Ustad Hotel

A simple fable about life around USTAD HOTEL – a charming old world restaurant on Calicut Beach.

Ustad Hotel - the filmWhen and where did this story begin?

I find myself smiling when I look back. It does seem like life is a screenplay where the plot points are buried well 🙂

April 2009 – We were at the first discussion meeting for Kerala Cafe in Kochi. All the directors arrived and I was meeting most of them for the first time. At lunchtime, biryani packets arrived at the table.

It smelled delicious and as I helped myself I asked “where is this biryani from?” The director who smiled at my biryani love and answered my question was Anwar Rasheed. I didn’t know then that in two years time we’d be creating Ustad Hotel together! 🙂

Cut to 2011 I was at home in Calicut being pampered silly in the first trimester of pregnancy while being advised bed rest. If you ask me the Kozhikodan food menu is made entirely of comfort foods that feed one’s soul. One day  I called Anwar to share some stories I had been thinking of. He was intrigued by the “Uppuppa” one and asked if I could make some notes for him to understand it better. I did and he turned up in a week to hear it.

That day he got all excited and left the house only to return in a few minutes. He handed me a token advance to write his next film. Even for a moment he wasn’t deterred by the many reasons that deter most in this industry – newcomer writer, zero commercial experience, limited Malayalam, and a happily pregnant woman to boot! 

For me, I had seen the sensitivity with which Anwar directed ‘Bridge’ – his short film in Kerala Cafe and that was what my faith was built on. I hadn’t seen any of his other films. And yet there we were, dreaming a new dream together.

Not knowing anything about how writers work here, I just wrote the way I knew and he would gently nudge on. It kept me happy through all those months of staying indoors;  for in my head I was flitting through so many spaces and characters.

After I sent in the second act, I was rushing through the third act but before I could – surprise surprise… My baby turned up nearly a month before the date. Utterly joyful time, but very few people know that I got back to work within 10 days of the delivery. I was feeding the baby, putting him to sleep, writing the script, feeding the baby, putting him to sleep, writing the script. There was a crew waiting somewhere for the third act of this movie, so it had to be done… But most of all I wanted to keep up the faith my director had put in me. 

10 months later, on the release day I saw “Ustad Hotel” in a movie theatre with my baby on my lap. Anwar had knocked it out of the park! Ustad Hotel was Mon’s first movie and this film will always be the same age as my child. Every dialogue was lapped up by the audience and I felt every heart beat in that theatre. I hadn’t experienced anything as thrilling as that! That moment will remain among my favourite memories in life. Deeply thankful for all the love.

“Iss duniya mein agar Jannat hai, toh bas yahi hai, yahi hai, yahi hai… Subhanallah!” 

Behind the scenes interview of Ustad Hotel

147 thoughts on “Ustad Hotel

  1. Hi anjali mam,
    I watched your films
    They brings positivity,confidence and hope in life mam
    Thank you for your films.( life)
    I love you
    Suchitra from Vizag

  2. The most stupid person I know about is ME,MYSELF Let me just explain you I am a North Indian based in Delhi and watching Hindi films as a school kid since 60s Though having South Indian friends , heard about all the super stars of South but never saw any film To cut the story short I started watching South films since Sub titles came into fashion during post 2015/16 in the multiplexes Never was fond of OTT and liked watching on the big screen.Next came the virus and by chance I started seeing sub titled prints on my laptop. About two weeks back I saw Banglore Days and then next day Kodeevu ‘sorry if I am spelling wrong ‘ After watching suddenly I felt to know ‘Who is the Director’ of these two films I saw a common name Anjali Menon and was to find thanks to Google your works and about Ustad Hotel Third day I saw the film ,meaning back to back three movies written by you Never felt so thrilled to see something extra ordinary in Indian Cinema Keep up the good work. Hope you liked a 67 years old film mad crazy person calling himself Stupid in actual terms

  3. Ustad hotel is a movie that gives the same feeling each watch. Every frame or scene has something to tell you. Each character possesses an identity. A movie that entertains and jogs one’s memory simultaneously.

  4. I want to gud actor … At same time… Gud script writer also.. That my ambition.. Today I m again saw Usthad hotel.. But that feel can’t lose .. What is the respy.. Of u r stories…?????

  5. Really i watched 20 times as more.This movie is inspire of my life.i saw this movie at 2013 and I choose my field as a Chef.Till now i am a Chef.Even whenever i watch this movie i got a new thinking and new ideos and ethics of my carrier.Really loveable without boring movie…Thanks for usthad hotel movie team….

  6. I am from Hyderabad. I watched Ustad Hotel. Of course the other movies of you as well, with the help of English subs. The feel in the Ustad hotel leads everyone to think of their own roots. 3 different generations and different outlooks towards the life. The pre-climax episode really haunts everyone for some days.
    I am still thinking, Why a city Hyderabad of many authentic cuisines like Biriyani, Haleem blah blah, never produced a movie like this.

  7. I am from Hyderabad. I watched Ustad Hotel. Of course the other movies of you as well. But the feel in the Ustad hotel leads everyone to think of their own roots. 3 different generations and different outlook towards the life. The pre-climax episode really haunt everyone for some days.

    I am still thinking, Why a city Hyderabad of many authentic cuisines like biriyani, haleem blah blah, never produced a movie like this.

