Spain had been a happening country in our filmdom these days with few Bollywood hits shot in the picturesque country. And if Bollywood can do magic with films like 'Zindagi Na mile Dobara', few from Mollywood including Laljose could have thought, why can't we make a similar attempt. After giving the title with that masala flavour and teaming up with Benny P Nayarambalam, they would have started off with the title character who could be a chef, successfully making Indian masalas at Spain. And how to fill in the rest is somewhere the entire crew falters making this love'- masala devoid of any big taste.
The writer , though attempting his first film to be shot overseas, had but created one story that could be planted on anywhere in the country. Like the recent Thenkasi and Thevar films in Mollywood, all the characters and plot follows that well trodden path and the melodrama takes the 'eighties' way.
The movie opens with the return of a Spanish embassy officer to his homeland, after years of service in India. He is going back with sweet memories about India, along with his only daughter and the Indian caretaker who teachers the little girl to sing the lullaby. 'Omanathinkal Kidaavo..'. The movie thus seems to take off to a perfect start, suggesting spaces that will later help the heroine to converse in Malayalam fluently.
Years later arriving in Spain with a performing team is Charlie (Dileep), a mimicry artiste who has an ability to mimic anyone's voice even with the slightest acquaintances. Due to his heavy debts down home, Charlie is trying to stay back in Spain. But as he loses the contact person's address, Charlie takes refuge as a cook in a Indian restaurant, where he specialises in making dosas , especially a fresh item in the menu in the name 'Spanish Masala'. The little girl of the Spanish ambassador, has now grown up as beautiful Kamila (Daniela Zacherl), but is blind now, after a failed love affair with the son of her Indian caretaker, Rahul(Kunchakko Boban), who is reported to have died in an accident .
Kamila, but senses the sweet taste of Charlie's street side dosa, while travelling in a car (?), and little after we find Charlie in the palatial bungalow of the Ambassador , working as the personal cook of the inmates. Within days Charlie befriends Kamila, mimicking Rahul's voice and by the half time Kamila' father, realising their fondness decide to marry off his daughter to Charlie. As Charlie goes to India to fetch his mother for their marriage function, Kamila suddenly regains her eyesight one fine morning , the ambassador is found dead the same day and Rahul appears from nowhere for this funeral.
What you have been told till now is a story of 'Spanish Masala' till the half break and where the movie falters big-time is in the later part where the scriptwriter or the director has simply no clues about how to wrap up the story. The proceedings get increasingly dull and sluggish with heavy melodrama taking the central stage. Added to that is the poor diction and 'manniquin'istic rendering of the foreign actress, which instead of giving a believability creates a lots of unintended laughs, limiting the impact of the emotional sequences. The feel and intensity of a love story is sadly missing throughout. Even the locations are not used to the needed effect with all highlights of Spain like the bull fight, flamenco dance and the La Tomatina festival shot in an amateurish way.
In the acting side Dileep looks good and manages to bring in an occasional laugh with is characteristic(?) numbers. But Daniela is asked to behave just like any other Indian girl in the given situations, which looks awkward and unbelievable. Kunchakko Boban's bearded looks and the character is fine while Biju Menon, and others doesn't have anything better to do than to be in their regular roles. The only actor who surprises us is Nelson, who impresses in many sequences, and proves that he will be finding more takers in the coming films in roles ala Salimkumar ( Though his character in the movie is a ditto of what the later has done in 'Pokiriraja').
The technical side of the movie is fine with Lokanathan's quality visuals while Vidyasagar's songs and BG are also good. Aarezhuthi Aavo...' is the pick of the four songs, though it feature a bit of Enrique's Bailamos in its interludes.
All in all, this 'Spanish masala' is strictly for those who can endure old age melodramas, but not definitely in the league of a typical Laljose film. As usual families may find the movie more interesting, as the new generation audiences will find it hard to locate that promised 'taste of love'.