Uppu (Malayalam: ഉപ്പ്, English: Salt, French: Le Sel) is a 1987 Indian Malayalam film, directed by V. K. Pavithran and written by K. M. A. Rahim. The film is about the atavistic Muslim practice of male polygamy. The film is entirely on the side of the wronged wives, mounting a strong criticism of this aspect of the Muslim religion. It stars P. T. Kunju Muhammed, Jayalalitha, Vijayan Kottarathil and Madhavan. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam.
|Directed by||V. K. Pavithran|
|Produced by||K. M. A. Rahim|
|Written by||K. M. A. Rahim|
|Starring||P. T. Kunju Muhammed|
|Music by||Saratchandra Marathe|
|Distributed by||Jubilee Productions|
The story begins when old patriarch, Moosa Meleri arrives in a quiet Kerala village with his daughter Amina and adopted son-in-law Abu. He has lost all his money in litigation. Despite their hardships, they are happy until their rich landlord covets Amina. Heartbroken, Amina is forced to divorce Abu and become the landlord's second wife. Twenty years later, Amina is alone while her father still indulges in litigation, her son leads a dissolute life and her daughter elopes with the chauffeur.
The film was controversial as it dealt with a sensitive content. Pavithran's comments on the film are revealing: "Salt is a trifle better—the truth always is. The religious laws are almost unknowingly misused by people, leading to the exploitation of those who succumb or resign themselves to religious and social pressures. Our intention was not to victimise or ridicule the Muslim community. Why, in the second half of the film, we also expose a Nair family who run a prostitution den—but are particular about their prayers." Producer and writer K. M. A. Rahim stated, "The villain in the film is the distorted perception of Muslim personal law. When I wrote the script, I kept it in mimd that I must do my best to translate the reality I know on to the screen. That is why the film does not sound didactic. We did not intend to teach—the reality itself is thought provoking."
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