Director: Anwar Rasheed
Stars: Dulquer Salmaan, Thilakan, Nithya Menon, Siddique and others
Ustad Hotel is a fulfilling and a touching film which dazzles in its beauty and its simplicity. It is one of the most delightful and fun filled films which appeals to people of all ages and audiences. It celebrates whole heartedly the overwhelming subtlety of life through a tale of food, music and love. Ustad Hotel is a lovely experience that fills our souls.
Ustad Hotel journeys through the society to give us a glimpse of its imperfection. It depicts the typical conservative and orthodox mindsets in India amidst the invisible warriors who are fighting these patriarchal ideologies in the disguise of moderate novelty. The central character of the film is Faizal a.k.a Faizi (played by Dulquer Salmaan) a free spirited young man. He made his father Razaq (played by Siddique) proud by his mere existence. Razaq had previously consummated four girls(which is ideologically a failure to him). Razaq finally was relieved as he saw in Faizal the hope to manage a high end hotel, something he had been aspiring for throughout his life. But all these aspirations are shattered to ground when Faisal studies cooking instead of managing. This consequently batters the planned arranged marriage proposal between Faisal and Shahana (played by Nithya Menon). Finally, his father outcastes him and the second phase of Faizal’s life begins with his grandfather Kareem (played by Thilakan) in a small coastal town named “Kozhikode”. Through their bond and the “Ustad Hotel”, Faizal grows phenomenally in the philosophy of love and living.
This film is breathtaking in a subtle way. It carries with it, a distinctive yet profound ideology. That is, to cherish every moment of living existence. Kareem embraces this ideology adding to the calmness of Sufism. As we have mentioned before, it’s not groundbreaking. But the simplistic aura the film carries blows the viewer away and stirs their positive emotions.
Dulquer, Siddique and Nithya carry out their tasks skilfully and so does the other crew. The most elevated point of the film is Thilakan’s masterfully versatile and beautiful portrayal of Kareem. The film is technically satisfying, with its straightforward cinematography towards the concept. The music fits well with the film and adds flavour to the visuals.
Ustad Hotel is a lovely experience and Kareem is one of our favourite characters in all of cinema. Kareem is not a character we can relate to, but can derive immense motivation from. To eat is to survive, but to cook is to live and to live is to cherish the zeal of our existence.