'Salute' Review: Dulquer Salmaan's Gripping Thriller Deserves a Salute, Almost
Dulquer Salmaan's 'Salute' is an engaging investigation thriller.
'Salute' Movie Review: Dulquer Salmaan's Gripping Thriller Deserves a Salute, Almost
Filmmaker Rosshan Andrrews joins hands with writers Bobby and Sanjay yet again for Salute, a police investigative drama headlined by Dulquer Salmaan. The 2 hour 20-minute film is a whodunit, suspense drama, murder mystery, slow burn thriller - all rolled into one and thanks to the tight script, it makes for an engaging watch.
Salute revolves around Aravind Karunakaran (Dulquer) - a guilt-ridden superintendent of police, who goes on a sabbatical after realising that he and a team of cops have pinned a double-murder on an innocent man named Murali. An upcoming election and political pressure from the ruling party is what drives the investigating team to close the case by implicating Murali, an auto driver. The conflict in the narrative mainly comes from the fact that it is Aravind's elder brother Ajith (Manoj K Jayan) who leads the investigation. Unlike a conscientious Aravind, his brother has learnt his lessons within the police service the hard way. "It's the way the system works!" is how he admonishes Aravind, who obstinately wants to pursue the truth.
Aravind, who had joined the police force wanting to be a "good police officer" and has always seen his brother as a role model, goes on a long leave unable to come to terms with the way 'the system' works. Things glide along till one fine day the honest ex-cop bumps into Murali's sister. Their interaction drives Aravind to reopen the case and track down the real killer.
Rosshan adopts a measured and restrained approach to the storytelling and it works, keeping the viewer interested as the plot unfolds. Both Dulquer and Manoj deliver subdued performances keeping with the film's narrative pitch. Their cat and mouse game as brothers living under same roof, keeping up appearances for the rest of family, while themselves trying to outwit each other is what gives Salute most of its heart. The background score by Jakes Bejoy is on point, adding that necessary layer of intrigue and threat without being obtrusive.
Where Salute stumbles is in its last stretch. The finale of the film just doesn't live up to the magnificent build up. Perhaps, the writers wanted the audience to share Aravind's frustration, but the honest cop himself doesn't seem to have a character arc to speak of. We more or less leave Aravind as he was at the start of the film. It would have been satisfying to see Aravind no longer in awe of his brother, who he realises is just another cog in the system's exploitative wheel. That would have been a transformation deserving a salute.
Rating: 3 Out of 5 Quints
(Salute is streaming on SonyLiv.)
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