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The Great Indian Kitchen

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The Great Indian Kitchen
Promotional poster
Directed byJeo Baby
Written byJeo Baby
Produced byDijo Augustine
Jomon Jacob
Vishnu Rajan
Sajin S Raj
StarringNimisha Sajayan
Suraj Venjaramoodu
CinematographySalu K. Thomas
Edited byFrancies Louis
Music bySooraj S. Kurup
Mathews Pulickan
Mankind Cinemas
Symmetry Cinemas
Cinema Cooks
Distributed byNeestream
Amazon Prime Video
Release date
  • 15 January 2021 (2021-01-15)
Running time
100 minutes

The Great Indian Kitchen is a 2021 Indian Malayalam-language drama film written and directed by Jeo Baby.[1] The film tells the story of a newly-wed woman (Nimisha Sajayan) who struggles to be the submissive wife that her husband (Suraj Venjaramood) and his family expect her to be.[2][3] The music was composed by Sooraj S. Kurup and Mathews Pulickan.

The film was released on Neestream on 15 January 2021.[4] The film received critical acclaim and won Kerala State Film Award for Best Film, Best Screenplay award for Baby and Best Sound Designer award for Tony Babu.

The film was remade in Tamil in 2023 under the same title with Aishwarya Rajesh and Rahul Ravindran in the lead roles.[5] A Hindi remake is in pre-production with Sanya Malhotra and Angad Bedi in lead roles.[6]


An educated dancer, raised in Manama, Bahrain finds herself in an arranged marriage to a teacher in a very traditional and patriarchal family. While the domestic routine of the Wife begins in the sweet bliss of a new marriage, things begin to go down south. The drudgery of the kitchen and its many unpleasantries - cleaning, filthy utensils and leaking taps - are left to the women while the men mostly indulge themselves with their phone or yoga. The family is so patriarchal that her mother-in-law hands his toothbrush to the father-in-law, while he is lounging by the verandah. The men eat their meals first and leave the place a mess without concern for how the women can eat food after them. Their convenience and comfort always come before consideration for their wives. While the new bride takes a while to adjust to these new surroundings and eventually somewhat makes peace with them, her mother-in-law goes to take care of her daughter who is seven months pregnant.

The whole responsibility of cooking, cleaning and other household chores falls on her. Her egotistical husband is inconsiderate of her needs and feelings. When she tells him that it hurts when having sex and asks for some foreplay, he remarks she seems to know everything on the topic and condescendingly tells her he should be attracted to her for foreplay, making her cry to sleep.

Her father-in-law forbids her from finding employment, citing that a woman in the house brings prosperity to the family. When she gets her period, she is appalled to discover that the family's beliefs regarding menstruation are extremely regressive. She is asked to hole herself up all alone on the floor in a room, bathe in the river, eat separately and wash all the things she touches. She is even asked to go stay with a relative or to sleep outside during those days.

While these events transpire, Kerala is grappling with the Sabarimala temple verdict where the courts decided that menstruation is not an impurity and so women should be allowed to visit the temple. Many people, including the groom's family, do not approve of the verdict.

All these injustices boil over one day and end up with the wife throwing murky kitchen sink water on her husband and father-in-law and leaving the family for her freedom and dignity. The film ends with a scene showing her as an independent dance teacher arriving in her own car while her ex-husband is married again and the second wife seems to meet the first one's fate.


  • Nimisha Sajayan as Wife, a dancer
  • Suraj Venjaramoodu as Husband, a teacher
  • T. Suresh Babu as Achan[7]
  • Ajitha V.M. as Amma
  • Ramadevi as Ammayi (Ramadevi)
  • Kabani as Usha, the servant
  • Sidhartha Siva as Husband's cousin
  • Anupama V.P. as Wife's mother
  • M.V. Suresh Babu as Wife's father
  • Nishitha Kallingal as Husband's cousin's wife
  • Gireesh Perincheeri as Guruswami
  • Aparna Sivakami as Activist
  • Suresh Achoos as News reader
  • Anagha Ashok


The shooting of the film started on July 11, 2020, in Calicut. The entire movie was shot within a house except for some outdoor scenes. The film's principal cast includes several theatre artistes from Calicut.[8]


Sooraj S. Kurup composed the film's soundtracks, which consisted of two songs. The lyrics were written by Mrudula Devi S and Dhanya Suresh. Two songs from this movie are in paluva language which is a mysterious language in paraya community[9][10][11]

Track listing
1."Oru Kudam"Mrudula Devi SHaritha Balakrishnan, Sulekha Kapadan02:10
2."Neeye Bhoovin"Dhanya Suresh MenonRenuka Arun03:21
Total length:05:31


The film was directly released on Neestream, a Malayalam streaming platform on 15 January 2021.[12][13] Several mainstream OTT platforms including Amazon Prime Video and Netflix as well as major television channels rejected the film due to some scenes related to the Sabarimala woman entry issue.[14] Although, Amazon Prime Video got the rights of the film after three months of its release on Neestream. The satellite rights were later purchased by Asianet due to the film's positive response.


Critical response[edit]

Upon release, it received positive reactions from various film critics and was well received by the audience.

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of 7 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.5/10.

