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The Mistress of Spices (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 21 April 2006 (UK)
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 »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tilo (as Aishwarya Rai)
Haroun Rehman
Geeta's Grandfather
Shaheen Khan ...
Jagit's Mother
Sonny Gill Dulay ...
Doug's Mother
Toby Marlow ...
Young Doug
First Mother
Satish - Geeta's dad
Hameeda - Haroun's neighbor
Rebecca Bowden ...
Bougainvillea Girl


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


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


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

21 April 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Condimentos para el amor  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£85,563 (UK) (21 April 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gurinder Chadha and her mother made all the mango and carrot pickles seen at the spice store. See more »


During the scene when Doug tells Tilo about his relationship to his mother, the glass of lemon soda that she gives him is full, then when he sets it down it's empty. Then he raises it again to his mouth, and it's full again. See more »


Tilo: Monday is the day of silence, day of the whole white mung bean, which is sacred to the moon.
See more »


References Chocolat (2000) See more »


Don't Shake Me Up
Written and Performed by Tanita Tikaram
See more »

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User Reviews

Light but tantalizing.
26 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All the prickly hate surrounding this film is perplexing. Aishwarya Rai fills the chapals of Tilo perfectly and Dylan McDermott is ravishing as Doug. The chemistry between Rai and McDermott is palpable.

The source material for the film is pretty thin itself. So given that Berges was able to fashion this tasty, meaty film -- that lets you feel the sizzle of the chilies or the lapping of the almond milk while providing a cute folktale in the U.S. -- is commendable.

The movie's failing attribute is how slow it is to start -- but a quirky cast and hypnotic cinematography make this a movie that's easily along the lines of The Lake House or Chocolat in the realm of accessible magical realism.

28 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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