The title of the film, Spilt Gravy on Rice, comes from a Malay saying which roughly translated goes, “Where does the gravy spill, if not on the rice”, which is similar in meaning to the English saying “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.
The story revolves around the central character of Bapak, an ageing, polygamous, British-educated, Malay, Muslim, retired journalist, patriarch, who realises he doesn’t have much time left on Earth and so invites his five children to have dinner with him to discuss some unresolved family matters with them, including who will inherit his house, their childhood home, an old decaying mansion,
set in an acre of lush garden in the centre of the rapidly developing capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
The events of Spilt Gravy on Rice take place in one day, the day before Bapak’s dinner is meant to take place.
During the course of this day, we are introduced to Bapak and his five offspring, borne from five different mothers, each with their own distinct personality, going about their lives.
After a lunchtime encounter with two rather unusual visitors, Bapak finds out that this day is going to be his last. He decides to change the dinner to that evening instead and to cook the meal, a collection of his children’s favourite dishes, himself, as his grumpy Filipino maid, Concepcion, is unable to cook Malay food.
Unfortunately, the various text messages sent and calls made by Darwis, the one child who still lives at home with his father, to his siblings’ phones, go unheeded and Bapak is left waiting at the dining table. Will they arrive in time to say goodbye? Will Bapak get to convey his finals wishes? Will they get to eat their favourite dishes?
Find out when you watch Spilt Gravy on Rice, a dark satirical comedy about an atypical urban English-speaking Malay family that touches on a number of social and political issues affecting contemporary Malaysian society.