  8. Hi, Anjali

    I have watched both Ustad Hotel & Bangalore days, i like Ustad more because of the theme ” listen to ur heart” kind of a thing & it is really a treat from the start to the end.The casting & their performances have really brought out the essence of your script.
    And it is from this film i felt that Dulqar will make his father proud & feel he will be a good actor we can watch out for in the future along with fahad.
    Your films are like entering a serene & beautiful countryside from the noisy & busy citylife.
    looking forward to your films. I felt your films are straight from life & on human relationships,that is your strength!

  9. Hi,

    Recently i saw your two movies Usthad Hotel and Banglore Days. The scene narration accompanying with background score is really a great feel to watch. The screenplay steals our attention. My kudos to Gopi Sundar. There are some film makers who wantedly include some scenes to attract the the typical audience even though the script doesn’t demand. When i watch the two films i could feel that there is no unwanted scenes or characters and all the characters are inter connected to each other.

    I have two films in my computer. I often watch these movies, not only these, i have a habit of watching some movies repeatedly. There are some films which are rich in minute details. Yours’ is too. Really you are genius !

  10. Hi Anjali,

    I watched Ustad Hotel few years. I still think the film is among my favorites. I live aboard and the film showed me aspects I miss from my home country. The aspect of food was just shown fabulously. Dulquer’s acting was simply amazing and his chemistry with Nithya Menon lighten the movie. The different elements you included in the flim like the sufi dancing, kismet, and sulamani was nice. I never knew there was a special meaning behind the concept of sulamani and romance. It was shown with nice flavor. I would like to give special congrats to Anwar Rasheed for directing this movie in a spectacular way. The beach scene between Thilakan sir and Dulquer really fulfill my mind with joy. The movie was delivered to the audience with plentiful comedy, romance, music and a theme. The taste of the malabar cuisine was enhanced with the style of the cinematographer. I just watched Bangalore Days, and the movie was what I expected from you.

  11. ustad hotel is one of the best movie that ever i seen.all the songs are extreamly beautifull.and the dulquar-nithya pair also makes the film cute.concratulations to the team of ustad hotel

    1. vayaralla….manassann…nirakkendath…. sherikkum manassaan nirangath.. ippozhum e 2014 lum kareemikkada biriyaaniyude swaadum ormayum ellam marayaade thanne ella malayalikaludeyum manasilund… adin idayaakiya… thaangalude chinthakalee… njn annum innum ennum angeekarikkunnu… iniyum pradeekshikkunnu idilum appuram… idilum mukalil ,,,

  12. Nice padam . The main thing is u got a wonderful team to do this movie.(eg: Dop, Drctr,Cute Musics)that makes ur charectors live in our hearts.

  13. Hi Anjali,
    Congrats to you, for getting the national award..Let more and more beautiful scripts emerge from your pen..!!

  14. As a director you had done great work in Kerala Cafe.Wish to see you as a director on many upcoming films

  15. Hi Anjali,
    I am big fan of yours. You are mu idol and inspiration. its disheartening to see pointing fingers on you narrating credit not given to Narayanan Krishnan. It would be better if you could convey everyone on inspiration Mr. Krishnan has provided to you to spun a wonderful story like this. Apart from inspiration of the climax, rest all is your way of story telling.. which only you can do.. Hope to see such beautiful stories ahead

  16. Dear Anjali,
    I am a big fan of yours. Hope you do give a brief about Narayanan Krishnan Story and inspiration it provided to everyone where ever possible.. Its disheartening to see fingers pointing to you. You are my inspiration and idol. Though that part is climax of film, rest of it is all your creativity which only you can do. Hope you come up with such brilliant works in future too…

  17. Hi Anjali,
    Please get in touch with me if possible. I probably have a good story for you – that’s about my life!!

  18. ഉസ്താദ് ഹോട്ടല്‍ കണ്ടിട്ട് അടുത്ത ഷോവിനു വീണ്ടും ടിക്കെറ്റെടുത്ത് കേറി ഞാനും കൂട്ടുകാരും,ആ ലോകത്തിനു പുറത്തു വരാന്‍ എന്തോ തോന്നില്ല!!!നന്ദി ഒരു പുതിയ ലോകം സമ്മാനിച്ചതിന്.

  19. Hi Anjali Mam
    Am working on my first script and being fed on Hindi and Tamil Movies, I had got a chance to write and direct a malayalam movie. For which i was looking for references from 80’s comedy and found ustad Hotel. Ustad Hotel has now become my referemce or blue print. Never been to film School but this film is teaching many lessons. Currently i am watching the DVD again and again. If possible i would like you to send the script and esp that one which is in English may be ur 7th or 8th draft. I want to tell you that this movie is very near to perfect and directed well. Looking forward to your other works. And God Bless you. Thanks for your time. My email ID: is Thanks Joe(Bijoy)

  20. Dear Anjali

    After watching Ustad hotel, will I be wrong if I write the following equation:

    Ustad hotel script = Inspired by function of [ Dil Chahta hai (for the romance bit ) + Swades (Climax bit) ]

  21. liked the film very much, Great Thilakan really miss him a lot.

    Any know which is the song sung at the last part one hindi song showing thilkan in a desert if u knw please tell me.

  22. watched the movie usthad hotel, felt as if a light breeze had passed over. it was like reading Kazantzakis at his very best. our prayers and best wishes for your inspiring future work in similar lines …..

