(On DVD, September 2007) Faithful readers of these reviews already know that I love Ashwarya Rai like few other actresses, and I really should let that stand as my review of the entire film. She’s gorgeous, she’s the star of the film and frankly, is there any other reason to see it? Well, okay: if ever they perfect smell-o-cinema, this would be the first movie to re-master. There is such an accumulation of details and images about spices that the film practically cries out for a cooking kit bundle. Fans of sumptuous exotic flavours will be able to overlook the lacklustre magical realism romance that runs at the heart of the film and just enjoy the film on a scene-per-scene basis. The rest doesn’t always hold together very well, and the mechanistic nature of the script is a bit too obvious to be completely entrancing, but with a title like The Mistress Of Spices, at least you get both the mistress and the spices.