Salute is a 2022 Indian thriller film, directed by Rosshan Andrrews and written by Bobby-Sanjay. Releasing on Sony Liv, a day earlier than the scheduled date, the film has been widely viewed by the audience. Starring Dulquer Salmaan in the lead role the film is also produced under his banner Wayfarer Films. Cinematography has been done by Aslam K. Purayil while A. Sreekar Prasad was responsible for the editing. The film after a few delays due to the Omicron wave finally was released on the OTT platform on March 17, 2022, skipping the theatrical release.
The story revolves around, Aravind Karunakaran, a Sub-Inspector played by Dulquer Salmaan, who during his long leave, is haunted by an old murder case he and his brother investigated and closed by fabricating evidence. In a time when facial composites do not exist, the hero has to gather clues and new evidence to crack the real story and uncover the loopholes in the closed case.
The film’s lead, Dulquer Salmaan gives a convincing performance as a police officer who supports the truth even when the system is crumbling around him.
Corrupt police officers and their process to make things right has become some kind of a trope. A few films stand out as they show, men in authority use their power for the wrong reasons. Movies like Visaranai, directed by Vetrimaran, and Anand Mahadevan’s Mai Ghat, are two such examples. Salute, with Dulquer Salmaan in the lead, again puts policemen under observation. The movie directly introduces its hero. The first scene shows Dulquer Salmaan walking into a police station and asking about the murder case that happened years back.
The movie does not follow a linear narrative. As it moves forward, an investigative team led by DSP Ajith Karunakaran, the elder brother of Aravind, is seen handling a murder case and is under immense pressure from the ruling party to solve it in a short deadline. It later reveals how the investigative team frames an innocent man, Murali. To which Aravind tells his elder brother to side with the truth. But to his shock, his brother explains how he is isolated in the department and is unable to compete with the unethical system.
Aravind, in the present, is still unsettled by the guilt of sending an innocent man to jail, tries to reopen the case. The story then follows his lone effort to find the real culprit.
The movie is narrated maintaining a realistic style without dramatizing the events and staying focused on the core topic. With no dramatic twists and melodrama, Salute stays focused on the guilt-ridden hero who is determined to make things right by helping innocent Murali get back his freedom.
The story shows the pressure faced by police officers to save their professional lives by following ethical means of investigation, as ordered by people above them. Salute is absolutely different from the investigative thrillers usually seen in Malayalam cinema. In the climax sequence, Aravind comes close to capturing the real murderer is one of the highlights of the film.
Dulquer Salmaan gives a very convincing performance as a man who is fed up with all the lies around him. He tries t keep his cool even when he is helpless in front of the hierarchical structure of the police force. Actors, Mano J Jayan also does a good job portraying his character but Diana Penty did not have enough scenes to showcase her talent.
Overall, Salute is a good watch for this weekend, and if you are a fan of Dulquer Salmaan, you won’t be disappointed.