The refreshingly unmelodramatic and female-skewing screenplay gives the feel of ‘Little Women’ or ‘Pride and Prejudice’ as rewritten by RK Narayan.
Human beings are like fruit, the narrator says. We may think we have free will, but ultimately – like mangoes – we have no control whether we are going to end up as spicy pickle or sticky-sweet jam. It’s all up to fate – or, as someone in a 1960s/70s movie would have said, it’s all about what’s written on your forehead. If this is not an especially modern view on life, it’s because Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy’s delightful Aachar & Co. is set in the 1960/70s. The “Bangalore Suprabhatam” that we hear early in the film, over images of the city waking up, tells us that we are in a traditional milieu – the kind of milieu where, in a hotel, the lady of the house worries whether they use the same ladles for vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. It’s an idyllic world, though one with warts and all – where someone is not even considered for a job because his name is Mohammad Fayaz.
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