Film Summary: Today’s Special
Released in 2009, Independent Comedy’s film Today’s Special is a story of a middle aged chef who learns that trusting your instincts in life (and while cooking) can change your life. Co-written by Aasif Mandvi and Directed by David Kaplan, this film is a heart-felt tale about family, love, loss, trusting yourself, and of course food.
Samir (played by Aasif Mandvi) is a successful sous chef at a high end French restaurant. A methodical perfectionist, and expecting a promotion to chef in the near future, he the best at what he does. Samir soon finds himself in a tough position, however, when he is denied his promotion and a young hip chef is given the job due to his lack of soul when it comes to his cooking and his personality. After quitting his job, Samir finds himself drawn back to his family when his estranged father (Harish Patel) suffers a heart attack and he volunteers to tend to the family restaurant “Tandoori Palace” while his father recovers.
Once Samir is in charge of the restaurant he quickly learns that although he is a talented chef, he is a terrible at preparing food from his parent’s native land, India. His pompous attitude and demanding personality drive the current chef to quit. After making a mess of the kitchen in an attempt to cook the food himself, Samir ends up ordering food from another Indian restaurant to supplement their customer orders. It is at this point that our blustering lead realizes he may need help and calls upon a recent acquaintance to aid in his efforts to keep his father’s restaurant afloat in his absence.
Akbar is an eccentric cab driver and amazing cook who saves the day with his delicious food and charming “in the moment” personality. Akbar becomes a sort of guide to Samir as he tries to show him how he must let go, and think not only with his head, but also with his heart and with his stomach. His laid back personality and way of speaking has a sort of infectious way of making others let down their guard. We see this come into play when Samir finally expresses emotion about the passing of his brother and the affect it had (and still has) on his interpersonal relationships.
During Akbars first day on the job he posts up the special of the day, which simply says “Trust Me”. When Samir comes into the restaurant his immediate reaction is to shut it down and do things by the book, but Akbar hands him a plate of “Trust Me” and the food…