Skip to main content

Malayalam Movie Review: SaltNPepper - For Foodies & Lovers



Salt N Pepper movie - I heard so much about it from my Twitter friends. I was praying for the movie to reach me here. For those who love food and romance, this movie has IT. With food as the movie's main theme, I was totally glued to the movie's starting point that showed different types of tasty food in different stages of creation and presentation. Colors oozed from the dishes, each distinct from the other. You would have seen the audience licking their lips in anticipation of the next dish, such was the visual delight of the movie when it began.

SALT N PEPPER - REAL FOOD & REAL CHARACTERS
Aashiq Abu's 'Salt n Pepper' is simple, brilliant and stays in your heart forever. The story revolves around Kalidasan (starring Lal) who is an archaeologist but is more obsessed with food - the scents, the taste and the texture of food that takes him to the past and beyond. Maya (starring Swetha Menon) lives in the same town and works as a dubbing artiste. 

Personally, I have never liked any of Shwetha Menon's movies though she is currently a hot favorite with Malayalis all over the world. In this film, I loved her performance. The insecurities she portrays and struggles to deal with when people constantly remind her that it's time to get married and she has a beautiful room mate who's confidence sometimes totally gets on her nerves. She also has to deal with lecherous men who work with her and show no hesitation to invite her over a weekend for 'just sex.' She portrays the contemporary woman effortlessly. Her way of speaking, walking and dressing are 100% natural. 
WHO CAN FORGET MOTHER'S COOKING?
A scene that I liked was when she talks to Kalidasan about her mother's cooking - the smell of the food her mother used to make and how she feels that when she is cooking, her mother 's presence and love is constantly around her. Don't we have such moments in our life too?

IS THERE A WOMAN WHO DOESN'T BREAK DOWN?
Another scene I liked again was where she breaks down crying in the beauty parlor, saying she's fed up of life. Every woman, at some point, has said and felt that. Shwetha Menon had the conviction to bring that universal moment onto celluloid with amazing naturalness.

OPPOSITES ATTRACT, THANKS TO DOSAS:)
Kalidasan and Maya - the two unlikely couple clash when one of Maya's calls to the local Dosa expert reaches Kalidasan's new mobile. Their quarrels become conversations of memories, family ties and much more. 

Kalidasan's narrative of teaching Maya the secret of baking Joan's Rainbow Cake is one of the best moments of this film. 

The story of Joan is that she is a French soldier's wife who waits for her husband to return as the Second World War goes on. As she waits, she makes a most delicious cake, borne out of her love and longing. It has layers of deliciously fresh strawberries, pistachios and orange - all are carefully placed one on top of the other. Finally,  it is smeared with sinfully glorious chocolate sauce. On that day, in their own homes, Kalidasan and Maya bake their own versions of the said cake and they each taste their love and longing for each other by eating this cake.  that moment is captured beautifully in this film.
 
Thus, they begin to like each other and decide to meet. Their complex about their age, appearance and so on makes them both hesitant to meet - "What if she doesn't like the way I look?" - that kind of complex sets in. That's when the movie's other characters start rolling into the picture.

ROMANCE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE FOR & BY THE YOUNG

 
Kalidasan's nephew is Manu, a role that's played effortlessly by Asif Ali and the role of Meenakshi who is Maya's roommate is played by Mythili. I am not sure whether there was 'chemistry' between these two young actors. While I liked Asif Ali's performance, I was disappointed by Mythili, who seemed to be 'acting' and not really convincing in anyway. Also, the song they did together didn't seem natural. It looked as though they were uncomfortable with each other.

The role of Kalidasan's brilliant chef is played by Baburaj whose performance is fantastic. He blends in humor, reality and seriousness almost effortlessly even as he goes on to impress us with his culinary skills. Balakrishnan (starring Vijayaraghavan) is Kalidasan's friend and a senior office who, one day, explains that nothing in life is as important as valuing and being with the one you love. 

The film, SaltNPepper ends with the Avial band's totally peppy music number. Director Aashiq Abu has raised great expectations with this film. It's food theme and romance rock! It's a must-watch.

Comments

sonees said…
nice write-up.. But I declines with your comments on Swetha... She s a talented artist...
Sensible Whiner said…
Loved the moment when she feels like her mother is beside while cooking. So natural.
Tan said…
I watched the movie...Its a 2-hour entertainer...really loved it :)
Harish said…
Hearing lot of good comments about this one. I think i should watch it.

Previously I had watched Shwetha in Palerimanickyam and TD Dasan Std 6B. In both of them she did outstanding acting.
I am not a Malayalee ( though I am married to one!) but I have always liked Malayalam films. They are not loud like Tamil films and not all glitzy like the Bollywood ones.They remind me in some way of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee films of the 1970s-80s. I MUST see this film. Are the DVDs available?
PS BTW thanks for stopping by my blog. Very thoughtful comments!

