The story of romance of the not-so-young, the delicacies that come in one scene after the other ( young viewers, I am not talking about Asif Ali or Mythili) and the unusual songs (I mean AanaKallan), Salt and Pepper , directed by Aashiq Abu is a trendsetter. It combines culinary adventure and realistic depiction of a love affair that happens from a misunderstanding.
A misunderstanding is the shortest cut between two hearts, Kahlil Gibran has said . Maya and Kalidasan are unmarried, passionate about food and lead quiet lives. Until a misdirected call connects Maya and Kalidasan and they start talking to each other about their lives and their passion for food.
As the conversations progress, they decide to meet. But both of them are in their late 30s and not so happy about their appearance and decide to send in their young friends. As both of them do the same thing, this twist adds to the comic element resulting in an affair with Manu and Meenakshi, the young friends who come disguised as Maya and Kalidasan.
The songs are amazing especially “Kanamullal” and “Premikumbol”. The most interesting part of the movie, however is how the two foodies share a recipe for baking a multi-layered cake known as Joan’s Rainbow, which was cake made by a loving wife who waited patiently for her husband to come back from WW II. As he was delayed by the four days, she made three layers of strawberry, pistachio and orange flavours and melted the chocolates he brought and poured it on the top. This is the rainbow of love that they had created and which they infuse into the two lovers who create the rainbow magic individually.
The stunning Swetha Menon and the realistic Lal have acted superbly. One unforgettable moment of the movie is when Kalidasan goes for a pennukanal and brings home a cook, played by Babu who has managed to break out of his villain stereotype.
A tryst with food, Salt and Pepper has a feel good effect about it! Hope, for the sake of my friend Swapna from Hyderabad, who loves Kerala food and can’t understand Malayalam, the movie gets remade in Hindi soon so that she can tell me, “Yeah Suni, stop raving about that movie. I have seen it too!”