Slow Paced Procedural Thriller
What Is the Film About?
Aravind Karunakaran (Dulquer Salmaan) is the younger brother of Ajith Karunakaran (Manoj K Jayan), DySP. Aravind, a guy interested in law becomes police inspired by his brother.
However, things are not as honest as Aravind has imagined. The false implication of an innocent guy under police pressure makes Aravind go against his brother. He quits the duty and promises to catch the real killer. Did he nab the killer? What are the obstacles he faces is the movie’s core story.
Dulquer Salmaan plays a sincere and upright newly recruited cop. There are a few layers to his part which he does convincingly and without going overboard. However, they could have been explored in a better way.
If Dulquer was seen in a homely, and causal role previously, here he goes a bit heroic route. Aggression remains the common aspect between the two, and he is fabulous in those parts. Salute is not a memorable act, but it is good work that makes the proceedings enjoyable.
Rosshan Andrrews directs Salute. The story is a typical police procedural investigative drama with a small twist.
The framing of innocents by the police is an aspect that leads to the core conflict. Aravind is against it and he would go to great lengths to do what is right even if it means going against his brother.
This unique brother versus brother angle within a police set-up makes Salute interesting initially. The proceedings that lead to the escalation in the conflict could have been handled better, though. The reason for initial leave, although nothing wrong, comes across as silly. Similarly, the joining to feels that way.
The narrative dealing with the framing of an innocent is neatly done. We feel the horror without going the ‘visible’ brutality route. But, the slow pace and heavy on conversation drama test patience initially.
The other narrative in the film deals with the finding of a real killer aka Chandran Pillai. It is a typical police procedural investigation drama. The chance coincidences don’t let the narrative reach its potential concerning the thrills.
The pre-climax where all the pieces come together is intriguing. The connecting of dots is exciting. One looks forward to seeing the big bang, but there is an anti-climax of sorts. The ending instantly evokes a mixed bag reaction, but when we think about it calmly it is fine. A faceless killer having a similar end.
The other end related to the brother track is good, but it makes one wonder if it can’t be done earlier. Maybe it’s because of the dead end, but the feeling can’t be shrugged off. It is what leads to the mixed feeling.
Overall, Salute is a fairly decent investigative drama with a strong conflict. The muddled and dialogue-heavy narrative is an issue, but the mystery provides the intrigue. The ending leaves one divided depending on which side one falls. If you like thrillers despite slow pace give it a try.
Diana Penty playing the heroine has a forgettable part. She appears as a romantic interest for the hero and offers nothing else to the main thread.
Manoj K Jayan playing the elder brother part is good. His actions set things in motion, and despite less screen time (comparatively) his part has an effect throughout. The rest of the actors part of his team are also effective. However, they don’t have developed characters.
Music and Other Departments?
The background score by Jakes Bejoy is excellent. He provides the much-needed energy to the narrative even when it’s sluggish. Aslam K Purayil’s cinematography is fine. The attempt here seems to be to keep things grounded and it works to an extent. Some sequences look very ordinary, though. Sreekar Prasad’s editing is neat if one imagines how convoluted the whole thing could have become. The writing is okay but on the heavy side. It gives an overstuffed feeling.
Mixed Feeling At End
A racy narrative with a better focus on the actual killer.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, For The Most Part
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Reservations
Salute Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti