The author bio suggests that I am a cinephile and a foodie. Believe me, these are the two best things ever invented by human civilization. All I need for sustenance is food and entertainment – let there be chaos elsewhere! Now, when these two interests of mine come together, it leaves me in a perplexed state of mind – which one to love more?
What all you remember from a movie? The star actor? Comedians? Story? Dialogues? Clothes or jewelry? But when food becomes a character in a movie – things are really hard to choose. There’s a way of presenting food too in the movies. Sometimes, it is not an intrinsic part of the movie but the way an actor eats creates a craving in you. Remember how Ranveer Singh or Bittu in Band Baaja Baaraat was eating Bread Pakora with Shruti? And his Bread Pakora is so dear to him that he even swears on that! For that matter, the way Saurabh Shukla or Rishi Kapoor eat from their lavish plates in Jolly LLB and Shudh Desi Romance are also memorable!
Bollywood is more than a century old and it has given many memorable flicks which make us laugh and cry both. Here is a list of my favorite 6 Bollywood movies which left me with an endearing culinary experience.
A bawarchi is the Hindi name for cook or chef. It was a typical Hrishikesh Mukherjee movie with dollops of food in it. In a middle-class family where the brothers and sisters-in-law fight with each other over domestic issues of who spends how much and who works how much, suddenly a Bawarchi comes and changes everything. He is a chef with unique abilities to work non-stop all through the day and night. And his dishes are to die for. He can make cabbage taste like mutton! The united family enjoying their tasty meals is a sight to watch.
Cheeni Kum (2007)
The best chefs of the world can say all the ingredients used in a dish along with the exact quantity of salt & sugar by smelling that dish once. They can also say for how long the rice has been cooked or for how long the bread has been baked. This movie was exactly like that where Mr. Ghasphoos or Amitabh Bachchan owns the best Indian restaurant in London named Spice 6. Food thus forms a huge part of this movie. He falls in love with the character of Tabu over a debate on Hyderabadi Zafrani Pulao. The film then condenses on normal daal-roti-chawal, brinjal curry, chicken kebabs, to the famous street foods of Delhi. An intense love story gifted by ace director R. Balki, this 2007 movie is still a food lover’s secret love.
Stanley Ka Dabba (2011)
Stanley Ka Dabba is one of the most heart-warming stories of this decade surely. Released in 2011, this movie garnered massive acclaims from each and every one. It narrated the story of an orphan child who works at a restaurant and gets abused & beaten by the owner of the restaurant, his own uncle. He is popular among his peers & teachers. Mr. Verma, the Hindi teacher of the school enters and the movie forges into something brutal. Mr. Verma is a glutton & phagomaniac who does not bring his own dabba either but lusts after everyone else’s, also stealing food on occasion. We see kadhi pakodas, samosas, bhindi, rajma, cakes, paneer, baingan bharta, etc. – many more to salivate!
You would experience a lust for food through Mr. Verma & to what extent he can go (rebuking or suspending a student for not bringing tiffin) for having food. You would also see how less food and more of love we need to stay happy in life!
English Vinglish (2012)
Shashi, the entrepreneur knows to make the best motichoor ke laddoos and snacks for adding happiness to people’s lives. She also knows to make the best Rajma-Chawal & Parathas. She is the epitome of Goddess Lakshmi. The whole movie & its basic plot of “Is English so important?” runs on one side and on the parallel side are the lovely foods and sweets. In a PTM also, she talks about banana chips & murukku. She joins the English Speaking class and there also she becomes popular for her recipes! This feel-good movie would always remain special for the ghee-lathpath motichoor ke laddoos.
The Lunchbox (2013)
Directed by Ritesh Batra, this movie is touted as one of the best love stories of our generation. The love story blooms over dabba or lunchbox that is wrongly delivered. So, every morning you would find the housewife cooking and packing the food while having a chat about food with the lady staying upstairs. The love notes are exchanged through the lunch boxes and with each passing day, there are some new dishes, new stories shared, and a new love! A supporting character is shown chopping veggies on his office files while going back home in Mumbai local. Through Alu Gobhi, Matar Paneer, Daal Fry, Fried Rice, Raita, etc. – Nowhere this movie lost its connection with food!
Ki & Ka (2016)
In a mediocre way, this movie challenged or questioned many things that our society follows. Why cooking is associated with a woman? Why only a man should earn more than the woman to run the family? Why a woman is not given due respect and appreciation when she decorates her house or cooks food? Why the movie turned out to be different was the fact, all these questions were put up by the male lead who believes her housewife mom was no less than an artist. He marries the lady for whom making a cup of coffee is no less than rocket science. From fluffy Spanish omelet to spaghetti, healthy salads to Rajma Chawal, beaten coffee to cheesecakes, chicken tikka to daal fry – you would feel the aroma of food traveling from the screen to your room.
There are many such movies where you would find a nice presence of food through the characters who are either eating them or talking about them. Movies like Ramji Londonwaley, Chef, Duplicate, Dawat-E-Ishq, Hasee To Phasee, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, etc. are some foodgasm in motion for sure. Those who love movies & food both (like me) find a heavenly comfort in these movies. Watch these movies again (in case you have watched it before) and enjoy the lip-smacking experience again!