Litty Simon of Malayala Manorama has written that, "The excellent direction, well-written characters and seasoned performances with insightful message makes The Great Indian Kitchen a fulfilling experience."[15] Anjana George of The Times of India praised, "The Great Indian Kitchen comes as an eye-opener, at a time many women are still judged for their cooking skills than any other capabilities. It not only talks about the new-gen women who question such unsung slavery but is also a tribute to the women who have been silently managing it inside every home for centuries."[16] Soumya Rajendran of The News Minute has effused, "The Great Indian Kitchen rips through patriarchy, the bedrock of the institutions of family and religion."[17]

S. R. Praveen of The Hindu said that 'Actors Nimisha Sajayan and Suraj Venjaramoodu are excellent in this hard-hitting take on the sheer drudgery of everyday life, that many women go through.[18] Sajin Shrijith of The New Indian Express wrote: "This film made me want to talk to every woman in my family and ask them how they handled their frustrations and why some of them never dared to question their men?."[19] Haricharan Pudipeddi of Hindustan Times wrote: The Great Indian Kitchen has to be the most powerful film on patriarchy in recent years and it makes for a very important watch. Its lead actor Nimisha Sajayan is unbelievably convincing.[20] Sify has rated The Great Indian Kitchen as 4 stars out of 5 and has written the film as an excellent family drama.[21] Bobby Sing from The Free Press Journal rated the film four in a scale of five and described it as an "unusually exceptional film that makes you feel the guilt."[22] Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion South wrote "The Great Indian Kitchen is a powerful tale Of emancipation".[23]


51st Kerala State Film Awards
44th Kerala Film Critics Association Awards
67th Filmfare Awards South
10th South Indian International Movie Awards
  • Critics Choice Award for Best Actor (Malayalam) - Nimisha Sajayan[27]


  1. ^ "'The Great Indian Kitchen' review: Brilliant take on family, religion & patriarchy". The News Minute. 15 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  2. ^ Praveen, S. r (16 January 2021). "'The Great Indian Kitchen' movie review: Makes practitioners of patriarchy squirm in their seats". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Suraj ,Nimisha Film 'The Great Indian Kitchen' to release on January 15". The New Indian Express.
  4. ^ "Jeo Baby's 'The Great Indian Kitchen' bags the 'German Star of India' award at 18th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  5. ^ "The Great Indian Kitchen: THIS leading OTT platform has bagged the digital rights of Aishwarya Rajesh's film". ottplay.com. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  6. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (24 November 2022). "Sanya Malhotra completes shooting The Great Indian Kitchen remake : Bollywood News - Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  7. ^ "ചിരിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് കഴുത്തറക്കുന്ന അമ്മായിച്ഛൻ; ആ നടൻ ഇവിടെയുണ്ട്". Malayala Manorama. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  8. ^ Deepa Soman. "'The Great Indian Kitchen' new poster is here". The Times of India.
  9. ^ Talk, Filmy (13 January 2021). "ഫേസ്ബുക്ക് പോസ്റ്റിലൂടെ സിനിമാഗാന രചനയിലേക്ക്; മൃദുല ദേവി പറയുന്നു ആ കഥ". madhyamam.com. Madhyamam. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  10. ^ മനോരമ, ലേഖിക. "എന്തൊരു ചേല് ഈ പാട്ട്! വരികളിലും ഈണത്തിലും വിപ്ലവം സൃഷ്ടിച്ച് പാളുവ ഭാഷയിലെ പാട്ട്". www.manoramaonline.com. Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  11. ^ Desk, Trends (28 January 2021). "'ഒരു കൊടം പാറ്'… സ്വയംമറന്ന് നൃത്തമാടി ഒരു പെൺകുട്ടി; എന്ത് ചേലെന്ന് സോഷ്യൽ മീഡിയ". malayalam.indianexpress.com. malayalam.indianexpress. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Suraj-Nimisha's The Great Indian Kitchen to release on NeeStream on January 15". Cinema Express. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Upcoming Malayalam Movies on OTT Platform". sajmedia.in. 12 December 2021.
  14. ^ ശബരിമല പ്രശ്‌നമാണെന്ന് പറഞ്ഞ ചാനലുകളുണ്ട് JEO BABY INTERVIEW | THE GREAT INDIAN KITCHEN | PART 2. YouTube. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  15. ^ "'The Great Indian Kitchen review: The right food for thought". Malayala Manorama.
  16. ^ "The Great Indian Kitchen Review: A Movie for Women who live out their lives in Kitchen". Times of India.
  17. ^ "'The Great Indian Kitchen' review: Brilliant take on family, religion & patriarchy". The News Minute.
  18. ^ "'The Great Indian Kitchen' movie review: Makes practitioners of patriarchy squirm in their seats". The Hindu.
  19. ^ "The Great Indian Kitchen Movie Review: A phenomenal Nimisha and Suraj anchor this stark portrait of reality". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  20. ^ "The Great Indian Kitchen review: Powerful film on patriarchy and men-governed traditions". Hindustan Times. 16 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  21. ^ "'The Great Indian Kitchen' Review: An Excellent Family Drama". Sify. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  22. ^ "The Great Indian Kitchen review: An unusually exceptional film that makes you feel the guilt". The Free Press Journal.
  23. ^ "The Great Indian Kitchen On Neestream, With Nimisha Sajayan And Suraj Venjaramoodu: A Powerful Tale Of Emancipation". 15 January 2021.
  24. ^ "51st Kerala State Film Awards: The complete winners list". The Indian Express. 16 October 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  25. ^ "Kerala Film Critics Awards announced". The New Indian Express. 14 September 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  26. ^ "Winners of the Filmfare Awards South 2022". Filmfare. 9 October 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  27. ^ "SIIMA 2022: Check full list of winners". Deccan Herald. 19 September 2022. Retrieved 24 December 2022.

External links[edit]