  23. One of the scenes I liked the most was when Faizy tries to make Porotta…I have tried it once out if curiosity, and knows how hard it is to make it- though it looks very simple

  24. Hi,
    Watched Usthad Hotel, in fact a couple of times. Every time I watch it, I notice something interesting and sticking which I didn’t observe earlier. There are many moments that are well written, and well directed by Anwar. Good job, keep it up!!
    Waiting for your next work-

  25. Dear Writer…no doubt the movie is great and a must watch movie for young generation. I guess the climax of the movie revolves around the life of Narayanan Krishnan but I don’t see any credit given to this person anywhere…probably I might be wrong and u have already done this but when I read about Ustad Hotel in wikipedia and other most of the places I found nowhere it’s mentioned about this real-life hero… Dear viewers if you haven’t understood what I’m trying to say then please visit this link

    1. Dear Swethal kumar
      I am a volunteer for Akshaya and if infact the story line is from Mr.Krishnan’s story – no credit was given to him. His permission was not even sought – so there you go – which is why it breaks my heart to see the movie industry making money of a cause – that ought to be supported and as far as I know not a paisa has been given to the cause. We have however had many supporters visit our website and pages after seeing this movie. If in fact this author based the story on Mr.Krishnan’s life I think it should really be acknowledged – don’t you agree?

  26. bakshanam undakkunnadilo adu kayikkunadilo alla karyam enna sandesham enne valare touch cheydu, collegil umma undaki tanna specialum kondu pokumbol njan arkum kodukillaryirunnu, ottaykirunnu kayikkum, but mattullavar kayichu kanumboyulla sandosham, avarude happiness adanu manassine sandoshippikkuka ennadu enikipoyanu manassilayadu, vishannu onnum kittadirikunna oruthanu nammal vayaru niraye bakshanam kodukkumbol avante mugathundakunna sandosham, adu valiyavan ayalum cheriyavan ayalum shari, its wonderful… adanu nammude manassinu sharikkum sandosham nalkuka…. its a great feeling….
    thank you very much….

  27. Mam, the atmosphere u created in the movie is excellent … Even a full movie but u did with in 10 minutes , a hard touch of love… I admire that 10 minutes after the interval. I love ur talent so much.

  28. hai ma’am

    ur way of story telling is just magical… Manjadikuru was nostalgic…. and it brought such a beautiful feeling that a person who watches the movie would never forget Vicky, and his touches our hearts… somewhere we cud see ourselves…it was really a happy journey to the beauty and innocence of childhood and the depth of relationships…
    Ustad Hotel is a movie i watched twice in the theatre and will definitely wud want to watch again… I just cant find words to explain the feeling of having seen a beautiful film…and ma’am i just want to say thank you for your films..

    wish u all the best and once again thank u so much..for these wonderful stories which is truely us..

  29. Hai Anjali. i saw ustad hotel last week. the making, the very craft of the movie was really special. While watchting i always had the feel of watching an international commodity. Really it was all class and finasse. The director after the bridge once again proved he is a different material from what people know him. now he should feel more responsible and stop himself from committing those formulated mistakes.

    Your penning was the real stand out feature of the movie. The dialogues were felt very original and non fabricated. Never once your dialogues and words made arguments with the director and it all felt as a single piece throughout. The whole script had great composure and solidity and had that essential symmetry. Good contributions from the BGM , the photographer and editor. The result – a minor classic. Please do bring more feel good recipies for our taste buds. We feel you a very original artist and stay here for more with all your originality and whiteness.

  30. Is this a adaptation of the movie “Swades”.? In that movie, Sharukh khan’s character come back from US to visit his loved one. Then he finds the problems in the locality and at last stick on to the place for the sake of the people. There is a similar scene in “Swades” alike the “Madurai” scene in “Ustad hotel”, where the characters finds their destiny. The thread is perfectly alike, but anjali added good sequences which will happens only in calicut or kerala. Still a good movie, Ustad hotel.. Hope it is an inspiration. what you say anjali.?

  31. I have only one doubt after seeing this movie. Did they really kill that kitten 😦 ??? Please tell me they didn’t…

      1. Even as i am watching the movie right now, when it got to that part, got a fit. people who are animal lovers would really want to know.
        animal cruelty in movies have always existed but recent times have seen a good no. of changes in those norms and laws. i would have been absolutely sure if this was, say, a bollywood movie but it puts me to thought whether the same norms for showing cruelty against animals exist in malayalam movies as well.
        could you confirm that infact, the cat is allright?
        more than anything else, as a human being, it makes me restless.

          1. I was also wondering the same about the kitten who “died” in the movie. Did anyone adopt the kitten from the movie? And how did you get kitten to act “dead?”

  32. To say that I loved watching ‘Usthad Hotel’ would be an understatement. It is a fantastic movie and the message it conveyed made it complete in every way. Flowed naturally from beginning to the end.Loved the short film ‘Happy Journey’.Looking forward to seeing more of your creations.

  33. Watched it last week. I thought it was a lovely movie. But the cliche of Muslim polygamy and the stereotyping of white women made me cringe! It would have been perfectly alright if Christina broke up with hero and moved on with life. But no!! she had jump into bed with her ex-bf at the next chance! 😛

  34. Hi Anjali,
    I dont understand malayalam. Im from chennai. But i understand the movie completely. Thanks for the movie. The second half i smelled that there ll be a problem with hotel and hero would fix it. But heroes grandpa asks him to madurai from that scene i did not lie back in the seat. And it made me to under stand the movie from the first scene.Thanks once again.

