My interest in magical herbs and plants and my passion for discovering Indian cuisine made the film The Mistress of Spices a facinating journey for me. I stumbled upon this movie six months or so ago interested by the title, loved the movie but got called away and missed the ending. I was channel surfing earlier this week and saw it was coming up and recorded it on my DVR.
This 2005 film is based on a novel by Banerjee Divakaruni and it is a truly beautiful and rich tapestry of colors, beautiful lighting, Hindi inspired music, a work of art. Beautiful Tilo,(Aishwarya Rai) a psychic and practitioner of the ancient art as a Mistress of Spices runs the Spice Bazaar outside of San Francisco. With her vocation comes a duty that fills her life and is commanded by the rules of her practice. She helps others with her knowlege of the magic of the spices, but the spices will only speak to her if she follows the rules, she may help only her clients reach their desires but never her own, she must never leave her shop, and never touch anothers skin. When she becomes interested in Doug (Dylon McDermot) an american archetect she begins to break the rules of her trade, it seems as if the spices are acting against her, and it looks like her customers are suffering.
She becomes torn between her love of the spices and her desire for love. This is a story about finding a balance between where your roots are and who you decide to become.
Throughout this movie, I long to visit her shop, it feels very real and welcoming.
I was delighted to see the granddaughter of one of Tilos customers played by Top Chef host the gorgeous Padma Lakshmi. You can almost feel the silk and smell the spices eminating from this amazing film, sit back with a cup of hot chai and enjoy this movie with someone you love.