Great cinema can do a lot of things to us mere mortals. It can make us laugh hysterically, weep uncontrollably and even affect how we see the world and the decisions we make. The benchmark for a film to be good is that it simply has to make us feel something. After all, that is the purpose of art. This extends beyond the spectrum of human emotion and into the physical realm because, for some of us, the most memorable movies are the ones that made us hungry.
Food has been the subject of great art for centuries and on-screen depictions of delicious dishes can have you running to Google the best vegetarian restaurants in Dubai before the credits have even started rolling. Here’s a round-up of some of the best depictions of food on film, to get those cravings going and the saliva flowing.
Indian Food: The Lunchbox
Few people outside of the region may have seen this heartwarming blockbuster about a romantic mix-up which occurs when one of Mumbai’s famous lunch delivery drivers mixes up an order. While the romance and gorgeous cinematography make this a film worth watching, the reason to see it through to the end is the sumptuous depictions of insanely delicious-looking Indian dishes. A tiffin is an Indian lunchbox containing layers of different types of dishes, so the full colours of glorious Indian food are on full display here: from crisp samosas, to fluffy jasmine rice, to deep-red chana masala, this movie shows you it all.
Noodles: Spirited Away
Anime cartoons have a long tradition of making cartoon food look even more delicious than their real-life counterparts, thanks to the glorious array of colours employed by the artists. Spirited Away, a cartoon epic about a young girl exploring the spirit world, is probably one of the most-hunger-inducing films out there. Throughout various points in the protagonist’s journey, she sits down to heavy bowls of steamy, spicy-looking and colourful noodles, complete with full slurping sound effects to really drive those cravings home. You won’t be able to get past the first scene of this film without diving for your phone to order in some delicious noodles of your own, so be prepared. There’s few films out there which really work to make the joy of food such an integral part of the story and this touching tale reminds us that some of the greatest pleasures in life really are the most simple ones.
Italian Food: Goodfellas
You can’t talk about Italian food on film without turning to Scorsese and his 1990 gangster epic Goodfellas takes the La Dolce Vita approach to Italian cuisine to dizzying new heights. Set in the murky underworld of 1970s New York, some of the most important pieces of drama centre around the dinner table, which is often loaded to the brim with dense lasagne, creamy pastas, rich meatball sauces and, of course, plenty of red wine. This film is widely considered to be the best movie of all time and with food as beautiful as this on the screen, we can see why.
If you have any movies which never fail to set off those hunger pangs, let us know in the comments!