Jadoo comes from Leicester writer and director Amit Gupta who tells the story of two brothers who are chefs. Starring Amara Karan, Harish Patel and Kulvinder Ghir it was shot in the great city of Leicester, on the golden mile where the two brothers restaurants are. Released in 2013 to a limited release, it was praised for its content but not its execution.
Raja (Harish Patel) and Jagi (Kulvinder Ghir) are brothers who cook from a book written by their mother. One day they fall out, and both rip the book in half looking to start their own restaurants. Raja takes the front of the book which contains the starters and Jagi takes the other half which contains the mains. Their restaurants are successful to a certain degree, but as the brothers require the other half of the book the restaurants level out. 20 years pass and Raja’s daughter Shalini (Amara Karan) is getting married to an English doctor. She comes to Leicester to ask her family to attend the wedding, only to find out her old friend is going to launch a restaurant to take out both her fathers and uncles restaurants. It is up to her to get the brothers to join forces and take out the opposition after 20 years of not talking.
Funnily enough, the film was shot on Belgrave Road in Leicester where I am from. The landmark locations, the restaurants and the physical embodiment of the city are felt from Amit Gupta’s tale of the brotherhood and rivalry. As he was born and raised in Leicester, you can see the director wanting to showcase what it has to offer. Unfortunately, as the cityscapes are shot with glare and wonder, the story of the film falls flat. The rivalry between the brothers is not strong enough for the audience to feel any angst against and the outcome between the two was predictable from the outset. The characters, however, are fantastic with Amara Karan taking the mainstage to get her characters father and uncle to come together for a physical purpose.
The physical purpose of the film was to bring people together with food and I believe Amit Gupta (who actually lived on the road depicted) shows it off beautifully. A swan song to his hometown, and the people that embody. The story is ok, and the inclusion of Keith Vaz in the film is a no go zone, but overall the film showcases the greatness that is Leicester.
Should you watch it: YES