Directed by Sanif Olek, Ramuan Rahasia is an endearing tale of hope blending spicy food, classic Nusantara Malay songs and love into a digestible contemporary platter. Inspired by films such as Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman, Lars Hallström’s Chocolat, Gabriel Axel’s Babette’s Feast and Alfonso Arau’s Like Water For Chocolate, it is a story that uses the metaphor of food and in particular the elusive ingredient to unfold the tale.
Ramuan Rahasia is different from the other Malay films (from Malaysia) because this film is about contemporary Singapore, speaking from its Malay perspective. As such Ramuan Rahasia does not only feature the Singapore Malay, it situates itself as speaking from the centre of the Nusantara – the Malay speaking world that covers South Africa in the west and Philippines in the east, southern Thailand in the north and the Indonesian Archipelago in the south.
The peoples of Nusantara share similar language, food and yes, music too.