3rd September will see Leicester getting the red carpet treatment as the cast and crew of the film Jadoo descended upon the city for its premiere.
Jadoo tells the story of brothers Raja and Jagi, both chefs, who after a falling out rip the family recipe book and open rival restaurants across the road from one another. When Raja’s daughter Shalini starts to plan her wedding she devises a plan to get them to work together and cook the perfect Indian banquet. Set in Leicester, with the brother’s restaurants based on Belgrave Road, it’s a film of food, family and feuds filmed right on our very own doorstep.
The premiere takes place at Showcase Cinema De Lux and will welcome actors Harish Patel and Amara Karan back to the city, having filmed here last spring. Written and Directed by Leicester-raised Amit Gupta, he told Pukaar News how important it was to make this film here, “I’m very proud of my city probably because I’ve grown up here, I love the place and I’m back all the time.” The film also stars Kulvinder Ghir as Raja one of the warring siblings, with Amara Karan, Tom Mison and the prominent food writer Madhur Jaffrey.
Adamant from the outset that it should be shot down Belgrave Road, Amit filmed largely at his mother and aunt’s restaurant The Chaat House Restaurant, “My family ran a restaurant for 36 years down Belgrave Road and a lot of my formative experiences were there. I just wanted to make something that was representative of the place I grew up in.”
Amit was keen to get the locals involved too, inviting people from the area to star in the film, “We were really lucky with the cast. Extras were actual waiters and chefs from the area because I wanted it to feel authentic and I wanted you to feel the energy and vibe of this place.” Dharmesh Lakhani, director of Bobby’s Restaurant, Belgrave Road played a judge during a cook-off competition in the movie and told Pukaar News “I’ve never really experienced anything like it. They wanted some originality and I think the Golden Mile offers it, as it’s such a thriving, bustling area.”
Filming in his home city also had the added benefit that Amit could eat his mother’s cooking and sleep in his childhood bed after a long day on set. He also took inspiration from the distinctive red brick houses in the area which were reminiscent of his childhood growing up on Belgrave Road, “Some parts have hardly changed from when I was a boy, even down to some of the shops fronts which are exactly the same.” Ultimately giving the film its family-friendly feel.
Clearly proud at being able to put his home city on the big screen, Amit told us “[Leicester] is a place that’s open, opens its arms out to visitors and that’s what I wanted to capture; I’d like my film to do the same thing.”
Jadoo hits UK cinemas on 6th September and looks set to be the heart-warming family comedy of the autumn season.