I suppose every foodie will be drawn to a movie such as this – one that seems to celebrate food in all its fragrant and vibrant glory – but there is always more to it than meets the eye, which can be quite a feat sometimes especially when what meets the eye at first is a barrage of all the clichéd sights and sounds of creating food. Think breaking eggs in slow-motion and chopping vegetables with the finesse of a knife-wielding magician.
This is essentially a feel-good foodie film that requires a high tolerance for watching actors chewing carefully crafted morsels of food and then going into ecstasies without describing how it tastes besides “mmmm, it’s delicious.” Along the way, we get to see a cultural fusion of foods and a cross-pollination of French and Indian spices and seasonings.
Food is never food, we get that. But if food is really love, then, the chemistry is lacking a little bit with the younger pair, but Om Puri and Helen Mirren seem to do a somewhat better job in creating some sparks while getting to know each other.
On a technical note – because that’s how foodies can be sometimes – when was the last time you saw sea-urchin on a menu in an Indian restaurant? And that too, eaten raw, like oysters? Also, a friend pointed out (yes, one of Indian origin) that the pairing of cauliflower with sweet potato in an Indian household was unheard of. This, prior to the aforementioned fusion/cross-pollination of Indian and French cuisines.
Notwithstanding these technicalities, it is still a fun film to watch on a Friday night. Which is what yours truly did last Friday.