  35. oru padu kalathinu sheshamanu nammude priyankaranaya thilakan chettan veendum thirichu vannathathilum athilum upari dulqar avane kurich prathyekich parayendathillallo ath kondu thanne ee movie kurichu parayukayanenkil oru padu puthiya chuttupadile orupadu puthiya genaration ennu parayam ella cenimakale poleyalla ethinte munnottulla yatra valara diffrent aayirunnu location theam karam ellakuttikalum padich dr enng akananu bt ee caractor rude oru vijayam 0ru diffrent aayirunnu e tha ella uvathy uvakalakk oru puthiya anubhavamayi nan kanakkakunu

  36. Dear Anjali Menon

    Watched the movie @ Sharjah Mega Maill Yesterday…Good Movie…but would have been great, if some of the missing links was covered as follows :-

    1) How Siddique’s character brought up the kids is not clearly mentioned. Cannot digest the fact that, small kids do those things for the brother without the help from anybody, that also at a place like UAE.
    2) Nithya Menon’s character tell Faizee that, it is her last day of freedom, and we see her in all the remaining frames along with Faizee and team
    3) The chef from Switzerland came in person to handover the offer letter to faizee

    Ignoring all the above..Loved it the way it treated the human emotions !

    Look forward to many more great scripts and movies from you

    Warm Regards


    1. i agree with your 1st point .
      2)probably shahana had rejected the marriage proposal because she says she doesnt ll
      ike him and he doesnt understand human emotions
      3)We see the swizz chef enjoying himself at the beach so probably he didnt come back all the way just to hand him over the appointment letter

  37. hello Anjali,
    the movie was awesome.. dulquer’s dance for the promo was a pleasant surprise..
    still the message from the madurai chef is the most striking one..

    Good luck for the future works..

  38. i should say the movie is more than an entertainer….it has made a feel the impact is exhorting vibrant… the movie gave me a mystic experience its the spirit you give to your work the inner urge

  39. Hearty congratulations for the movie! You steal the show – A heart touching piece of work.

    But again, It would have been better if you guys had the guts to give credits to the great man
    Mr. Narayanan Krishnan or his Trust at the end of the movie. A small credit won’t help him to feed the poor people, at least considering what he did for the society.

  40. Hi Anjali,

    Ustad Hotel is a different treat with strong messages. An excellent film for a beginner. Comedies were natural and preganant with meaning. Mahmoott’s son also displayed controlled and natural acting.

    Gives the impression that Malayalam cinema is reviving. Keep it up.

  41. most of the films that r made are taking youngesters in mind
    why don’t u direct film related to women in 40s…new age woman..not just a mother..but woman hving ambition and needs..something like hollywood film ‘the rebound’

  42. For me a good movie should be simple, poetic, an elated perspective of simple things we see around us, with an inspiring and self-purifying message shot without polluting the environment even by breaking a glass if possible. After Adaminte Makan Abu and Pranchiyettan, I am lucky to see another great work. Thanks a lot Anjali. (If you don’t mind please send your official email to Hopefully I can give you a spark to a new story)

  43. Hi Anjali

    Saw the movie, its beautifully written well directed. After a long time a very very good movie.
    hope to see more of your works.

    good luck:)

  44. Hi Anjali! Watched the movie yesterday. Simply brilliant. As they say, “well begun is half done!”.. U started off the story well and showed great skills in continuing the momentum to the end. All your movies are brilliant. I had great hopes in the movie much before the release mainly because it marks the teaming up of two marvelous movie makers, the people who were behind the scenes of fabulous short films like “Happy Journey” and “Bridge”. Please keep up this standard in all your movies. You might get lots of offers due to your sudden success. But please continue writing stories that will leave a mesmerizing effect on the minds of the viewers for quite some time after watching your movies. Hoping that your upcoming movies will be like the “Sulaimani” served at Ustad Hotel. All the best to your future ventures. Thanks a lot for writing such beautiful stories.

  45. shahul ameen is me..
    tryed to get the address of you,for sending a letter. watched ustad hotel yesterday, honestly it was a good message.but..,

    you know that but..bothered me alot..
    please mail me your address.I want to talk about that but,,

    mail id:

  46. hello ma’am… Lots n lots respect for you… I dont remem when… Bt 1st tym wn i saw u on tv i din knew whu u wer… I saw ur interview nly to wotch a beautiful lady fr few minutes.. N i had a crush on u… Tn i searchd u in google.. Tn i saw kerala cafe n out f d 10 stories nly 2 cud impress me n 1 amg tat ws hapy journey…

    Sday i saw ustaad hotel… Wat to tl u mam… Respect respect n mre respect… Goin outta wrds to xpres ma happines…

    I nvr mis movies f gautham vasudev menon n renjith.. In ma lyf i wish to c tz 2 film makrs… Renjith sir, gautham menon sir… N d 3rd prsn z u mam… If u ar readin tz… Kp tz name in ur mind… Jithu… Wil cum to meet u fr sure… To get ur autograph… Dont knw wn t l b possible… Bt i wil…

    Til tn… Write lot mam… Mak ur contribution to malayalam film industry … God bless u…

  47. maam…..
    wat a wonderfu stryline..i wish i could write like you..enjoyed alot….and d way movie shifts in the second half…..simply superb…..hats off to you maam….looking 4ward 2 such grt mvz 4m u…..and brilliant direction by anwar…….thank you…

