Salute movie review: Dulquer Salmaan’s film is a fine police procedural

Updated on Mar 18, 2022 12:10 PM IST

Salute movie review: Dulquer Salmaan plays a cop stripped of all the antics that cop movies usually bestow upon their lead actors.

Dulquer Salman plays a police office in Salute.
Dulquer Salman plays a police office in Salute.
ByHaricharan Pudipeddi

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Malayalam cinema makes the best police procedurals in the country today. Rosshan Andrrews’s Salute, which features Dulquer Salmaan in the role of a cop trying to crack a case gone cold, joins the long list of impressive cop thrillers from the industry and makes for a riveting watch. The film, which doesn’t quite rely on shocking twists, majorly works due to its focused storytelling, and in spite of being slow-paced, it still manages to keep one engaged till the end. (Also read: Kurup movie review: Dulquer Salmaan’s film is a compelling crime drama about an elusive fugitive)

 

Dulquer plays sub-Inspector Aravind Karunakaran, whose role model to join the force is his own brother Ajith Karunakaran, the deputy superintendent of police (Manoj K Jayan). Aravind looks up to his brother and takes pride in working under him. Ajith leads a team that’s after a faceless killer. The police nab the guy who they believe is responsible for the double murders, but there is not enough evidence to prove it. However, the real criminal turns out to be someone else and the police, upon learning of their goof up, decide to just let it all resolve on its own. Aravind’s conscience doesn’t let him be at peace. To nab the real killer, Aravind goes on long leave and starts to investigate on his own, earning the wrath of his own brother and his team.

What really works in the film’s favour is the narrative style. Unlike most cop thrillers, Salute isn’t in a hurry to make the hero catch the criminal. This isn’t one of those films where the twists blow you away. In fact, the film rarely relies on any major twists and rather spends its time on letting the hero be haunted by his own conscience and a faceless villain. Every time we feel like the hero is very close to nabbing the killer, the story takes a detour and Aravind hits a roadblock. Here, we don’t get a hero who’s invincible but someone who is as vulnerable as anyone. The fact that the film never tries to glorify Dulquer’s cop character is a major highlight for the film.

After the breezy romantic comedy Hey Sinamika, it’s refreshing to see Dulquer play a cop stripped of all the hero's antics. He delivers a measured performance and makes us empathize with his character, someone who’s torn between duty and family; right and wrong. The conflict and the tension between the brothers make up for another interesting angle that works in making the story quite engaging. The women have very less to contribute and Diana Penty gets wasted in a role that has no impact.

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