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Spice Up Your Life

GT celebrates Diwali with a curry – and new film Jadoo.

Regent Street's famous lights were switched on last night but did you know that yesterday also marked the beginning of Diwali, the Indian “festival of light”? The five day fun celebrates the victory of good over evil and brightness over darkness. To celebrate, we have been indulging in a fabulous Indian buffet provided by Cinnamon Soho and viewing Amit Gupta's upcoming film Jadoo.

The curry house comedy is about Shalini (Amara Karan), a long-time lover of good Indian food. Even during a wedding proposal from her dishy boyfriend Mark (Tom Mison), Shalina can't resist giving the waiter a quick critique of her meal. Luckily for her, Salina's father and uncle both own restaurants; her father Raja (Harish Patel) is known for his splendid starters and her Uncle Jagi (Kulvinder Ghir) is merited for his marvellous mains.

The problem is, the brothers haven’t spoken for ten years and, with restaurants directly opposite one another, the men resort to dirty tricks and sabotage. (This includes making false table bookings and ripping bin bags to attract pests when health inspectors are due to visit Leicester. As you do.) Shalini tries to reunite her family, but the brothers’ stubbornness is testing. And funny. Divided as the family is, we fall in love with all its members as we did with Bend it like Beckham and It's a Wonderful Afterlife.

The movie feels authentic, perhaps because writer and producer Amit Gupta grew up in Leicester, where his family owned an Indian restaurant. As he says: “For me food, family and film have always been inextricably linked.”

It’s an easy going, fun watch and fans of dry humour will be LOL-ing aplenty. The soundtrack, meanwhile, will have you tapping your feet and the colourful shots, particularly when Holi (the festival of colour) is celebrated, will make you smile. It’s feel-good cinema. Watch out, though, for an emotional scene when the real reason for the brothers’ rivalry is revealed…

We were left hungry for more. Literally.

Jadoo is scheduled for release early 2013

Words: Benjamin Spence

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