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Too much sugar , not enough spice
on 17 August 2011
A family movie at it's core , Touch Of Spice tells the story of Fanis , who has to leave Istanbul at an early age for Athens , due to the difficult relationships between Greece and Turkey . The memories that have stayed in his mind more than anything , are the stories , recipies and knowledge about cooking his grandfather used to tell him , the time the two were spending together . At 45 , our hero has to go back in order to visit his grandpa who has suddently fallen ill .
The film had been one of the biggest hits of greek cinema in the past decade yet it's a strangely harmless , spineless proposition , totally apolitikal and rather mellow . Director Tasos Boulmentis has chosen to take as few risks as possible . Considering the huge amount of money the production costed ( for greek standards always ) , maybe that's not so unexpected .
A Touch Of Spice avoids to examine the sensitive issues of that period in Greece's history . The script fails to convicingly present the simple themes of love it choses to tell as well . When Fanis goes back to Istanbul , he meets a childhood friend played by the gorgeous turkish actress Basak Köklükaya . She used to dance for him in his grandfather's attic when they where little . She has never stopped loving him romantically , she says and sheds a tear...ah come on! Weren't they , like , seven year olds when they last met ? Both Chorafas and Köklükaya are talented and beautiful yet they are given little to work with . As for the rest of the characters , they all also remain strictly one dimensional throughout the whole movie .
Overall , the film is sweet , nostalgic , feel-good and withought any edge ( salt ? pepper ? ) whatsoever . More of a lost opportunity than a hit and miss then .