Thomson K. Thomas’ Kammath and Kammath, starring Mammootty and Dileep in the lead, is a comedy about two brothers who run a vegetarian joint.

Biriyani Street, Palakkad, is abuzz. The roadside set of Kammath and Kammath in Fort Kochi is a charming replication of a street in Palakkad. The place is swarming with fans waiting to see their favourite stars. Although it is a weekday, it hasn’t kept eager fans away.

The action on the other side of the rope, which separates the stars from the fans, is getting hotter. The scene is the inauguration of a ‘pure’ vegetarian hotel ‘Kammath and Kammath’ owned by the Kammath brothers Raja Raja Kammath and Deva Raja Kammath, enacted by Mammootty and Dileep respectively. Malabar Paradise, a non-vegetarian hotel and their competitor, is across the street. The crowd stands in between.

The fans wait patiently for the superstars to descend to the sets. One learns that they have arrived and are in their hi-tech vans. A nearby bed-and-breakfast place hosts Rima Kallingal, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Janardhanan, Vishnupriya and others. There is a buzz of excitement as fans scream “there, there,”! The crowd turns left only to see a stylish guy, a look-alike of their favourite ‘Mammooka’! Sighs of disappointment fill the air. Another swell of excitement makes us turn right. A smartly dressed Rima is there for real. The crowd gets excited and there’s a jostle and tussle. The policemen on the scene tut-tut and some semblance of order is restored.

In the meantime, poet and actor Balachandran Chullikad looks askance when asked for an interview. “I am not important enough,” he says modestly and, minutes later, sits down for a lively chat. His leg is bandaged. Has he had a fall? “No it’s the role. I play the father to the Kammath boys. I am Krishna Raj Kammath, an accountant by profession. I meet with an accident and turn invalid. My sons start a hotel. This scene is the inauguration,” he says. In the film they speak in a Kasaragod dialect, which is easy, he says. Meanwhile, the wait for the superstars continues...

Dileep appears, friendly and accessible. It’s time for the hotel inauguration. The red carpet is laid out. The silver buntings flutter in the morning breeze, the panchavadyam is over and Dileep begins to welcome the guests. That’s when the mike fails and flusters Dileep. Rima appears. She plays a government official who puts a spoke in the wheel. There is an exchange of words and that is when Mammootty walks in.

The crowd gasps collectively. Mammootty’s aura has a quieting effect on the crowd and they watch their stars in action.

Soon it’s lunch time and every one takes a break. But a different sort of action continues. The existing set is brought down and is quickly replaced by an old fashioned façade of a hotel. The board put up is that of ‘Hotel Sreekrishna Vilas’. That evening the set comes alive as Dileep and Vishnupriya get ready to face the camera.

Says the charming actor: “I play a Brahmin girl in the film. Our business is going through a bad patch and I wish to sell out to the Kammath brothers. That’s the scene that is being canned now. I am showing Dileep around the hotel and he finds me attractive. When I tell him that I am to be married he is disappointed. I cannot tell you more.”

The scene is interestingly shot as Dileep and Vishnupriya (Parvathy) sit in a car and are supposed to drive away. The car stands still and leafy branches are waved in front of the car, throwing shadows on the bonnet. The camera takes in the changing shadows and movement is conveyed.

Once the shot is canned, the crew starts packing for the day and the crowd tamasha, tamashadissolves into the night.

The film is directed by Thomson K. Thomas and the script is written by Sibi K. Thomas and Uday Krishna. Camera is cranked by Anil Nair; music is by M. Jayachandran and lyrics by Santhosh Varma. Art director Manu Jagadh needs a special mention for an absolutely top class creation of the sets. Dhanush makes a cameo appearance as a celebrity. “Malayalam spoken in the Konkani accent is one of the highlights of the film. The story is about the social and political issues that the Kammath brothers’ hotel business faces and how they solve them. It is an out-an-out comedy,” says director Thomson. The film is slated to be released on January 26.