Don't fear, dear reader! We know you're too busy to watch a film and read a book, so we've done the hard graft for you, here's our first 'Read or Watch?' recommendation.
Firstly let's look at the book, it has a Goodreads rating of 3.59/5 which is a good endorsement, but doesn't place the book in the 'amazing' category. which we would consider to be anything over four. Reviewers on the site are decidedly divided between those that "loved it" and those that just "didn't get it", there appears to be very little middle ground.
We think the book is enjoyable but it does struggle to hold interest the whole way through. We feel it would be a fantastic addition to the Leaving Cert Curriculum, due to some great themes, character development and mix of cultures.
The film however appears to be faring better with reviewers, with Irish website Krank.ie giving it an 8/10 rating and stating, "Food porn at its finest; this is not a film to be watched on an empty stomach."
No More Workhorse, were slightly less enthused but agreed that despite minor flaws, "The performances of Helen Mirren and Om Puri are worth seeing as is the deft knife work of the kitchen staff as they chop dexterously all those beautiful vegetables".
Having seen the film, we found it to be a veritable delight for the senses. It's a slow-burner but it's a wholly enjoyable cinematic experience which is beautifully shot with lush scenery, vibrant food and heart-warming relationships.
Our recommendation for this one is: WATCH! Go see this film on a lazy Sunday afternoon when it opens this September 5th and ensure that you have a fridge full of fresh ingredients for gourmet Indian cooking when you get home. The film manages to bring the food aspects of the story to life better than the book, and the subtle but genius chemistry between Helen Mirren and Om Puri can't be captured between the pages of a book.