The Great Indian Kitchen review: The right food for thought

The camera pans across different houses as Nimisha Sajayan walks through the street. In the background, one gets to see a few women - either doing household chores or looking after their kids. 

And then comes a song in Palluvan language written by Mrudula Devi S and composed by Mathews Pulickan which describes the essence of the movie.


Writer-director Jeo Baby's fourth outing The Great Indian Kitchen is centered around a woman's role in a kitchen. The movie released on NeeStream.

In one of the scenes, an ageing father is describing the daughter-in-law as how the former's wife, despite having an MA devoted her life for her children. 

It's not the kind of movie where you see two characters bonding over food but rather it's one which can make you think over the food.

Making a delicious food

The film moves at a quick pace with less of dialogues and more of cooking. When we first see Nimisha's character, we see her smiling and dancing her heart out. We soon are introduced to Suraj Venjaramood who reaches the former's house to meet her as part of the typical traditional 'pennukanal chadang.' With the deliciously crisp cuts by Francies Louis, we get to see the duo tying the knot in no time.

What makes the crux of the story is how the duo lead on with their marriage life revolving around the kitchen. To make the story more relatable, Joe Baby has omitted naming the central characters.

Getting the right ingredients

The right ingredients comes with right casting. Without any doubt, central to the success of this film is the flawless performances from the cast.

NimishaSajayan and Suraj Venjaramood outshine each other. The transition in calling names like 'molu', 'di', 'etta' are all visible through their voice modulations as well. The supporting cast is also impeccable. Watch out for Sidharth Siva's loathing dialogue. 

No individual is caricatured here with no preachy or sentimental scenes.

The perfect hands in cooking

Just like his previous works - Kunju Daivam, Rand penkuttykal, and Kilometers and Kilometers, writer-director Jeo Baby narrates the story in The Great Indian Kitchen with a subtle charm.

His approach to depicting the realities of life is precise. 

There were a few instances like the Sabarimala verdict sequence which had a documentary-like precision even when the situation is fictional. 

The extensive use of realistic soundscape would also have added to the effect.  

Getting a perfect location for movies makes half the job done for a director. Here, a house where the movie is set acts as major premise with a wide kitchen and the small passage to the dinning hall. DOP Salu K Thomas does make use of the spaces inside the house to bring out the best visuals.

Serving the dish

The excellent direction, well-written characters and seasoned performances with insightful message makes the movie a fulfilling experience.

What one gets to see is an absolutely honest film served with some right ingredients.

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