HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mad Dog Killer
Fanfan la Tulipe
Kickboxer: Vengeance
Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again
Clan, The
Madigan
Love & Friendship
Ones Below, The
Everybody Wants Some!!
Our Kind of Traitor
Star Trek Beyond
Lords of Dogtown
Hors Satan
Too Late the Hero
Jinnah
Ravishing Idiot, A
Girlhood
Whatever Works
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Speedy
Kama Sutra Rides Again
Panic
Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, The
Roxanne
Bucktown
Ricky
Golden Disc, The
Rock the Kasbah
Legend of Frenchie King, The
Holidays
   
 
Newest Articles
Manor On Movies: Beat On The Brat(s)
The Reality of the Heist Movie: Films that are based on real-life robberies
The SHADO Knows: UFO The Complete Series on Blu-ray
Siege Mentality: Rio Bravo and Assault on Precinct 13
Queens of Women: Five Cult Stars, Five Cult Films
Abstract Strategies: The Brothers Quay on Blu-ray
Born to be Cad: George Sanders and Psychomania
Speed Kills: The History of Fast Zombies
Skeleton Crew: The Blind Dead Movies
The Stars Are Out Tonight: Hollywood Celebrity Casts in the 70s
   
 
  Touch of Spice, A Grab some flavourBuy this film here.
Year: 2003
Director: Tassos Boulmetis
Stars: George Corraface, Ieroklis Michaelidis, Renia Louizidou, Tamer Karadagli, Basak Köklükaya, Tassos Bandis, Stelios Mainas, Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos, Markos Osse, Thodoros Exarhos, Gözde Akyildiz
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Greek astronomer Fanis Iakovidis (George Corraface) learns his Turkish grandfather (Tassos Bandis) has taken ill, his mind flashes back to his childhood in Istanbul back in 1959. As a boy (Markos Osse) helping out at his grandfather’s magnificent spice shop, Fanos receives valuable life lessons from the old man how food and life both need a little spice to give them flavour. He blossoms into a remarkable cook, sharing recipes with a young Turkish girl named Saime (Gözde Akyildiz) who becomes his first love. Sadly, escalating tensions between Turkey and Greece result in Fanis’ family being deported to Athens and forced to leave grandpa and Saime behind. As years go by, a maturing Fanis (Odysseas Papaspliopoulos) struggles to adjust to his new life and a cuisine lacking that touch of spice.

A huge hit in its native Greece, A Touch of Spice extends its culinary theme to chapter headings named after courses in a meal (appetizer, main, dessert) and is part of a fine tradition of films that celebrate food as a cultural connection to the homeland, nourishment for the soul as well as the body. Think Babette’s Feast (1987) or Eat Drink Man Woman (1994). It opens with an image of a child suckling at its mother’s breast that says it all, although credits roll over the more esoteric image of an umbrella floating across the star-speckled reaches of outer space. Those with low tolerance for magical realism and pretentious philosophising about food will lose patience fairly quickly, but this wistful, melancholic comedy-drama exudes warmth and is grounded by its affecting theme of dislocation. Though their hearts belong in Istanbul, the Iakovidis family are considered Greeks in Turkey, yet labelled Turks in Athens.

Relations between Greece and Turkey have rarely been harmonious, what with several centuries of bad blood between them, so the film is unique in celebrating their shared heritage and - whisper it quietly - cultural similarities. While the film justly skewers the jingoistic mentality that drives various Greek authority figures, from schoolteachers to priests, to pour scorn on Fanos’ love of spicy food, it fumbles the point slightly given his family seem less than enthusiastic about his prodigious culinary talents. His parents are so alarmed they summon a priest to perform an exorcism! The film is surprisingly disparaging about Greek food. “With our cuisine, you always felt there was something missing”, remarks Fanis, drawing a parallel between the lack of spice and the subsequent lethargy that afflicts his own life. “Food and aromas get in the way of adjusting to Greek life”, says his teacher. Some Greek chefs may have something to say about that.

Supposedly drawing upon his own life experiences, writer-director Tassos Boulmetis imbues the film with a grandiose, CGI-laden sweep closer to a fantasy epic than the intimate family drama it is at heart. The story leans towards the anecdotal and proves somewhat shapeless, losing track of several promising threads. The final act contrives a touching reunion between seperated lovers but forgoes the expected romantic ending in favour of a more transcendental conclusion, underlining the reoccurring parallels between gastronomy and astronomy. George Corraface is a charismatic presence though the younger actors playing Fanis at various stages in his life are equally winning and performances are strong across the board.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 578 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme music?
Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ('74)
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
Halloween
The Ipcress File
The Magnificent Seven
Back to the Future
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
  James Dixon
  Lee Trathan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
Darren Jones
  Rwerew Rewrwe
   

 

Last Updated: