GenreDrama ScreenplayK.M.A. Rahim WriterK.M.A. Rahim (story) LanguageMalayalam
DirectorV. K. Pavithran Music directorSaratchandra Marate Duration CountryIndia
Release date5 August 1987 (1987-08-05) CastP T Kunju Muhammed (Abu), Mullanezhi (Nanu Nair), Sadiq (Saleem), Vijayan Kottarathil (Meleri Moosa), Bharathi Vishnuvardhan (Khadeeja) Similar moviesThe Bigamist (1953), The 19th Wife (2010), Chidambaram (1985), Oru Muthassi Katha (1988), Perumazhakkalam (2004)
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 atavistic Muslim practice of male polygamy. 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.
Story begins when old patriarch Moosa Meleri arrives in a quiet Kerala village with his adopted son Abu and daughter-in-law Amina. 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 litigations, her son leads a dissolute life and her daughter elopes with the chauffeur.
P. T. Kunju Muhammed as Abu
Jayalalita as Amina
Bharathi as Khadeeja
Vijayan Kottarathil as Meleri Moosa
Madhavan as Moidutty Mudalali
Sadiq as Saleem
Mullanezhi as Nanu Nair
Valsala Menon as Mariyambi
V. K. Sreeraman as Abdul Rahman Musaliyar
C. V. Sreeraman as Khazi (religious leader)
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 prevoking."