‘The Great Indian Kitchen’ review: Brilliant take on family, religion & patriarchy
It is a familiar sight in many households. The men clutching the newspaper or scrolling through their phones; the women in the kitchen, making tea and snacks for them. In fact, it is so common that it is used as a representative image for a happy household everywhere, from advertisements to school textbooks.
The Great Indian Kitchen, directed by Jeo Baby (who also makes a cameo in the film) wants to shatter this idea. The film begins with ‘Thanks Science’, a departure from most Malayalam movies that thank god in the credits. And there’s a good reason for it.
If Jeo Baby’s earlier film Kunju Daivam shredded the hypocrisy of religion through the eyes of a child in a devout Christian household, The Great Indian Kitchen looks at it from the point of view of a young woman in a new marriage. The film begins with the soon-to-be bride (Nimisha Sajayan) practising dance even as her family prepares for the arrival of the groom (Suraj Venjaramoodu). The halwa is cut, the banana fritters are fried, the appams are made — and the camera focuses on the hands that perform this labour.