A Touch Of Spice

A Touch Of Spice
Cast: George Corraface, Ieroklis Michailidis, Renia Louizidou, Stelios Mainas, Tamer Karadagli
Director: Tassos Boulmetis
Writer: Tassos Boulmetis
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Rated: M nudity
Running Time: 108 Minutes

Pepper...Is Hot And Scorches, Just Like The Sun

'A Touch Of Spice' is a story about a young Greek boy, Fanis, growing up in Istanbul, whose grandfather, a culinary philosopher and mentor, teaches him that both food and life require a little salt to give them flavour; they both require A TOUCH OF SPICE.

Fanis grows up to become an excellent cook and uses his cooking skills to spice up the lives of those around him. 35 years later he leaves Athens and travels back to his birthplace of Istanbul to reunite with his grandfather and his first love; he travels back only to realize that he forgot to put a little bit of spice in his own life.

My Verdict:
'A Touch Of Spice' is based, mostly, on scriptwriter and director Tassos Boulmetis' journey of his life from his birth in Istanbul, the move to Greece with his family and his return to Istanbul some 30 years later. It is such an inspiring journey that covers so many angles about people reluctantly leaving their homeland, the influence family meals can have, the influence one generation can have on another and ultimately how these influences affect us and teach us valuable lessons about love and life itself.

The movie is broken into sections, much like a dinner menu: the preparation, the appetizers, the main course, the desserts and the presentation. Each of these sections has its own story to tell about Fanis and his wonderful journey. The preparation is present day and tells of Fanis waiting for his grandfather's impending arrival, whom he hasn't seen since he was 7. But an unexpected phone call reveals that his grandfather has taken ill and the remaining sections are then told in flashback. The appetizers tells of Fanis as a young boy and the knowledge and wisdom taught to him by his grandfather and the friendship of a girl, Saime, who will come to have a great influence on his life. The main course tells of Fanis' time growing up in Greece, without his grandfather and Saime. The desserts returns to present day where Fanis has decided to return to Istanbul to visit his ill grandfather and at his eventual funeral, where he sees Saime. The presentation? That draws together all of Fanis' emotions and passions of his life and will see the next phase of his life begin.

Any movie that remains at #1 at the Greek Box Office for 7 weeks has surely got to have something going for it and 'A Touch Of Spice' will now go on to become Greece's official choice for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2005 Academy Awards©. It will touch you with its subtle humour and its precious lessons about life, love and how a simple meal can reveal so much. It may also make you hungry for a decent meal with those you love.

Rating : B-

Christina Bruce