India Sweets and Spices review by Bobby Blakey
The world of the romantic comedy offers up more clichéd trash than anything that really stands out. When they look for new angles or blend in culture often times it elevates it on some level. The latest trying to find its own path is India Sweets and Spices starring Sophia Ali, Manisha Koirala, Adil Hussain, Rish Shah, Deepti Gupta, Ved Sapru, Anita Kalathara from Troublemaker director Geeta Malik at the helm. Could this bring the needed culture to spice things up or will it fail to find its match?
India Sweets and Spices follows Alia Kapur who returns to her family’s posh suburban New Jersey home after a year away at college and upends their well-ordered life with her brash independence. After befriending Varun, the handsome son of the new owners of the local Indian grocery, she invites his family to a dinner party where family secrets are revealed.
I am not typically a big fan of these kinds of movies, but the infusion of the Indian culture made it all the more engaging. Sure it is still a pretty clichéd by the numbers film in the genre, but there is that little something extra that makes it work. To my surprise it wasn’t focused on the typical arranged marriage drama and instead on the secrets with the parents. This adds a new dynamic to the relationship elements as well as the issues with varying social classes.
On the surface the film looks to be pretty clear where it’s all going and it does hit all those usual beats, but there is a detour that was unexpected and a lot deeper than you might expect. The cast are good with Sophia Ali leading the charge. She is quirky, funny and great in the role, but it’s Manisha Koirala who really shines with a performance that is often quiet but very powerful.
I knew nothing about this film going in and while it isn’t breaking down the barriers to the genre it is a good flick that not only entertains, but also shines a light on self-discovery, pride and conflict in social circles that is all too real.
Check out India Sweets and Spices when it hits theaters on November 19th from Bleeker Street.