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Der Koch (2014)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hamza Jeetooa ... Maravan
Jessica Schwarz ... Andrea
Hanspeter Müller Hanspeter Müller ... Dalmann
Yrsa Daley-Ward ... Makeda
Max Rüdlinger Max Rüdlinger ... Schäfer
Jean-Pierre Cornu Jean-Pierre Cornu ... Huwyler
Jeff Mirza ... Mahit
Neelam Bakshi ... Aninda
Faraz Ayub ... Ulagu
Christoph Gaugler Christoph Gaugler ... Fink
Parvathi Rajamal Parvathi Rajamal ... Nangai
Natalie Perera ... Sandana
Peter Prager ... Robert Mellinger
Corinna Kirchhoff ... Isa Mellinger
Jane Weinfurtner Jane Weinfurtner ... Sung-Hee


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Drama | Romance


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German | English | Tamil

Release Date:

27 November 2014 (Germany) See more »

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User Reviews

James Bond meets Chocolat
2 November 2014 | by Karl SelfSee all my reviews

This movie is based on a novel by bestselling Swiss author Martin Suter. Since I've been too lazy to read the full book, I went to see the movie.

The story is this: Maravan, a charming young immigrant from Sri Lanka works in Zurich as a sous-chef, but dreams of opening his own restaurant where traditional Indian kitchen, as his grandmother taught it to him, crosses over with avant-garde "molecular kitchen". Turns out his creations are highly aphrodisiatic, so much so that when he casually invites his colleague Andrea (Jessica Schwarz) over she ends up seducing him, even though he's pretty conservative and believes in arranged marriage and she's actually a lesbian. While the two are getting their business started, Maravan's cousin returns to his homeland and is recruited by the underground army / terrorists / freedom fighters Tamil Tigers. Marvan tries to bail him out, but also discovers that one of his clients, the superseedy Dalmann, is actually an arms dealer -- to the Tamil Tigers! Oh, and he's also sleeping with the girlfriend of Andrea, who's a lesbian and a prostitute (for men). At the same time, Maravan's nan is ill and has to come to Zurich for treatment, and the toothsome Sandana, with whom he was arranged to be married but who gave gave him the cold shoulder, seems not averse to rekindling the flame ...

In short, it's a very tall story, and the movie simply wants to do too much all at the same time. After about 20 minutes I was close to walking out of the cinema when Andrea tells Maravan that she slept with him "... although I'm a lesbian! Do you know what that means? I only sleep with women!" (that's how I remember that line). At this point the movie is just incredibly hammy and corny. It recovers a little bit after that, but it was still hard to sit through to the end. It's a little bit Lasse Hallström, a little bit of harmless culture clash comedy (where all the male Swiss characters are of course evil toupet-wearing reactionaries) with a healthy dose of James Bond thrown in for good measure (I won't tell more so as to not to spoil the plot for you). To round it off, the version I saw was dubbed so that everyone in Zurich speaks upper German, which is like seeing a Western where the cattle rustler addresses the Sheriff thus: "Cheerio, constable! I challenge you to a spot of fisticuffs, whencefor I implore you to access your sidearm!".

To me, this was another highly funded, highly well-meaning, but also highly middle-of-the-road movies. One which sells well to the sponsors but lacks vision and bores the viewer.

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