Weekend Binge:9 decadent food porn movies (and shows) you should be bingeing on right now | hollywood | Hindustan Times
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Weekend Binge:9 decadent food porn movies (and shows) you should be bingeing on right now

With Saif Ali Khan’s remake of Jon Favreau’s Chef out in theatres, it got us salivating: What are the best food-related movies/TV shows we could binge on?

weekend binge Updated: Oct 08, 2017 20:53 IST
Rohan Naahar
Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia, Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, and Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox.
Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia, Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, and Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox.

Every week, we will curate a collection of titles - movies, TV, general miscellanea - for you to watch (and in some cases, read, or listen to), in a series we call Weekend Binge. The selection will be based on a theme which binds the picks - which could be extremely blunt in certain instances, or confusingly abstract in some. No rules apply, other than the end goal being getting some great entertainment to watch.

While the idea is to base the theme on the week’s major events - it could be the release of a new movie, or show - we could also use this opportunity to comment on our world in general, and turn to art to wrap our heads around some of the more difficult stories of the past seven days.

This introduction - although it has served us well - feels really out of place for this week’s piece. There’ll be no talk of mass shootings, race-related violence, or failing economies here. This week, we’ll be sending our series down new, meta paths. This week, we’ll be putting the ‘binge’ in Weekend Binge.

Food, you guys. It’s all about food this week.

With Saif Ali Khan’s remake of Jon Favreau’s Chef out in theatres, it got us salivating: What are the best food-related movies/TV shows we could binge on? Now, before you ask, no, this isn’t going to be a list filled with MasterChefs and Hell’s Kitchens, so if that’s what you were expecting - sorry. But if you show patience, you’ll find that we’ve included a couple of unlikely ingredients this time.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Ono’s sushi has brought people to tears. To have a meal at his nondescript restaurant, there is usually a months-long waiting list - and that’s if you manage to book a reservation at all. But Jiro’s isn’t a massive, fine-dining establishment. It seats just about a dozen people. Jiro is an old man in his eighties. He comes to work everyday, ignoring his family as he has been for decades, and creates sushi that has got the attention of everyone from Barack Obama to Shinzo Abe. But the documentary on Jiro tries to understand what drives him to such greatness, and the level of sacrifice he has made to achieve it. It is a story about the power of legacy, of fathers and sons, and above all, how a tiny restaurant in a Tokyo basement could win three Michelin stars and be called one of the best in the world.

Chef’s Table

The success of Jiro gave director David Gelb a great idea. This could be extended into a TV show, with every episode a profile of a celebrated chef - greats like Massimo Bottura, Grant Achatz, and even our very own Gaggan Anand. He pitched the idea to Netflix, and thus, Chef’s Table, the most decadent show on food ever produced - complete with opera music, high production values, and excellent insight - was born

The Hundred Foot Journey

The Hundred Foot Journey isn’t the only movie about Indian food on our list. In fairness, how could it be? While it isn’t as great of an achievement as The Lunchbox - more on that later - it is a lot like the original Chef. It wears its heart on its sleeve, it’s warm, positively overflowing with cliche’s, but like most unhealthy meals, it feels good afterwards.

Julie & Julia

It’s a bit of a toss-up between food and Meryl Streep here. While the food is quite stunning, the best thing about this movie is Meryl Streep’s humanising portrayal of a person, many would argue, barely resembles a human at all.

Big Night

One thing will be clear after you watch Big Night, a charming little indie about a family-run Italian restaurant preparing for a very important guest who’s supposed to come for dinner. Italians and Indians are more alike than you’d think. They care about their food with the passion most cultures reserve for politics, or sports.But they care about family more.

Eat Drink Man Woman

This is the film that put Ang Lee on the map. Like Big Night, it’s about a traditional family-run business - this time in China. And Like Jiro Dreams of Sushi, it’s about fathers and their children.

The Trip

It’s strange to say this in a list filled with great food movies (and shows), but The Trip might be the best of the lot. And there’s a lot of it - three seasons in fact. Not only does it feature gorgeous shots of food - it does - but it also doubles up as a road trip comedy, and a legitimate story about growing up.

Super Size Me

For 30 days in 2003, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock set himself a rather odd task. During that period, he would eat only McDonald’s food - all meals, without exception. It began as a proper study into the negative effects of fast food (spoiler alert, it is), but around the half-way mark, the film transforms into a really odd deep dive into American culture.

The Lunchbox

You’ve probably seen it already haven’t you? Recommending a film most people have likely already seen - especially if they’re into movies such as this - can hardly be called a recommendation. But there you have it.

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar