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The Mistress of Spices

  • Drama
  • Romance
  • 2005
  • Paul Mayeda Berges
  • 95 mins
  • 12A

Summary

Romantic drama starring Aishwarya Rai and Dylan McDermott. Beautiful immigrant Tilo runs a spice shop in Oakland, California, but is actually a "Mistress of Spices" - a psychic member of an ancient female cult. The magic of her wares is dependent on three rules: never leave the store, never touch anyone and never use the spices for personal gain. But then she meets handsome architect Doug.

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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

Bride & Prejudice star Aishwarya Rai reunites with husband-and-wife co-writers Paul Mayeda Berges and Gurinder Chadha for this vivid contemporary fairy tale. Only this time, Berges directs, overstretching himself with an ambitious adaptation of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's acclaimed novel. Set in Oakland, California, the Chocolat-style story revolves around psychic spice-shop owner Tilo (Rai), a member of an ancient female cult that worships and utilises the mystical powers of Indian spices. However, the magic of her wares is dependent on strict rules, which she disastrously breaks after falling for architect Dylan McDermott. It's a charming idea conceptually, yet the finished project is bland and lifeless. While the supernatural elements seem incongruous, the underdeveloped narrative and characters lack bite - a weakness emphasised by an overreliance on voiceover. Consequently, though every frame looks as gorgeous as Rai herself, the film feels more like a cookery advice show than an enchanting, cross-cultural romance.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
TiloAishwarya Rai
DougDylan McDermott
HarounNitin Chandra Ganatra
Geeta's grandfatherAnupam Kher
JagjitSonny Gill Dulay
KwesiAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
MyishaCaroline Chikezie
GeetaPadma Lakshmi
Young Doug Toby Marlow
HameedaAyesha Dharker

Crew

rolename
DirectorPaul Mayeda Berges

Details

Theatrical distributor
Entertainment
Released on
2006-04-21
Languages
English
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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