We have written ‘Salute’ with a lot of honesty: Interview with Sanjay

Scriptwriter duo Bobby-Sanjay knows how to write for the Malayali audience who are known to be very cinema literate.

‘Salute’ starring Dulquer Salmaan isn’t your usual investigative thriller. There is nothing heroic about Aravind Karunakaran, the cop played by Dulquer Salmaan, and he is investigating the case within his constraints. There are no cliched songs, fights, or humour in the film which was released directly on Sony Liv. After the success of ‘Kaanekkaane’, this is yet another intriguing script from Bobby-Sanjay. What are the challenges when writing for the Malayali audience who are known to be very cinema literate? Sanjay talks to Manorama online about ‘Salute’.

We didn’t want it to be predictable.

We haven’t really thought beyond what the audience wants. We wanted to make sure this story was unexpected and unpredictable for the audience. It doesn’t happen all the time though. Usually, we write a film as an audience. We will try to think whether we are able to predict such things as an audience. If we can, we rewrite them. Today’s audience is very hard to please. You need thorough research while writing for them. That way, ‘Salute’ is a well-researched script. That’s the respect we should show to the audience.

Story comes first

We don’t really sit with a director with the thought of writing a particular genre film. We discuss the first story that comes to our mind. If it is Roshan, we discuss the story with him. At that point, we have no idea where this story is going or who is acting in it. If the director liked the story, our discussions would lengthen. That’s the time we would be deciding about the casting. Then we go to the scripting stage. During that process, there are no discussions, only writing.

Later, we approach the actors and narrate the story. So it is the idea and not the genre that first originates in our mind. It’s not about deliberately doing a police story next. We had this story in mind which we thought would make a good film. That’s how ‘Salute’ happened. The audience is always attracted to the mystery element in a film. So it’s always better to watch this film without knowing what to expect. Especially when it is an investigative thriller.

The first film with Manoj K Jayan

Ajith Karunakaran is one of the most important characters in this film. He plays Dulquer’s brother in the film. We are also thrilled that this is our first collaboration with him. We were neighbours in Kottayam, and we have been friends from that time. Though we had planned to do one film we couldn’t do it because of dates. He is doing a strong full-length character in ‘Salute’.

Honest approach

We can only write a film which we can like. We watch all kinds of films. I think ‘Salute’ is a film that has satisfied the audience in us. Like always, we hope that all the people will like the film. There are no deliberate commercial additions in ‘Salute.’ The film was never made with the thought of making it commercially viable. We have given it the honesty the film demands.

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