India Sweets and Spices (2021)

After finishing another year at College, Alia (Sophia Ali) is home for summer with hopes of relaxing.  As Alia attempts to settle back in and reconnect with various family members and friends, she discovers a few major secrets about her parents and that elements of her past might all be a lie.  Alia also finds a new romance at the local Indian: Sweets and Spice convenience store.  With secrets coming to the surface, Alia begins to do some soul searching, raising many questions about her family, extended family and the friends who surround her.  Who is telling the truth, and what will the outcome be as secrets come to light for the first time in her family?

India Sweets and Spices is best described as a drama film with little moments of well-timed comedy.  The film’s themes are great, and many topics here feel relevant today.  For Alia, it would seem her family is living their best life, but we learn this isn’t true behind the scenes.  The power of gossip, wealth and remaining fearful of what others think of you are also touched on throughout the film, which I wasn’t expecting and found quite surprising.  The film felt familiar to Crazy Rich Asians with some key, minor changes.  Naturally, I was quite surprised when I found this film had one of the same producers as that film too.  It’s familiar, sure, but thankfully some moments feel different and engaging.

India-Sweets-And-Spices-Main-1

The family drama on-screen are some of the best moments throughout the film.  I found these moments relatable, entertaining and surprising with their reveals.  The film also introduces a corny, lustful romance that feels more forced, unnecessary, and weak.  While viewing, I was so invested in Alia’s family dramas that I lacked the same investment during the romance scenes.  They generally did not impact the film’s core plot and storyline.

India-Sweets-And-Spices-Main-2

Overall, this film certainly has drama and heart relating to family.  The topics and themes are relatable, believable, and rather touching.  While there’s a lot of cinema joy to be had, I am disappointed to admit that I didn’t care for the romance elements, which felt highly forced, weak and weren’t required to tell a compelling story.  Fans of Crazy Rich Asians, this is certainly one for you.  India Sweets and Spices (2021) is Available in Cinemas from February 3rd.

6.0/10

Rating: 3 out of 5.

2nd February 2022
Written by Peter Walkden

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You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled across a rather twisted and regal version of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure when you first read the plot outline of "The Kings Man." A collection of history's very worst criminals and tyrants are plotting to wipe out...

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Continuing on from The Matrix Revolutions (2003), we meet Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a well-known software developer. Known for developing many creative video games, Thomas feels lost and almost robotic as he completes his daily routines.  He begins to see...

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Set in San Fernando, 1973, Licorice Pizza follows the life of two young people- Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), a celebrity superstar and Alana Kane (Alana Haim).  Gary is convinced that Alana is the love of his life, but there is just one problem.  His new...

Sing 2 (2021)

Following the original Sing (2016), Buster Moon (Voiced again by Matthew McConaughey) and his ragtag theatre troops are faced with a new and exciting challenge.   The challenge is unlike anything they've done before, to pursue a reclusive rock star named...

West Side Story (2021)

Based on the well-known Broadway musical (1957), West Side Story (2021) explores various themes and stories, including a dangerous rivalry between two street gangs of different ethnicity.  One gang calls themselves the Jets and the other the Sharks.  On the...

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Continuing from where we left Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his close friends in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019), the entire world now knows the secret identity of Spider-Man.  Peter now spends his days dealing with the public, not to mention constant...

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

Set in the year 1998, Umbrella Corporation has kept Raccoon City alive. However, things worsen for the high-tech pharmaceutical company when suspicion grows within the community.  Strange mishaps occur, including unusual deaths, and several dead bodies randomly...

Henchmen (2018)

Set in the near future, the film follows a young man named Lester (Thomas Middleditch), who has a heart and passion for becoming the ultimate henchman. But becoming a skilled henchman takes hard work and regular attendance at "Union of Evil", the school of...

Rose Plays Julie (2019)

Rose (Ann Skelly) thinks about her mother all the time. She wonders what kind of life she is living and what her mother is doing. She also thinks about what it would look like if the two were ever to meet face to face.  What kind of conversations would they have,...

Dune (2021)

Based on the well-known science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, Dune follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), the son of a noble and well-respected family. Paul begins to have unexplained visions and dreams, which could be visions of moments from his future....

The Card Counter (2021)

Beginning with narration from William Tell (Oscar Isaac), we find out key details about this character's past.  Some of the important details include the fact William served a long time in prison and, while bored behind bars, he decided to learn and master the...

The Advent Calendar (2021)

Eva (Eugénie Derouand) has been a paraplegic since a tragic accident three years ago. Currently, Eva enjoys swimming as a hobby and gets by financially working for an insurance company.  When Eva’s birthday comes around close to Christmas time, it seems she will...

Ditched (2021)

Melina (Marika Sila), a paramedic, and a group of other people wake up in an upside-down ambulance.  Shocked and surprised, Melina and the other survivors attempt to recall what happened to cause the ambulance to flip and crash. Melina recalls she was in the...

The Tunnel: The Other Side of Darkness (2021)

When it comes to Australian cinema, it’s no secret that we’ve all seen films that are just another found footage movie. Thankfully, some films were quite successful, memorable, and different from the rest. One of them was a mockumentary, The Tunnel, which was released...

The Tunnel (2011)

Natasha (Bel Belia) has carefully assembled her team, which consists of Peter (Andy Rodoreda), Steve (Steve Miller) and Tangles (Luke Arnold).  This group of journalists are investigating several government cover-ups relating to water, homelessness, history, and...

Titane (2021)

To describe this film’s plot in writing is one of the biggest challenges I have come across as a film reviewer. Titane begins with moments that are either tragic or uncomfortable.  None of these moments quite make sense and are unexplainable and bizarre....

Battle Drone (2018)

The film begins with the introduction of six highly skilled mercenaries. After completing another successful mission, the CIA approaches the group’s captain, Vincent Reikker (Louis Mandylor), with another job requiring him to reassemble the team and fly out to...

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Continuing on from Venom (2018), Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a host for the alien symbiote known as Venom. In the present day, Eddie is determined to get his life back on track.  Right now, he’s known for being a failed reporter, currently single and struggling to...

The Browning Version (1994)

After teaching for over eighteen years, Andrew Crocker-Harris (Albert Finney) is wrapping up his final days. His wife Laura (Greta Scacchi) will also be retiring after serving fifteen years.  When the school’s headmaster reveals to the students that Mr Andrew...

Best Sellers (2021)

Harris Shaw (Michael Caine) is an exhausted and angry old author who has since retired from writing. He lives his days trying to write on his typewriter while drinking alcohol and smoking heavily. Harris has decided to hide from the rest of the world, putting signs on...

Blue Bayou (2021)

Set in Louisiana, the film follows a Korean-American man named Antonio (Justin Chon).  Antonio lives with his partner Kathy (Alicia Vikander), who is currently pregnant, and his step-daughter Jessie (Sydney Kowalske). Right at the start of the film, we learn that...

Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)

Max Mercer is a 10-year old who has desires to get some quiet time away from his family. His wish is granted by mistake when Max is left home alone after his family fly out to Tokyo. On the flip side, we are also introduced to a married couple named Rob (Jeff...

The War Below (2021)

During World War I, the British are losing the fight as the German forces grow stronger each day and take more ground.  Soon, a major discovery is made that the Germans are working underground, keeping their forces hidden from the battlefield. ...

A Reflection of Fear (1972)

A young girl named Marguerite (Sondra Locke) lives with her mother and grandmother in New England. Marguerite lives a disturbing life with several things daily haunting her.  She also has conversations with a mysterious person who lives in her bedroom.  But...