I'd put together a list of food disasters from the movies to coincide with Delhi Belly's release. Only ended up using five, but here's the whole list.
“Dal mein kankad” (Mr India)
When this film was released, it wasn't uncommon to find stones mixed in with dal bought from ration shops. Mr India took this everyday frustration and turned it into comic revenge. An invisible Anil Kapoor forces a corrupt businessman and his date to chow down on a bowl of pebbles.
“Death by chocolate” (Chocolat)
The dire consequences of having diabetes in a Hollywood movie. Dame Judi Dench plays a spinster with an insulin problem, who, after denying herself for years, goes out in a chocolate-smeared glaze of glory.
“Pie-faced” (The Great Race)
The Stooges did it first – and best – but for destruction caused, number of flingers and sheer volume of pastry there’s no beating the pie-fight from the Jack Lemmon-Tony Curtis starrer The Great Race.
“Brain food” (Hannibal)
Anthony Hopkins slices open Ray Liotta’s skull, sautés a part of his brain and feeds it to him. Off the top of our heads, this is one of the most mind-bending food disasters ever.
“Yoga omelette” (Coolie)
As Amitabh Bachchan tries to make an omelette by cooking along with a radio programme, Rati Agnihotri keeps changing the frequency to a yoga show. Bachchan follows every instruction faithfully, ending up cross-legged, contorted and upside down.
Thanks to an inexpertly glued mustache, Utpal Dutt finds out Amol Palekar isn’t the upright citizen he says he is. Googly-eyed with menace, he walks towards the dinner table, offering to feed the offender select desserts from across India. His manner, though, is the opposite of sugary, and the dinner invitation soon turns into a hold-up.
This scene, replayed across college campuses the world over since 1986, begins to build when John Buleshi starts to load his lunch tray. Item after item pile up until you can barely make out his face behind the food. Of course, in the best traditions of American Comedy, if there’s food, it must be flung.
The Gold Rush
A high-water mark of the Silent years, this scene shows Charlie Chaplain tramp boil and eat his shoe with sublime seriousness. Lucky for him method acting was still years away.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Among other things, this scene proved that the necessary impetus for eating 11 green chillies in a row – even if you’re fearless like Salman Khan – lies in the promise of Aishwarya Rai feeding you dahi-chini afterwards.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (Thoda khao thoda phenko)
Namak Halaal (Dog eats cake and dies)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (The dinner that never happens)
Run (Kauwa biryani)
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (Egg throwing)
Satte Pe Satta (Attack your food)