  48. Dear anjali chechi

    enda paryende ennenikariyilla….ee adutha kalathu kanda mattangalde pattikayil ths will b t top…
    enna kadhaya sis…. superb…..keep writng these typez of screenplyzz…waitng for these….

    with love

  49. Great movie…i ‘ve no words to say.imprsd me a lot .this is the best movie i ve seen rCntly.hatz of madam. Now i want to see manjadikuru also .but its not in theaters now waiting for cd release.thank u madam for an amazing movie

  50. Dear Anjali Madam,
    I wached first days first show of USTAD HOTEL.Before interval section so amazing and excellent its like colourfull romantic.
    After interval the Madurai journey ,i dont like that if u taking food by waching USTAD HOTEL ,you will vomiting that time.
    You can do any other way instead of this Madurai journey to reach Climax.
    Overall USTAD HOTEL is the best movie of Anwer Rasheed and till to date of 2012.I think its not best of yours you can do better this.Execuse me I never wached MACHADI KURU.
    Keep in as writer and director,mallu girls doing everything in movies not only acting.
    have a nice day

    1. Hi IRFAN,

      I want to tell you something very important. The Madurai journey and the rest of the incidents are almost based on a real life incident happened in Mr. Narayanan Krishnan’s life and that exactly suits with the movie. If you have time go through the links:

      ” if u taking food by waching USTAD HOTEL ,you will vomiting that time.
      You can do any other way instead of this Madurai journey to reach Climax”- There would be better ways to reach the Climax than this one. But sometime it won’t convey the great message which is hidden in this movie. I guess more than the “Entertainment” purpose, the movie has a social commitment.

    2. WOT you wanted instead of that madurai climax???some kind of song or some happy endings as in all malayalam moviez????is this how you want films to be???just for the sake of entertainment???

  51. hi..

    I watched the movie “ustad hotel” yesterday…liked it..i t was refreshing all the way until i found one scene near the end of movie somehow reminded of “swades”.I dont know you intentionally put this in to script or not.Any ways you done a great work…thanks for penning an excellent script….

  52. ഉസ്താദ്‌ ഹോട്ടല്‍ ഇഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടു. മോഹബതും സുലൈമാനിയും കുന്ജക്കബോബാനും അങ്ങനെ കുഞ്ഞിനു തുടക്കത്തില്‍ കലക്കി കൊടുക്കണ പാല് വരെ ഓര്‍മയില്‍ സ്ഥാനം പിടിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. CH മോഹമ്മേദ്‌ കോയയുടെ പോസ്റ്റര്‍, തിലകന്റെ പുക വലിച്ചുള്ള ഇന്ട്രോ സീന്‍, വാനിന്റെ പുറകിലൂടെയുള്ള ഷോട്ട്. തുടങ്ങി സംവിധായകന്‍ + ക്യാമറ നന്നായിട്ടുണ്ട്.

    പക്ഷെ കല്ല്‌ കടിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്‌. ഒരു ബീച്ച് ബേ ഹോട്ടല്‍ കൊണ്ട് വന്നു ഒരു വില്ലനെ കാണിക്കേണ്ട ആവശ്യം ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നോ? ഹോടെലിന്നു ഫയല്‍ എടുക്കുന്നത് മുതല്‍ faizy ആ കോഴിയെ കൊണ്ടുപോയി കൊടുക്കുന്നത് വരെയുള്ള സീന്‍സ് എന്തോ സിനിമയുടെ നിലവാരത്തിനു തുരങ്കം വച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട് എന്നെനിക്കു തോന്നി.

    ഒടുവിലീ സിനിമയും പ്രണയവും, രുചികളും പറഞ്ഞങ്ങു പോകുമോ എന്ന് ഭയന്നിരുന്നു. പക്ഷെ അതില്‍ നിന്നും വ്യത്യസ്തമായി ഒരു സന്ദേശം നല്‍കിയതില്‍ എന്തോ നല്ല എഴുത്ത്‌ കാണാന്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞു.
    ആശംസകള്‍ !!.

  53. the film ustad hotel is like kozhikodan halwa, but in second half its lagging little bit. Good attemp, good screenplay. Overall an entertaining film.

  54. I felt a bit at odds at seeing the trailer and hearing all the reviews from my friends . Is this a comedy , an drama, or just a mish mash of all wht happens in reality….
    When I finally saw it..oh my god.. what a great surprise I was tricked ..
    Much like 22fk…Grt going Anjali ,and to the much flexible director as well . You guys made my day :)))

  55. Happened to watch Ustad Hotel the other day and had to say this… Its in one word..awesome…both Ustad Hotel n Manjadikkuru left off a heartening smile in everyone’s face who were there for the screening and I just couldn’t help but to take a ride to the beach (to explore the prospects of having a sulaimani i suppose :D) the other night.
    Thank you for what you have gifted us and hope to see more of it in d days to come..

