Please keep this in mind while going for director Aashiq Abuís Salt ní Pepper. .. ĎDonít watch this film with an empty stomachí.
There is every chance that you will feel hungry even as you are inside the theatre, as this story is being narrated with food as the backdrop.
The story begins with yummy frames which shows delicious dishes which are well known in Kerala. From sadya, payasam, dosa, biryani, sweets to almost every food item that you can think about is shown right from the title slides.
Well, itís a welcome change from the routine patterns which are religiously followed in Malayalam.
But the problem is that though the film attracts you like a whiff of fresh air at certain moments, it loses the direction during the rest of the time. The script (by Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair) could certainly have been crispier and that is exactly the weak link here as well. Even then the film is a nice effort, which needs to be appreciated.
Kalidasan (Lal) is a chronic bachelor working in the state Archaeological department and is a foodie. His only companion is his cook cum confidant Babu (Baburaj). Manu Raghav (Asif Ali) is Kalidasanís nephew and he comes to his uncleís place, while searching for a job.
Kalidasanís boring life gets an altogether different twist with a wrong call from Maya (Swetha Menon), a spinster who is a dubbing artiste, living as a paying guest with her friend Meenakshi (Mythili). It all starts when Maya dials for a dosa and gets Kalidasan on line, instead of the food joint.
With brilliant visuals by Shyju Khaled and fantastic music by Biji Bal, Salt ní Pepper is a brave experiment made stylishly and with lots of honesty.
Watch out for the superb scene where Kalidasan meets Babu, which is amazingly hilarious. The film has its moments, but certain scenes are far from convincing. Like the mooppan who is there in the story without much of relevance.
Among the actors, Lal makes it a joyous ride, ably supported by Swetha Menon, Asif Ali and Mythili. But the real surprise is Baburaj, who takes a break from his baddie roles and comes up with some genuine situations with his good performance.
Salt ní Pepper may have its own share of shortcomings, but the sincerity with which it has been made is there to be seen in the film.
Itís a young film which oozes lots of freshness and it is enjoyable for people of all ages, especially if you love your food.
ĎTasteí this one!