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The Mistress of Spices (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  21 April 2006 (UK)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 4,157 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 41 critic

In India, Tilo has the ability of foreseeing the future. When their parents are killed by bandits, she is kidnapped but escapes and is raised by the First Mother in a sort of traditional ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tilo (as Aishwarya Rai)
...
Doug
...
Haroun Rehman
...
Kwesi
...
Myisha
...
Geeta's Grandfather
Shaheen Khan ...
Jagit's Mother
Sonny Gill Dulay ...
Jagjit
...
Doug's Mother
Toby Marlow ...
Young Doug
...
Geeta
Zohra Segal ...
First Mother
...
Satish - Geeta's dad
...
Hameeda - Haroun's neighbor
Rebecca Bowden ...
Bougainvillea Girl
Edit

Storyline

In India, Tilo has the ability of foreseeing the future. When their parents are killed by bandits, she is kidnapped but escapes and is raised by the First Mother in a sort of traditional cult of spices. She becomes the Mistress of Spices and is sent to the Spice Bazaar in San Francisco, with the mission of following three basic rules: help her clients to accomplish their desires with the spices, but never hers; never leave the store; and never be touched in the skin. When she meets the handsome American architect Doug, she feels a great attraction and desire for him, breaking the first rule and being punished by the spices. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One spice for passion. And one woman who knows its name.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Condimentos para el amor  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£85,563 (UK) (21 April 2006)

Gross:

$63,969 (New Zealand) (7 July 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The motorcycle used in the film is a 2004 790cc Triumph (Hinckley) Bonneville. See more »

Goofs

When Tilo makes "paan" for Kwesi, she is shown putting some betel nuts and finally a cardamom in the paan. However, upon revelation, a clove is seen in the paan which was never there before. See more »

Quotes

Tilo: Fennel, which is the spice for Wednesdays, the day of averages, of middle-aged people... Fennel... smelling of changes to come.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Contractor (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha (Flute Mix)
Performed by Bally Sagoo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Review from 2005 TIFF
18 September 2005 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival.

Mistress of Spices is based on the novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and is the directorial debut for Paul Mayeda Berges. Berges has worked previously with his wife, Gurinder Chadha, on a number of films including Bend it Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice. Chadha co-wrote the screenplay here with her husband.

The movie follows Tilo, played by Aishwarya Rai, who is a member of an old, mystical cult that worships spice in all its forms. She is sent to Oakland to open a shop and help people using the mysterious powers of the spices. Tilo, who also has the power to see visions of the future, soon ends up helping a whole coterie of characters: a man (Anupam Kher) who is distressed over his granddaughter (Padma Lakshmi), a woman who has grown up in America and adopted western ways, much to his dismay; Jagjit (Sonny Gill Dulay), a teenager who is having trouble with the kids at school; Haroun (Nitin Chandra Ganatra), a cab driver that has a cloudy future; Kwesi (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a man trying to win the heart of a woman.

But to be successful, Tilo must follow three rules: one, she must never leave the store; two, she must never touch the skin of another person; three, she can never use the spices for her own gain. One day a man (Dylan McDermott) falls off his motorcycle outside her store and they are both instantly drawn to one another, challenging Tilo's devotion to her cause and threatening her control over the spices.

This is a nice, light film, reminiscent in many ways of Chocolat, with Aishwarya Rai in the Juliette Binoche role. Rai is luminous on screen, and the chemistry between her and Dylan McDermott is good. I didn't think the voice-over narration of Rai's character's inner thoughts was entirely successful, although I can't see how else you could really do it; funny enough, the voice-overs reminded me of another spice-related movie, David Lynch's Dune. The movie explores a bit of the mixing between east and west and the conflict between old and new, but not quite as successfully as some of Berges' and Chadha's other films, but that is probably due more to the limitations of creating an adaptation.


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Any1 seen this film and actually liked it?!! Sulty_B
Who says Aish cannot act...? legofrod
The chemistry... badly-drawn-girl
U.S. dvd release? mojito47
Spices were A**holes dale1776
Sounds a bit like 'Chocolat' fuzzie_dewd
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