  56. when ever u penned … there is a touch of nostalgic… love.. .. do pen your imaginations …

  57. Anjali chechi…thank u 4 the outsanding movie usad hotel…it is a real feelings of rural area…u hv to write two wore scene in thilagan’s romance…but that is enough…i think…a sincere script…we luv u anjali chechi

  58. Hello Anjali,
    I did watch the movie Ustad Hotel today. I must say that the movie was superbbbbb…… Since the very next moment I left the theater in Bangalore, I have been thinking of many ways to contact you, either in person or by email or by phone. I did ask your number to a few directors and script writers over phone but their reply was that “I haven’t met Anjali yet… I will meet her soon…. I too wanna ring her….. ” etc etc… so and so….. Anyways, you have done well… I wish, when I’m gonna complete my script work, it should have something like.. you know.. “Anjali Menon Touch”… That doesn’t mean that I am gonna copy everything, but I just wanna convey that my script should have everything as your script did… Wish you all the best… Lets meet one day…Cheers…

  59. Anjali..
    Truly i don’t know you as director before…my fav director is renjith and laljose always…but now i have 3 good directors in my list..the 3rd one is you Anjali…You done a good message in ustad hotel..Keep doing good films…

    we are here for you to inspire…innovate…and to be explore your talents…We need you…we want you..we trust in you…it’s our responsibility to motivate you to take awesome films likes ustad hotel…Go ahead Anjali…We love you forever…

    Subeesh Kottay

  60. thank u mam.such a great is refreshing and a good entertainer.hands off to all crew.hope more such wonders from u……………………………………………………..

  61. first of all I thank all of them who worked behind the screen and also others on the screen. Fantastic!!!!!. I never expected such a film actually. Special thanks to Anjaly. Superbly executed. Such a concept and a great message to us. We are so lucky,indeed…..

  62. Hi ma’am

    Don’t know if you’d remember me. I was a part of the film camp conducted at Cochin library recently by Metro film society.

    Saw the film today and could not resist myself from writing a comment here 🙂

    The film is connected with a lot of good moments and likeable characters. As you said the plot points are rightly hidden and the best part for me was the sulaimani scene in which thilakan sir has been excellent to watch. Overall a very interesting choice on ingredients and i thouroughly enjoyed the movie. My only grip is about the length the movie took to finish its climax.

    Anwar Rasheed was the best choice to bring the script onscreen. Everything else was good too, cinematography, BGM etc..

  63. Hello Anjali,

    I did watch the movie Ustad Hotel today. I must say that the movie was superbbbbb…… Since the very next moment I left the theater in Bangalore, I have been thinking of many ways to contact you, either in person or by email or by phone. I did ask your number to a few directors and script writers over phone but their reply was that “I haven’t met Anjali yet… I will meet her soon…. I too wanna ring her….. ” etc etc… so and so….. Anyways, you have done well… I wish, when I’m gonna complete my script work, it should have something like.. you know.. “Anjali Menon Touch”… 🙂 That doesn’t mean that I am gonna copy everything, but I just wanna convey that my script should have everything as your script did… Wish you all the best… Lets meet one day…Cheers…


    1. Thank you for that Claire – I love the masala chai touch at the end! 🙂 We have featured a different kind of tea “sulaimani” in the film in a starring role! You have to watch it to know more…

      1. Anjali Maam, thank you so much for your reply! How kind of you. I can’t wait to watch the movie. Hopefully it will be accessible via legal streaming soon. About the tea : my mistake! Guess I was misled by the photograph with the chai wallah on the beach. I love sulaimani tea with a lot of lemon. I’ll be happy to post a new article about how the tea is featured in the movie as soon as I’ve seen it. My very best wishes on the film debut – jai ho !

      2. Dear Anjali Menon
        Watched manjadikkuru in a bangalore screen. Wonderful. Really amazing. My kids( 10 and 5 yrs) realyy enjoyed the movie. If any malayali missing this movie, they are unlucky. I can easily compare this movie with the master pieces like Alkoottahil thaniye or thinkalazhcha nalla divasam. Over all you rocked sister.
        Best of luck for Usthad Hotel.

      3. Dear Anajali Menon

        Watched Usthad hotel yesterday with my family and friends. Show was almost housefull in Banglaore HMT theatre. Loved it. Good movie. Its wonderful to see from a small spark, U made a good film. Good show Anwar Rasheed. From a small thought U guys made a wonderful and intresting movie.

        Congrats to the entire team. And Thanks to bring back THILAKAN days.

        Anjali mam, wanted to talk to you after watcing Manjadikkuru. Now I feel like to talk to you after this great move.

        SUnil Bangalore

      4. Dear anjali menon ,
        Watched Ustad hotel , wonderful screan play and treatment, wonderful crafts by anver resheed,

  64. മഞ്ചാടിക്കുരു വരുന്നതും കാത്തിരുന്നോടുവില്‍ ശനിയാഴ്ച വരുന്നെന്നറിഞ്ഞു…….നന്ദി…. പക്ഷെ കാണാന്‍ പറ്റുമെന്ന് തോന്നുന്നില്ല…..:) ഇതുവരെ ആരും ബുക്ക്‌ ചെയ്തതായി കാണുന്നില്ല. തിയേറ്ററില്‍ മിനിമം 5 പേരെങ്കിലും വേണം എന്നാലെ ഇവടെ ഷോ ഇന്ടാവൂ….മുന്‍പൊരിക്കല്‍ ബ്യൂട്ടിഫുള്‍ കാണാന്‍ ചെന്നപ്പോ ഷോ ഇല്ലെന്നു പറഞ്ജോടുവില്‍ അവസാനം 3 ദൈവ ദൂതന്മാര്‍ വന്നപ്പോളാണ് കാണാന്‍ പറ്റിയെ……..ഈ സിനിമയും അതുപോലെ ഒരു കാത്തിരുപ്പാണ്………….:)
    –സുജീഷ് രാമകൃഷ്ണന്‍, ചെന്നൈ.

