Salala Mobiles is a Malayalam romantic comedy starring Dulquer Salmaan and Nazriya Nazim.
Afsal (Dulquer), with the money sent by his uncle, starts a mobile shop called Salala Mobiles. To buy stock for the shop, he goes to another city where he meets a guy named Alagarsamy. Alagarsamy is apparently some genius who develops software and applications for cell phones. He has applications like “Alagar’s vehicle parking reminder,” “Alagar’s burning flame light,” and Alagar’s electric shock application.” Alagarsamy likes Afsal and decides to gift him a software he developed called “Alagar’s Mind Tapper.” This software taps into people’s cellphones and allows the user to listen to their conversations.
Afsal returns to his shop with the software and installs it. He starts tapping into people’s cell phones. When people come to his shop to top up their cell phones, he sends a blank message to their phones containing the virus for the Alagar’s Mind Tapper. Afsal and his friend Binoy start spending their evenings eavesdropping on people’s phone conversations and have a blast doing it. They learn people’s secrets but never make it known to those people when they see them at the store.
Afsal is in love with a girl named Shahana (Nazriya) who comes by his shop often to top up her phone. Afsal doesn’t have the courage to open up to her and just stares at her. There is a guy, Manaf, that comes to the store often, who claims that he is having an affair with Shahana. So Afsal and Binoy also tap Shahana’s phone to find out if it’s true. Meanwhile, the police recieve complaints about the phone tappings and start searching for the culprits. The rest of the film is about whether the police get to Afsal and whether Afsal and Shahana end up together.
Finally, an Indian film about Muslims that does not show Muslim as terrorists, extremists, criminals, hypocrites or as people who don’t practice their religion. I’m so happy that I saw this film and I want to see more films like this. I have been wondering for some time now why Indian films are not more Muslim-friendly. It’s not easy for Muslims to see most Indian films and I find it strange that more films don’t cater to Muslims, especially considering that the Muslim population in India is roughly the same as the population of Pakistan. Salala Mobiles is the only film that I have been able to identify with as a Muslim and watch without any discomfort about the way Muslims were portrayed. I highly recommend this film for Muslims who want to watch a nice, entertaining and clean film.
I think it’s sad that after watching 300+ Indian films in a span of ten years, that this is really the only Indian film about Muslims that I was completely happy with. I think that’s a disgrace for Indian cinema. When I say that Indian films are not Muslim-friendly, someone often responds with “the Khans are ruling Bollywood.” But who cares if they’re ruling Bollywood when they don’t even play Muslim characters or make any effort to portray Muslims more objectively in Indian films. Sure, MNIK is the exception because it shows that Muslims are also good people. But the theme of that film was also terrorism. I won’t even mention Kurbaan. What exactly was the message of that film, that Muslims are all terrorists? And I don’t know what is worse, Kurbaan or the comment made by Saif Ali Khan that he “learned more about Islam by shooting Kurbaan.” So it makes absolutely no difference to me as a Muslim that the most famous Bollywood actors are Muslim.
I just want to see films about Muslims that are not about terrorism or the underworld. I want to see Muslims portrayed as normal people with normal lives because we are! I can just hear you say Bol Bachchan or Raanjhanaa. Bol Bachchan was a Muslim’s shirk nightmare with that constantly repeated line…”na Allah bure manange, na bhagwan.” And films like Raanjhanaa are unrealistic. In an effort to “bring” Muslims and Hindus together, Indian films usually show Muslims marrying Hindus. But that’s unacceptable and undesirable by both religions and Muslims will not want to see such films for that reason. So Indian filmmakers’ idea for making a film Muslim friendly is showing Muslims as people who don’t follow their religion– either they don’t practice their religion or they don’t mind making huge exceptions to religious rules, such as marrying a non-Muslim or drinking alcohol. These films are not Muslim-friendly. They either distort what Muslims are really like or straight out insult Muslims’ beliefs.
Okay, I’ll get back to Salala Mobiles. I liked the performances of both actors. I had heard of Nazriya before. I actually came across her facebook page by accident once and discovered that she is a famous actress. In fact, she had just announced her engagement on facebook. Then I read all-brown-everything praise her performance in Ohm Shanthi Oshaana. I actually decided to see this film for Nazriya. I think that she acts very naturally, but to be honest, there wasn’t a lot of scope for her character in this film. She is no doubt very talented, she sang for the Salala Mobiles song and has a nice voice.
The film mostly relies on he performance of Dulquer Salmaan and I think he has done a good job. He doesn’t have fancy dialogues to deliver or dance sequences but he is in grasp of his expressions and makes everything look very natural. I can’t say that his performance was mind-blowing, but it was satisfactory. Moreover, the character he was playing was as such. I haven’t seen enough Malayalam films yet to compare to films of other South Indian film industries. But the films I have seen so far suggest that Malayalam films do not show heroes as super human people like Telugu films do for example. And I think that’s a good thing.
I like the comedy in this film, especially the Alagarsamy scenes and the phone tapping coversations.
The other great part about this film is the songs. I am in love with the qawwali Rasoolallah. It’s very beautiful. Shreya Goshal also sang an emotional song in the film. And like I said, Nazriya sang the Salala song.
The only thing I didn’t like was the old lady cartoon image in the beginning and end of the film. It was scary!
Overall, I recommend the film, it’s a good watch.