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

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 …

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…

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'…

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 …

Sukhamo Devi: Directed by Venu Nagavally

Not just as a fan of Venu Nagavally but as an avid movie watcher, I have to admit that Sukhamo Devi is a path breaking Malayalam movie that influenced many youths in Kerala. A campus romance with a most heart wrenching narrative and happy moments, by his own admission, Director Venu Nagavally called it a true portrayal of his own tragic love story.



The campus movie paved the way for a great shift in the realm of story telling, scripting, music and even the characterization of the protagonists. The way this movie reached out to touch and influence young minds cannot be expressed sufficiently in words. It changed our perceptions about campus romance, friendships, relationships and even the intimacy of our experiences in campus once we have come of the mould and learned to separate ourselves from those whom we once considered central to our happiness in life. 

Remember, the song ''Sukhamo Devi'' and see how it just transports you into another world altogether? Mohanlal, Sh…

Raja Yoga effects meaning, definition and everything you want to know

Hinduism prescribes four paths to attain self-realization on the spiritis interestingual path. These are Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. Each path  and presents different challenges to spiritual seekers. In this post, lets understand about Raja Yoga, what it means and who are the spiritual masters in Hinduism who have mastered this form of Yoga.  



[Source: Paramahansa Yogananda Facebook page]


A song by Leonardo Cohen 'Anthem' goes like this, ''There's a crack in everything. That's how the Light gets in."
Think about your heart. Way too often, it is a a broken heart with cracks that leads you to ask questions like, 'What is the purpose of my life?'. Ah yes, this is how the Light gets in, my dear friends.
Raja Yoga Meaning, Definition and Effect
Raja Yoga is generally seen as the path of meditation and it is known as the king among Yogas. Why? It relies on techniques that are based on science. The mind is of utmost importance while pra…

Why Om is powerful and important

Summers are here and I love to bask in the sunshine. We all do, don't we, especially after a brief spell of gloomy, dark winters? The last three months have been challenging for me on the path of Sadhana - many slip ups that I am not proud of. These are gentle reminders to maintain steadfast self-discipline. 

You may wonder, ''Why should one be disciplined on the spiritual path?"



FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST


Can you study any subject and master it without exercising discipline? Whether you are a doctor, a lawyer, a stock exchange broker or a blogger, can you accomplish important milestones without sticking to a certain level of discipline in the way you work? The most successful people across all spheres of life are known to be highly disciplined.

As Swami often points out, even sports, which is meant for enjoyment, cannot have champions unless they are highly disciplined. If you are a blogger, don't you ensure a certain degree of discipline in your approach to findi…

Mumbai Police Movie Review: Prithviraj breaks the typical 'hero' mold, challenges sexual stereotyping

Exploring a completely different dimension in his latest film Mumbai Police, Director Rosshan Anddrews delivers a fast-paced, thriller film after his award winning fims such as Udayananu Tharam, Notebook and others.



To flesh out the script written by Boby Sanjay, Rosshan Anddrews ropes in actors such as Prithviraj, Rahman and Jayasurya to portray three police officers: Antony Moses, Farhan and Aryan respectively.
The story begins with a phone call that Antony Moses (starring Prithviraj) makes to Farhan (starring Rahman) saying that he has solved the murder mystery of Aryan (starring Jayasurya). Just as he says this, there is an accident and Antony Moses loses his memory. From then, Farhan's attempt is to take Antony through people and places that are likely to trigger his memory so that they can solve the murder of their close friend and colleague Aryan. A series of events happen, almost hurtling us towards it.
And I am taking the liberty to hand out trophies for the following:
'M…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Ravi Shankar Etteth's novel 'The Brahmin' unravels secrets and mysteries of Mauryan Empire under Emperor Asoka

Set with thrilling historical details and unforgettable characters, Ravi Shankar Etteth's novel 'The Brahmin' kept me glued from start to finish.  The story of 'The Brahmin' revolves around a skillful and ruthless spymaster of Emperor Asoka's court, whose intelligence and cunning helps him to unravel a dangerous mystery of the 'Blood Flower' unfolding across the corridors of power.  


What is it about 'The Brahmin' that allows him to be treated almost an equal by Emperor Asoka?  He even commands the respect of Queen Asandhimitra, who comes to his advice as a friend. Her emotional dependence on 'the Brahmin' is clear as crystal, further strengthened in the narrative through scenes where it seems that she secretly adores the man who can safeguard her husband's powerful empire as well as command the loyalty of Greek soldiers like Antochlius.
More interestingly, the portrayal of powerful and fearless women warriors like Hao and beautiful en…