    1. കണ്ടു….ഒരുപാടു ആളുകളുണ്ടായിരുന്നു……….casting നന്നായിട്ടുണ്ട്.
      സ്പിരിറ്റ്‌ കണ്ടതിന്റെ feel -ഉം കൊണ്ട് നടക്കുകായിരുന്നു. അതിനു ചിലയിടങ്ങളില്‍ വിള്ളലുകളുണ്ടാക്കാന്‍ മഞ്ചാടിക്കുരുവിന് കഴിഞ്ഞു എന്നത് ഒരു തെല്ലു കുശുമ്പോടെ സമ്മതിക്കുന്നു……:)

  65. Manjadikuru is simply marvelous…Loved watching each frame..Cinematography was true class one..Everyone in the movie acted so brilliantly…How did you made it possible?..The three kids were amazing…I guess the script was inspired From M.T. ..Really appreciable..Keep going sis…

  66. Manjadikkuru was an absolute delight to watch… loved every frame.. also it was my 8 year old daughter’s first big screen malayalam movie. So far I was bit vary to take her to any of the malayalam movie, either because of the heavy content or because of the style of narration. Manjadikkuru was absolute bliss and we loved to watch it as a family… My husband and myself had not gone to a theatre for a movie since late 1990s…so for us, Manjadikkuru was a memorable experience in may ways than one.. waiting for the DVD to release so that we can keep watching it again and again! Thank you Anjali…

  67. hi anjali mam,

    Manjadikkuru was a wonderful experience. The movie is very close to my heart. I went back to my childhood days, where we also had a manjadi tree in our Tharavad house. The next day after the movie, I went to my Tharavad house to share my childhood memories under tht tree picking up some manjadikuru remained in there. Wishing all the best for your excellent movies ahead.. All the best for Ustad hotel.. A response will make me more happy..


  68. Hey frndz.,..
    My self AM Nikhil…

    No commentz….
    All the best…4 USTAD HOTEL CREW…
    And 4 FILIM

  69. Happy Journey is one of the best in Kerala cafe with Bridge and Puramkazhchakal.
    I saw the movie ‘n’ times.. Everything was was jus t more than awesome.
    I loved it. 🙂 really loved it.
    The camera.. really it shows a night bus journey i kerala.It tkakeks me to my college days which i used to travel on weekends like this. NItya and jagathy really rocked.The background score was so nice to create the feel..
    loved it…
    Thanks for Happy journey..
    waiting foe ustad hotel. Hope it eleases outside kerala also..Am sure u gonna rock wit ustaad hotel.
    we are ready..
    wishing u a happy journey for your voyage through movies…..

  70. hi anjali,
    It’s been a great pleasure for v guys,those who r passionate nd dreamt of new generation films,that directors and screen players like u come up wid brand new projects and conceive in such a way dat international film makers do. ..saw ur short happy journey …..did a great job…
    And hope ur upcoming flick ustad hotel would b a nice work as well….
    Prayers n best wishes…
    Ajmal Rasheed

  71. Wishing all the very best with Ustad Hotel and of course with Manjadikuru theater release as well !!

  72. hai,i’m midhun,studied in kollam s n college.(i’m very poor in english language).
    happy journey,bridge n mrithyunjayam r my fav in Kerala Cafe.nalla shortstories vaayicha lahariyund ath kandappol.
    enthanu anjali chechi e film direct cheyyanjath?.
    Writer,director aakumbol freedom kooduthal kittille?.
    V r waiting for the 2 anticipated films “ustad hotel” n “bachelor party”.
    U mst make d bst n v mst take it.

  73. Hi, I’m really impressed by ur story. Really proud to have a Malayali like you. I’m also an aspiring film maker. I have a lot of interesting ideas and stories. I’d be really happy if you could help me working on my script and I have every faith in you directing the film. Hopefully one day my dreams will come true, take care….cheers :-)!

  74. Hello Anjali,

    Me myself Sarath, working in middle east as Network Engineer but great passion for movies, and do part time film making, did 2 short film for Mira nairs maisha film lab, 1 for Doha film institute and a Documentary for NGO. Was going through one of your interviews and felt like writing to you. You resemblance very much of Sabrina dhawan. They way you talk in interviews and all very much like her. I was one of the lucky guy who got chance to work with her while on a film lab held at Uganda. Any ways had a chance to watch your ‘Happy journey’ and that was pretty good short ever made in malayalam. Me myself as a short film maker its a reference, infact the whole cinema was a good attempt. Had went through some classes for these short film making and as i know with in a 10 or 15 minutes there are lot to do in short films and i had tried different aspects of it. Your protagonist and antagonist had equal role while delivering a message. Any ways am just a amateur film maker not in a position to comment on your movie. As i said i have great love and passion for short films am planning to make my first malayalam short soon. I never felt myself as a great writer because what i put into a film while i direct my own script will not be there on the paper, like while i write a story most of the thing which will be on my mind cant be written down but i really do those when i direct the same script. I really like to keep in touch with you and i wish to send my short script which am planning to do this year and really wish you to read that give me suggestions and reviews

    Yours faithfully


  75. Hello Anjali….,
    I saw Kerala Cafe three times. Two times at the local theatre and 3rd time at IFFK. I loved it immensely and Its one of the best films of the year for me!! I met you and spoke with you the afternoon after the Kerala Cafe screening in New at Kairali-Sree theatre. I couldn’t get a chance to speak with you long. I just said:” Hello. Saw your film. Its good. See you.” Like that. Before that meeting, I was preparing my speech to tell you about my feelings about your Film. I wanted you to hear it.

