Besides being an established businessman, Dulqueer Salmaan is also a prominent name in the Malayalam film industry. Having worked for a decade, he has already bagged in numerous awards including, ‘Asiavision Award’, ‘Filmfare Award South’, ‘Asianet Film Award’ and many more. Some of the best movies by Dulquer Salmaan include ‘Ustad Hotel’, ‘Bangalore Days’ and his recent hit ‘Sita Ramam’. Let’s have a look at some of the best movies by Dulquer Salmaan.
1. Ustad Hotel
This 2012 movie was based on the real-life story of a chef turned social worker, Narayanan Krishnan. At first, this story seems like another masala movie, but soon you realize that it has all the qualities of a masala film without ditching any of the artistic elements. The story is about a guy who tries to escape and make it big in his career only to hit a snag. Ustad Hotel is a feel-good film for all audiences with a backdrop of food and Malabar. The music elevates the film. All in all, Ustad Hotel is certainly a quality Malayalam film from the 2010s. The movie is considered as one of the best movies of Dulquer Salmaan, it’s a bit shocking considering it is his debut film.
This 2020 drama is not the greatest, but it’s a very heartwarming, family friendly movie. Anoop Sathya’s writing offers some great situational humor, which sometimes makes up for the lack of plot depth. Nikita, a 20 something year old who is keen on an arranged marriage, while DQ plays the next door neighbor, fondly nicknamed Fraud. Major Unnikrishnan and Neena are both in their later middle age, as a retired army officer and a divorced French teacher. These people, along with a medley of interesting characters together form a very happy slice-of-life feeling moment in Chennai which comes across as a character of its own.
3. Ok Kanmani
Romance is Mani Ratnam’s forte. In this 2015 movie, he delivers such a youthful romance that’s fresh, despite not being earth shattering like his most popular works. The music is pleasant and the cinematography gives off an effervescent feel, like warm winter mornings. The Mumbai setup brings home the idea of youth, after all Mumbai is one of those cities that remains in its 20s and 30s even when we age. It is a fresh take on the “live in relationship” movies which while controversial are always a bit spicy.
This 2014 slice of life film is full of life. Three cousins who were close childhood playmates drift apart during their school years and finally come together in Bangalore after one of them gets married. Follow them as they reconnect and navigate their new relationship as adults. Watch them as they try to make something out of their lives.
This 2017 Anthology demands some suspension of disbelief. It follows four different people and relates them to the four elements – fire, water, earth, and air. I don’t think the four elements part made much sense but it also didn’t add anything to the film that was too distracting. Salman Dalquer’s acting in this film was one of the highlights. The indie music, the background, and the cinematography, all gave some much-needed help to this film’s story. Still, despite its failings, it was a decent film.
Have you ever travelled from Bangalore to Kochi? This 2018 film is a maddening road trip with an uptight Avinash and a happy-go-lucky Shaukat, and a teenage shocker by the name of Mithila. Follow this pack of rag tags and their travelling companion, a dead body. This movie might some people of Finding Fanny, but with the various twists this movie takes, you lose sight of that resemblance soon enough.
This 2018 film comes across as a melodramatic biography that sees the rise and fall of the superstar, Savriti. How she got discovered, her business and her late romantic relations with the married director Gemini Ganeshan. Her professional success and her personal grief of having married a womanizer. The movie easily portrays her stardom while also humanizing Savitri as someone who made many mistakes and had to live with the consequences.
This 2015 film marked the second collaboration between actors Salman Dalquer and Parvati Thirouvothu who worked together in Bangalore Days. The titular character Charlie, comes across as a cheerful manic pixie dream boy. He loves to travel, likes celebrations and tries to make the people around him happy. Our female lead Tessa on the other hand is a graphic designer who is sensitive and focused. The film revolves around their love and the butterfly effect of their love story.
This 2016 film is more rehabilitation than an action-thriller. Siddhartha and his wife Anjali are college sweethearts. Siddhartha has always had some anger issues. They get married despite Anjali’s better judgments, as she hopes his anger would improve with time. It does not. In a fit of anger, road-age and an almost Dhaba fight later Anjali decides to part ways with her husband. The makers successfully showcase how rage can drive a wedge between any great love.
This 2017 film exists only for Dulquer fans. A young communist, Aji, illegally travels to America to stop his girlfriend’s wedding and gets caught by the American Government. Read that again. If that isn’t the weirdest reason to illegally travel to another country, then what is? Add a weird alcohol-induced hallucination where Karl Marx, Che Guevara and Lenin talk Aji into going to America to stop the wedding, and you have a movie that is so bad, it’s almost good.
11. Sita Ramam
This 2022 film is about star-crossed lovers with a backdrop of the India-Pakistan rift. The story unfolds from the eyes of Afreen, a Pakistani college student with anti-Indian sentiments. Afreen is forced to deliver a letter to Sita to receive her inheritance from her deceased grandfather. What follows is a hero’s journey where Afreen develops more nuanced opinions about India when she hears about the love story between Princess Noor Jahan and Ram which goes beyond family, class, status, and religion. Released recently, the movie has been a massive hit and is considered one of the best movies by Dulquer Salmaan.
This 2021 film is based on the life of the criminal Sukumara Kurup, this movie is about his murder and life insurance fraud. The movie tries to not glorify Kurup but does end up doing so by not taking a strong stance. The non-linear storytelling was not a good idea because it made a lot of things look ambiguous, even though there was enough content for a decent storyline. Overall, the music and cinematography were good and Dalquer’s acting elevated the movie to a huge extent.
This 2020 film is about con artists being conned by other con-artists, only to join hands with them for an even bigger con. Two software engineers making money through online scams decide to mend their ways when they meet two girls. They fall in love and settle in Goa only for the police to show up and tell them that those girls have scammed them. Undeterred, the duo track down the girls, and together they come up with a greater scam in Delhi. The movie had some good plot twists that kept the thrill alive the whole way. This film is well-written and very witty.
14. Second Show
This 2012 crime-thriller had an excellent performance from all of its cast, including the then newcomer Dulquer. The film has a great plot, no doubt, but that’s not what one thinks of when they think of this movie. This movie has such memorable situations and humor that it stays with you. It is hard to find a good, sleek gangster movie but this film does it and does it well.
As someone who was missing a good whodunit movie, I was a bit disappointed with this film. Despite an excellent premise and some stunning moments the film just does not vibe. The film does a good job at showcasing how the rotting justice system with its many levelled bureaucracy can leave even the most righteous cop jaded. Dulquer plays a cop who got pressured into framing someone for a crime, following him as he tries to unravel this closed case.
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These were some of the best movies by Dulquer Salmaan according to us. Let us know your favorite Dulquer Salmaan movie.