Watch Cooking with Stella
- 1 hr 44 min
Cooking with Stella is a 2009 Indian-Canadian comedy-drama film directed by Dilip Mehta. The movie follows the story of Stella (Seema Biswas), a renowned cook from India who is hired by a Canadian diplomat Michael (Don McKellar) and his wife Maya (Lisa Ray) to work in their home. Stella, along with her assistant maid Tannu (Shriya Saran), takes charge of the kitchen initially and impresses the family with her delectable Indian dishes. However, Michael and Maya soon discover that Stella is not just a cook, but also a fraudster, who is secretly hoarding expensive ingredients and stealing from their household accounts. As the family confronts Stella's dishonesty, they soon realise that there is more to her story than just greed. Stella, it seems, has a hidden agenda, and her stealing is rooted in a desire to fund an orphanage back in India, where she comes from. The film is a witty satire on cultural exchange and diaspora life, showcasing the complexities of the Indian diaspora in Canada. It explores the tensions and misunderstandings that arise between cultures, and also the strength of love, compassion, and forgiveness in overcoming these differences. The main characters in Cooking with Stella are well-written and well-played. Seema Biswas is a standout as Stella, portraying her character with both subtlety and an undertone of mischief. Don McKellar is equally impressive as Michael, seamlessly conveying the nuances of his character's deep-rooted love for India, and his struggles with cultural adaptation. Lisa Ray's performance as Maya is also noteworthy, providing a welcome counterbalance to the other two dominant leads. Her character is a nuanced portrayal of a woman caught between two cultures and torn between her loyalty to her husband and her own sense of morality. The film's cinematography is also a marvel to behold, with director of photography Giles Nuttgens accentuating the beauty of both Indian and Canadian landscapes to create a stunning visual contrast between the two cultures. However, what really sets Cooking with Stella apart is its remarkable blend of comedy and drama. The film uses humour to diffuse tension and bring the characters closer together, allowing them to explore their own issues in a more lighthearted manner. Overall, Cooking with Stella is a heartwarming and well-crafted film that is entertaining and poignant in equal measure. It offers a unique perspective on cultural exchange and the difficulties that come with it, while also showcasing the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.