    I have to tell you that “Happy Journey” is one of my 3 favorite shorts in K.C along with “Bridge” & “Puramkazhchakal” and….THE SINGLE MOST ENTERTAINING SEGMENT IN THE WHOLE FILM!!. It has got an international vibe all over it.
    Its just funny. I loved the story you created.

    I loved the Scene where Jagathy offers Nitya Chewing Gum, and then the look he gave his friend. The Fact that a Women made that scene makes it 10 times better. You understand the male gene completely and captured it humourously…!

    I loved the close-up you gave on all the passengers (including Sangeetha and her ‘kilavan’ husband..) of the bus after the journey starts and slow tune in the BGM. That tune with the Visuals captures the essense of such a bus journey through Kerala…..Just like Laljose did with ‘Puramkazhchakal’. Its only a few seconds but its just emotional and Nostalgic! It binds you.
    The Only other time I have seen such beauty of Bus Journey captured within seconds is in some old malayalam films of BHARATHAN, KAMAL, LOHITHADAS. That was a clear cut few seconds. I loved it. I have some peculiar taste. I love that kind of nostalgic feelings in movies. You can capture nostalgia within seconds. That’s just great!!

    Overall the Only flaw I can find with “Happy Journey” is that It becomes somewhat predictable at the middle. I knew that there wouldn’t be any bomb and that she’s just playing with him. It’s just allright for me. As for the overall quality, the tiny flaw doesn’t even matter..!

    And Jagathy’s performance was just hilarious and great. Overall its one of the best performances in Kerala Cafe along with Kalpana, Kozhikodu Shantha, Salimkumar, Mammootty etc. And the Chemistry b/w Jagathy and Nitya Menon was really good. You directed them well.

    One more thing I’d like to add is that, before even reading your name and knowing that you are an NRI, I knew that the film was created by an NRI. It has an international feel to it. Maybe its the cinematography or something. Overall I got the vibe that the short was made by someone who studied film not from India. This only means as a compliment. It means you stamped your personality in the film. That’s the way a film should be made.

    Overall I liked your Movie very well. Its an entertaining segment and it will make you think for sometime. Great.
    You once said in an interview that ‘you wanted to make entertaining films that makes people think’. That’s the BEST THING I LIKE ABOUT YOU. You give primary importance to Entertainment. That’s how I became a fan of you (Eventhough still haven’t seen ‘Manjadikuru’) and EAGERLY AWAITING USTHAD HOTEL….! I will be in the theatre for the very first show on the very first day…you bet!
    I have some QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

    1) When will Manjadikuru will be released?? In DVD’s or at the theatres?? I can’t wait to see it..!
    2) Who’s your favourite Director??
    3) Name your most favorite five films….!
    4) After seeing which film, you decided you want to be a filmmaker..?
    I would really be Grateful..If you answer these Questions! That being said…., I do love your taste in movies too..! That’s why I am asking these Questions! You said “Passenger” by Ranjith Shenker, “Rithu” and “Palerimanickyam” as your favourites of 2009 …!

    You also said that “Oru cheru Punchiri” by MT VAsudevan Nair was your favorite romantic film in Malayalam. That shocked me. Yeah its a masterpiece by M T. I love that movie too..!!

    That’s why I want to know more about your taste in movies.

    Waiting your Reply……!
    Your fan.
    B v K

    1. Wow! Thank you for that enthusiastic response!
      Questions 2, 3 are too difficult to give a single answer to. To answer 4… too many films have convinced me of that but I do remember watching Jane Campion’s “Piano” – n hearing something click inside my head. 🙂 As for Q.1 – wait for good news on that not too far from now- That’s gonna be a real nostalgia ride!

      1. എറണാകുളത്ത്‌ കോളേജ് വിദ്യാഭ്യാസ കാലത്ത് ഞായരാഴച കളില്‍ ഈ ഹോട്ടലില്‍ നിന്നും ഭക്ഷണം കഴിക്കാന്‍ പോകുമായിരുന്നു..1989-90 കളില്‍ റഹ്മത്തുള്ള കഫെ എന്നായിരുന്നു ഇതിന്‍റെ പേര്…. 16-20 പേരെ നാലഞ്ച് കസേരകളില്‍ ഇരുത്തി വാതില്‍ അടയ്ക്കും… അവര്‍ ഭക്ഷ്ണം കഴിച്ചു കഴിച്ചു തീരുന്നതു വരേ മറ്റുള്ളവര്‍ പുറത്തു കാത്തുനില്ക്കണമായിരുന്നു…
        അന്നത്തെ രുചി ഇപ്പോഴും നാവിലുണ്ട്……..

        രാജീവ്‌ നായര്‍

    1. an overrated film. the 1st half made me feel its a film on 2 repressed youth trying to escape the prthodoxy of religion, wonderfully captured indeed. the 2nd half came like a bolt frm d blue desperately trying to instill morality and good intent into the film.expected more frm the creator of manjadikuru.

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