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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 »

Director:

Paul Mayeda Berges

Writers:

Gurinder Chadha (screenplay), Paul Mayeda Berges (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan ... Tilo (as Aishwarya Rai)
Dylan McDermott ... Doug
Nitin Ganatra ... Haroun Rehman
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ... Kwesi
Caroline Chikezie ... Myisha
Anupam Kher ... Geeta's Grandfather
Shaheen Khan Shaheen Khan ... Jagit's Mother
Sonny Gill Sonny Gill ... Jagjit (as Sonny Gill Dulay)
Nina Young ... Doug's Mother
Toby Marlow Toby Marlow ... Young Doug
Padma Lakshmi ... Geeta
Zohra Sehgal ... First Mother (as Zohra Segal)
Paul Bhattacharjee ... Satish - Geeta's dad
Ayesha Dharker ... Hameeda - Haroun's neighbor
Rebecca Bowden Rebecca Bowden ... Bougainvillea Girl
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Isle Of Man | India

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Condimentos para el amor See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,337,846
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Towards the end, Doug hits red chili peppers with his shoulder. The chili start turning. In the next shot they are still, and in the following one they are swinging. See more »

Quotes

Tilo: Each spice has a special day to it. For turmeric it is Sunday, when light drips fat and butter-colored into the bins to be soaked up glowing, when you pray to the nine planets for love and luck.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Contractor (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Visuals 5, Story 3, But a Pleasure to Watch
21 June 2007 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

THE MISTRESS OF SPICES has some of the most beautiful use of color and texture in the form a magical Spice Bazaar that has graced a DVD. It also has as its protagonist the very beautiful Aishwarya Rai and the love interest of the always-reliable Dylan McDermott. The story was created and directed by Paul Mayeda Berges (with help from Gurinder Chada) who has given us such fine films as "Paris, je t'aime', 'Bride & Prejudice' and 'Bend It Like Beckham'. So the question arises as to why this film just doesn't quite make it: the reason may be the tough marriage of fantasy with reality, assigning more importance to dialog between the Mistress and the spices than to the development of storyline.

Tilo (the ravishingly beautiful Aishwarya Rai) was taken in as a child by a spiritually inclined First Mother (Zohra Sehgal) who trains young girls the mysteries of spices - their magic, their meaning and their rigid life style imposed on the developing Mistresses. Those who gain the secrets of the spices are sent into the world, warned never to use the magic for them selves, never to touch human skin, and never to leave the shops where their spices are shared to help mankind. Tilo moves to the Bay Area and does good deeds for her customers until she meets Doug (Dylan McDermott) who needs her care after a motorcycle accident. They touch, their eyes speak of mutual desire and Tilo is thrown into conflict of being a mistress of spices or of having a love life. How situations and destiny work through the story is the meager line of the tale, the majority of the script is Tilo communicating with her spices!

The cast contains some fine character actors such as Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Caroline Chikezie, Anupam Kher, and of course Zohra Sehgal. And there is enough statement about immigrant status in America to keep the story topical. THE MISTRESS OF SPICES entertains and that is a pleasure. Just don't expect a film on the level of director Paul Mayeda Berges' other works. Grady Harp


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