Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mistress of Spices

Those Eyes Can Speak!

The number one appeal that this film had for me, is to see Aishwarya Rai in action. I've never seen the movies of Miss World '94, and missed out on Bride and Prejudice. Written by the same team, Mistress of Spices is a mythical tale which makes the Indian spices the star of the movie, set in a medicinal store, with Rai as the conjurer and mixer of modern day "bomoh" like medicine to cure mankind of their ills.

Some might not like the way the movie presented itself, with its cheesy focus and voiceover on the qualities of the various spices. Granted, it's like going to your medicinal hall, or clinic, and doing a closeup feature on the medicines and roots, characterizing them. And with the obvious red chili being the signal of danger, it's a tad simplistic. However, the way that the spices are shot, made them look beautiful in their sacks or glass bottles.

Hidden behind these herbs is the mistress Tilo (Rai, meaning sesame seed), whose precognitive powers are granted to her by the spices. Ok, so I had a corny joke running each time Tilo asked the spices to speak to her - isn't she doing a Muad'Dib thingy like Dune's Paul Atreides? Anyway besides the mistress helping her customers with their daily troubles by selling them wonderfully nice sounding concoctions, in comes Dylan McDermott's Doug. Better known for his leading role in the television series The Practice, he's the man unknowingly seducing Tilo from her mission in life. You see, being a mistress has its rules, and they are to never let another skin touch yours (ooh, touchy), to never step out of the shop (that's pretty restrictive and a possible loop hole) and not to concoct anything for one's own benefit.

So while trying her best to stay away from the good looking man, the movie spins into a tale of forbidden love, with punishment meted out by the powers that be dwelling within those spices - I tell you, they're quite vengeful. And as if it couldn't decide, there's an underlying reminder for Indians based overseas about never forgetting their roots and culture, to never fall for the enticing decadent lifestyle of the foreigners.

But screw all that, the real star of the show is Rai. I'm already smitten by her huge twin green-blue expressive eyes with lives of their own. You could just focus on them, and they could tell you a story already. And yes, that chili-red sari, is uber hot!

Guess my to-watch movies is piling up already, with Bollywood added to the list. Rai fans probably won't want to miss this, despite the movie's relatively weak and fluffy plot.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...