In Lal Jose's new film 'Spanish Masala, for starters, you have an officer of the Spanish embassy, traveling back to his homeland after years of service in India, along with his young daughter and her Indian governess. At the farewell event, the Spanish girl, trained by her ayah, renders 'Omanathinkal Kidaavo..', suggesting that her ties with India are not to be severed that quick.
And hence the main menu card has the girl blossoming into a beautiful Camille (Daniela Zackerl) who has already found and lost the love of her life. Her dad doesn't take too kindly to her romance with the governess's son Rahul (Kunchacko Boban0, and hence sends him across to Portugal on an assignment, where we're told, he was killed in a car crash.
For desserts, of course arrives Charlie (Dileep), a mimicry artiste-turned-chef who specializes in churning out delicious dosas at a road side restaurant in Madrid. And one fine sunny evening, Camille, who drives past is enamored by the magical odor of his Spanish Masala Dosa. In no time, he's appointed as the master cook in her palatial bungalow, and with Charlie and Camille together with the dosa in between, can love be far behind?
It's here that Lal Jose's new film starts fizzling out into a total non-happening. Its dessert time, folks, and you would be surprised to find that it isn't even half-time as yet. There is almost an hour to go still, and with the banquet table having been wiped clean, where do the guests go?
Benny P Nayarambalam's script, in all fairness, does have a Spanish Masala Dosa quality to it, in that it's crepe thin. As Charlie says, you need to break an egg on top of it, and add up the special masala filling that would lend it that extra zing. How I wish they had thought of something similar to pep up the plot.
They call it the 'taste of love', and forget the taste, where is the love? And coming from a director who has given us some real charming love tales, this one is a royal let down. I never could make it when it was that love struck Charlie, though it's much more obvious as to why Camille starts reciprocating his feelings.
When you first see Fernando, Camille's cousin on screen, you make a mental note, that this is the white guy who is soon gonna be given an opportunity to realize the true power of the dark Indian man. Along comes a sequence, when he is taught a lesson, for being the kind of chap who insists on being trained.
Camille, on her part, is less of a Spanish woman of substance, and more of a coy Indian village girl, when it comes to her demeanor. She does shout once in a while, trying frantically to establish her presence, but is mostly hapless when it comes to taking a decision, and is often awfully late when she finally arrives at the right one.
There is little earth shattering about the performances in Spanish Masala, except Nelson's. The man is indeed a true revelation, and given the right roles, he could perhaps bring in some freshness to the highly stale comic scenario. Dileep is comfortable in a role that has been tailor made for him. Daniela, looks pretty, but seems totally ill at ease at times, having to mouth awkward Malayalam dialogues.
This masala mix is littered with quite a few wrong spices, be it the dreary dialogues, cardboard characters or the uneven pacing. It's very unlikely hence, that you would go for its flavors; at best (or perhaps worst) you might sneeze. That's it.