'Spanish Masala' (Malayalam)
Director: Lal Jose
Cast: Dileep, Daniela Zacherl, Kunchacko Boban, Biju Menon, Vinaya Prasad
How far can gimcrack buffoonery keep you hooked? Add to it an obsolete poor boy-rich girl plot and an utterly predictable climax - that’s ‘Spanish Masala’ for you. Lal Jose’s latest outing is a wet cracker ballooned with tiring jokes and irksome melodrama. The first half of the film is a string of second rate gags, unfunny and nauseating. Most of the comic sequences remind you of a TV skit where people crack up at the drop of a hat.
From the very beginning, you can’t help having this feel of déjà vu, but you will never expect the storyline to be so insipid and flat that the films of black and white era seem much more entertaining.
The story revolves around Charlie (Dileep), an illegal immigrant, and Camilla (Daniela), the blind daughter of an ex-diplomat. Charlie eventually ends up as the chef in Camilla’s mansion and there blooms yet another run-of-the-mill romance. If the first half is just plain boring, the second half is nothing but out-and-out torture. If you thought new-age films are much sleeker in terms of build up and suspense you are mistaken. From the very moment the title credits roll, you know what will follow.
We feel even Benny P Nayarambalam, who penned the script, is clueless about the logic behind setting the story in Spain. Other than a couple of language-ridden lame jokes, there is no rationale for the locale and nor was it filmed there for any scenic appeal. In fact, sewing in the crude footage of bull fight and Tomatina festival to the film makes it look immensely amateurish.
Dileep’s character is an extension of his regular screen avatars and there is nothing exceptional to look forward to. Daniela has some designer expressions pasted on her face, something similar to her dreadful Malayalam in the film.
Biju Menon is wasted in the role of a caretaker while Nelson seems straight out of a comedy show. Kunchacko makes the most unconvincing anti-hero ever. His attempts at proving villainy like that in the dog scene are simply disgusting. When all others prefer to stay below the mark why should the music alone try to differ?
Vidyasagar joins the club with his mediocre numbers and Lokanathan, who cranked the camera, makes no exception.
One of the most uninspired and unfunny flicks of recent times, ‘Spanish Masala’ is mind-numbingly bland. And it’s really baffling to think that this tacky caper comes from the Dileep-Lal Jose-Benny P Nayarambalam team who could deliver a delightful ‘Chandupottu.’