On the surface, Sajan Bakery Since 1962 is not a revolutionary film nor does it boast of big twists and turns. But scratch the surface and you see that there are so many elements that go in favour of the movie.
The narrative revolves around Shamel Mappila's Saajan Bakery, which has been named after his only son.
Saajan grows up and becomes an alcohol addict. He gives plenty of troubles to his wife Mary. After death, their children, Betsy and Boban are looked after by their uncle, lovingly called Ammachan. The bakery too is run with the help of Ammachan.
The first half has our taste buds working overtime with all the confectioneries. The plot thus develops naturally as conversations help the audience understand the characters.
There are too many interesting moments in the film. The scenes are more or less relatable and dialogues appear to be syncing well with the situations.
The monologue type approach of Boban's love interest, Merin, gives a freshness in revealing the character.
The film is narrated through the perspectives of three females, and it reveals the male dominance in families and how it affects the kids.
The performance of Aju Varghese - both as father and son - is excellent. He, as the irresponsible son, makes us sympathize for his decisions and feel sorry for his statements. Lena, who dons an equally important role, does not disappoint at all. But a little more exploration would have given her character much more appeal.
Ranjitha Menon as Merin and Grace Antony as Mary give impressive performances with their subtle and controlled approach. Ganesh Kumar as uncle did justice to his role.
But for a film that tickles our gastronomic buds and hooks us in the first half, the second half meanders a bit. The scene where Boban decides to move on in life comes gradually and naturally but it would have been better had the film highlighted the spark that pushes him to do so.
The Ranni and Pathanamthitta terrain has been best captured by Guru Prasad, while the opening track by Prashant Pillai is quite innovative.
Saajan Bakery has its heart in the right place and is a pleasant feel to watch. As the film hurries to the climax, it reminds us of the importance of giving spaces and respect in relationships with a wonderful exchange of dialogues between Boban and Betsy.
Saajan Bakery is a film for families and will satisfy their long wait to return to theatres.