 'Passionate foodie'.Something that defines him.Kaalidasan is sure of his priorities.The dramatic entry of his cook Babu is one such example of his passion.In one of his hilarious bride-hunts he reached a house where they served him delicious Unniyappams.Relishing each bite of unniyappam he suddenly proceeds to the kitchen to meet the 'cook', inviting him to join..Such a clear character whoever he is..No complexities by God's grace.
But then being a women I feel grateful to this film maker Aashiq Abu for the following facts:
a) the way he shows the 'passion' for cooking in heroine.The keyword or fact is that she loves it not to please the man in her life.Rather she admires it for bringing back her courtyard,kitchen ,memories and above all her Mother.Pleasing someone is of course an individual pick.But when you impose it to the entire 'womenhood' it's no more a passion or an art.It's boring.
b)For portraying women's life as it is.Whether it's lifestyle or dress code (this is specially applicable for malayalam cinema where the 'decent women characters' wear sari or traditional kerala dress and the 'spoilt' ones will be portrayed in such horrible clothes...haha).
c)For filming women without prejudice and judgement.For 'presenting' them genuinely.
In a male oriented society like that in Kerala,where the folks are in search of something to label and blame women for nothing,directors like Aashiq Abu deserve special applause.For being non-cliched and Bold..
Fresh perspective,precise cuts, meaningful talks,thoughtful screen,uniqe folky songs,nostalgic and somewhat haunting background score all resulting in a beautiful Movie.
Many cheers to you,young Ashique Abu.Will go places !
*tailpiece-the few channels who offer 'awards' on a give and take basis, should laugh at themselves.I didn't hear any mention of movies like 'chappa kurisu' or 'salt n'pepper in any of them.Perhaps they don't deserve such genuine film makers..Sarcastically their own news channels do cry for the 'trash' movies and conduct chat shows on the decline of Malayalam films..