Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: Nina Shaw and her partner Lisa find love in the search for the perfect curry.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2006
Duration: 95 min
Language: UK/English
MPAA: PG-13
Director: Pratibha Parmar
Writer: Andrea Gibb, Pratibha Parmar
Starring: Shelley Conn, Laura Fraser, Ronny Jhutti, Art Malik, Raji James, Veena Sood, Raad Rawi, Atta Yaqub, Zoe Henretty, Kathleen McDermott, Adam Sinclair, Rita Wolf, Francisco Bosch, Umar Ahmed, Gillian J. Anderson

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Nina's Heavenly Delights

The Shah family runs one of the premiere Indian restaurants in Glasgow, Scotland, and the film opens as daughter Nina (Shelley Conn, Possession) returns from London to attend her father’s funeral, picked up at the airport by her drag queen friend Bobbi (Ronny Jhutti).

Estranged for three years, she learns that financial problems caused her father to give up half of the restaurant, and the family is now planning to put it all on the market. Then when Nina finds out that they are in the finals of the coveted Best of the West Curry Competition, she knows that she must win it for her father.

Although it’s been a while, she spent her childhood in the kitchen with him, and Nina tries to summon all of his unwritten rules for cooking the perfect curry. Her greatest competition is from Sanjay (Raji James), the man she left at the altar three years ago, running from their arranged marriage. Luckily her father’s business partner Lisa (Laura Fraser, Iron Jawed Angels, The Investigator) is in Nina’s corner, helping her in the kitchen … and soon falling in love.

Nina and Lisa are ready to win it all, but hit a snag when Nina feels like she can’t come out to her family. With a little bit of help from her father’s spirit, in cooking and in love, Nina takes his advice to follow your heart. It’s a feel good, fairytale ending for everyone in the Shah family, and we can certainly all use another happy lesbian ending! Although criticized for what has been called an unrealistic positive family reaction, lesbian writer/director Pratibha Parmar hopes that their acceptance helps change people’s perceptions. My wish would be for more screen time devoted to the relationship. (AB)