The Mistress of Spices


The Mistress of Spices (2006)


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


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Movie Info

Director Paul Mayeda Berges adapts author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni magic realist tale about an enchanting Indian orphan who has leaned to harness the magical properties of spices. Orphaned by regional strife in her homeland of India, Tilo (Aishwarya Rai) is subsequently kidnapped by a vicious gang of bandits. A daring escape is quick to follow, and soon after washing up on mysterious shores the traumatized girl is sheltered by a benevolent old woman (Zohra Segal) who reveals to her the remarkable powers of common spices. Later, after moving to Oakland, California and opening her own spice shop, Tilo is compelled to follow three strict stipulations is she is to retain her ability to harness these magnificent powers: she must never use the powers for her own gain, she can never venture outside of her store, and she must never make contact with the skin of another person. When a handsome architect (Dylan McDermott) crashes his motorcycle just outside of the shop and the kindly proprietor rushes to his aid, the instant chemistry between the pair soon finds Tilo's resolve put to the ultimate test.


Critic Reviews for The Mistress of Spices

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (6)

It's such a disappointment that the end result is a bland, feeble fable.

Oct 20, 2017 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

About all that can be said about The Mistress of Spices is that actress Rai manages to retain a straight face while uttering some of the most risible dialogue ever heard in a supposedly serious drama.

Jul 28, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Emphasizes the pleasures of scent, taste and touch to a remarkably tantalizing degree.

Jul 28, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4

Imagine Like Water for Chocolate without the passion. Such is the premise of Mistress of Spices, Paul Mayeda Berges's film-directing debut.

May 4, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Beautiful but lifeless, poetic but unelevated.

Apr 25, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Despite the ethereal presence of Aishwarya Rai in the title role, unquestionably one of the most beautiful women on the planet, this savory dose of magic realism goes off almost from the start.

Sep 21, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Mistress of Spices


I watched this a long time ago. It's okay.

Dead Angel
Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

Ridiculous & stupid, And Rai is kinda annoying

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

A lovely film with beautiful colors placed into the film...can a woman whom can assist with destiny for others find her true love?? ....Aishwarya Rai is beautiful and is good in this film along with Dylan McDermott.

Mason Williams
Mason Williams

Super Reviewer

The novel was amazing and this did not fail to deliver. The book always reminded me of Chocolat, but this adaptation was both far more faithful and far more fitting with the colours and textures used in the book/cinamatography than the Chocolat film was.

Kylie B
Kylie B

Super Reviewer

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