David Foster Foundation Theatre
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
June 20 at 5:30pm
The Simpsons can learn a thing or two about how to repair old familial wounds in Jadoo: Kings of Curry. When a feud splits two brothers — two professional chefs — and their respective families apart, just what will it take to bring them back together? A marriage.
Shalini (Amara Karan) and Mark (Sleepy Hollow’s Tom Mison) are in love and Shalini’s hope is to have a large wedding that both her dad, Raja (Harish Patel), and uncle, Jagi (Kulvinder Ghir), can cook together. But when they are accusing each other of treachery, just exactly what they are angry at each other for is as mysterious as the country that they hail from: India.
The culinary theme that this film uses is to explore how two extremes can blend. That includes how hot headed one of the brothers can be versus a cold one. But when one specializes in starters and the other with main courses, what they have forgotten is in how they complement each other in the kitchen much like the philosophical principle of yin and yang. That’s especially important with Indian cuisine.
Even the bride and groom represent two different cultures; to see how Mark can ingrain into Shalani’s world is not as important to the overall narrative. To see this subplot quickly resolve itself only serves as mechanism for this film to reach its epilogue.
The tale is more about the brothers and how Shalini can end their dispute. Patel and Ghir certainly show their prowess when they are tearing into other, and to wonder what got them hostile to each other does get addressed. Writer/director Amit Gupta offers very few hints in the form of still images of the two brothers during happier times, younger times, when they were together with their mother, operating a mutually owned restaurant, Jadoo.
In what gets shown in flashbacks, the mystery is rarely explored. This character drama certainly is not without tons of culinary exposition when the two chefs experiment with new recipes. This movie is a feast to the five senses. Viewers can smell and taste the exotic dishes scandalizing the screen. The spices may bring tears to the eye and some may well be licking their lips by the film’s end. Sadly, reaching out to taste what’s there is not possible.
Some viewers may well need to order a lassi and a bowl full of curry to sate the craving. Word of advice: bring a bag of samosas to share at Victoria’s Foodie Film Festival taking place at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel on June 20th at 5:30pm.
3½ Blokes out of 5