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USTAD HOTEL: The Beauty of Nonchalance

© Hindi Cinema Blog

Every now and then, there is a regional film making its way into a review by the Hindi Cinema Blog and Ustad Hotel, a 2012 Malayalam film written by Anjali Menon and directed by Anwar Rasheed merits such an occasion.

Ustad Hotel´s subtle cinematography and its richly colorful images paint a refreshing and simple story. Faizal, nicknamed Fayzee (Dulquer Salman) grows up amid his sisters until they are "married off" one by one. Fayzee hopes to be a chef, much against the aspirations of his father. He goes to Switzerland to study hotel management at the University of Lausanne. When he returns, the possibility for an arranged marriage is broken off by the bride-to-be Shahana (Nithya Menon), who also reveals to one and all that Fayzee has secretly completed a chef's course and not a career in hotel management, as agreed. This event shatters his father's dream of opening a five-star hotel in his home town of Kozhikode. Fayzee feels so cornered that he decides to move in and work with his grandfather Karim Ka (Thilakan), who is also a chef and runs a beach restaurant called Ustad Hotel. Fayzee's philosophy of life matures and evolves under the formative eye of his grandfather in this lovely coming of age entertainer.

The script, photography, characters, music and performances in the film are filled with a colourful and delicate charm that makes a spectator sit happily through the entire story as it unfolds very nonchalantly on the screen. While one of my only regrets for the film is the ever returning stereotype of Western women being completely amoral man-eaters, nothing else seems too far fetched in a plot where destiny seems to be a given, romance is organic and where characters and situations remain extremely endearing.

Dulquer Salman carries the beginning of the film and later finds his match in Nithya Menon. Thilakan is exquisite from the moment he appears on the screen, as is to be expected, and brings a certain kind of lighthearted mysticism to the film with pitch-perfect histrionics.

Watch Ustad Hotel for a relaxing, feel-good and thought-inducing cinema session and I am certain it will not be regretted.

Visit Ustad Hotel on Facebook

Directed by       Anwar Rasheed 
Produced by      Listin Stephen
Written by        Anjali Menon
Narrated by      Mamukkoya
Starring             Dulquer Salmaan, Thilakan, Siddique, Nithya Menon
Music by          Gopi Sunder
Cinematography   S. Lokanathan

1 comment:

Upcoming Movies said...

Brilliant movie! Ustad Hotel, a 2012 Malayalam movie is worth a watch. Will satisfy your soul and mind as good food satisfies our tummy and heart!!! An Absolutely refreshing movie like finger licking good food.

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