Most Popular Posts

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward
Every day, the newspaper headlines are full of scary stories of people killing each other over trivial things - mostly these incidents happen when individuals lose their temper and turn violent. In traffic jams across Noida in the evenings, people don't hesitate to walk out and hit each other.  At workplaces, colleagues lose their temper and say things that they regret later. During holidays with loved ones, small things set us off and we say things that damage relationships forever. No one stops anyone. Everyone likes a big, bad fight. It's great to vent. After all, what's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? 


Does anger solve your problems? You know the answer!

If anger solved all the problems in the world, this world would have been a perfect place centur…

What is true knowledge? Dada Vaswani's teaching on knowledge offers a valuable lesson!

These days, everyone is an 'expert' on a given topic and this is most evident on social media.  From make up to nutrition to every topic under the sun including coffee, wine and herbs, there are experts on every social media platform. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it can prove helpful in your quest for knowledge but sometimes these are misleading as well. Not all that shines is gold, remember? So how do you figure out the mark of a person with knowledge as compared to those who proclaims it the rest of the world?
Here is a wise quote from Ruzbeh N Bharucha's book, 'Conversations with Dada Vaswani' offers us a powerful insight about knowledge and what it means.
[MUST-READ: Sage Tiruvalluvar's Golden Advice on Friendship]

                               FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST
Sadhu Vaswani, who is much loved and revered as a spiritual master, shares the crux of what knowledge stands for. True - there is no wisdom greater than this.

Premam Malayalam Movie Review: A Superb Entertaining Love Story in which Nivin Pauly conquers hearts and Sai Pallavi is a delight to watch

Alphonse Puthren's Malayalam movie "Premam" starring Nivin Pauly has been a most talked about film as Malayalis across the world have shown great love for "Premam."  
"Premam" is a movie that will take you back to the bittersweet memories of your first love, second love and maybe, third and final love!
[Image credit: Google Images]
Premam Malayalam Movie Review: Butterflies are mentally mental, so is love
I had a big smile on my face when I read the words "Butterflies are mentally mental, so is love" on the screen. This was shown just before the credits started to show.
It marks the perfect beginning to a "nutcase" love story! I was all set to enjoy this delicious tale of teenage crush, love & mature love - the phases that each of us have gone through in this journey of life at some time or the other.
Premam Malayalam Movie Review: Story
Premam's story revolves around the butterfly-like, romantic journey of  George David (Nivin Pa…

Hey Jude movie review: Nivin Pauly and Trisha shine their magic in this feel-good, heartwarming entertainer

Acclaimed director Shyamaprasad's latest movie starring Nivin Pauly (as Jude) and Trisha (as Crystal) is a heartwarming love storyof two completely different individuals who find a rare bonding of friendship with each other, helping the other to deal with the distinct quirks in personality. The story also touches upon a very important aspect of human life - no human being is perfect and it's okay to be different and quirky but you also need to find a support system and practical ways to overcome it.


                                                    [Image: Hey Jude Facebook Page]

Jude is different but he still makes you laugh
From scene 1, you can sense that Jude is different from other men of his age - his reactions are slow, unpredictable and borders on immaturity unless it has something to do with the topics that interest him - for example, marine life or oceanic pollution. There is nothing laughable or frivolous about Jude but this is exactly where Nivin Pauly's portray…

Sage Tiruvalluvar's golden advice on how friendship affects your life

Ruzbeh N Bharucha's latest book, ICE with Very Unusual Spirits, is a book that I have absolutely enjoyed reading. While reading every chapter, I began to contemplate a lot on the friendships in my life, as the book blends in some of the most valuable teachings of Sage Tiruvalluvar and Sai Baba of Shirdi. The essence of the book revolves around true friendship and how it can make us not just more human but it can make us divine beings too.




As human beings, we thrive on friendship. These days, I've started wondering, ''Is there real friendship out there?'' From experiences that span four decades now (yeah, I am that old!), I am beginning to wonder about the authenticity of most ''friendships.'' [Do read: How to Console a Friend who Lost her Spouse]

A friend whom we knew since childhood days invites us home for dinner but when we visit, we don't get served dinner, but popcorn. Our mistake? We arrived in an auto, instead of a taxi (it is a differe…

Does Maha Mrityunjaya mantra work?

Many people ask me this question, ''Does Maha Mrityunjaya mantra work?''. Mantras always work but the problem is that we are often not open to believing this.  The query about whether the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra works comes in different forms, sometimes by email, in the comments section or in person. Most people are curious, some are interested but few are committed to sincerely want the answer.



I am just an ordinary seeker on the spiritual path but my experiences have taught me valuable lessons and I am sharing this with you so that it helps your spiritual progress.
From what I have learned from my grandmother, who was a devout Shiva Bhakt throughout her life, the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is a powerful mantra that has ancient sounds which provides an aura of protection to those who chant it with faith regularly and it triggers powerful energies to remove sufferings and diseases. This is why Hindus believe that the one who chants the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra will be blesse…