Possible spoilers ahead!
In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” a family from Mumbai moves into a quaint French village and shakes things up by opening an Indian restaurant directly across the street from a Michelin star winning French restaurant.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is a culture-clash dramedy that proves you can have a successful career and love at the same tine. And it doesn’t mather if you prefer Beef bourguignon or tandoori goat.
When Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) first sees the Kadam family, she asks “Who are zees people?” Little does she realize “Zees people” includes one of the most talented young cooks in in the world. That would be protagonist, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), who soon begins a sly flirtation with Mirren’s beautiful sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). She introduces Hassan to French cooking, which he becomes determined to master.
The these two characters have plenty of chemistry and their scenes are really good and fun. But early on, their relationship serves as backdrop to the fiery confrontations between Helen Mirren and Om Puri.
Neither restaurant owner is afraid to resort to all manner of competitive sabotage, including (but not limited to) buying up all the crayfish at the farmers market, or filing multiple complaints with the mayor.
The movie’s tranquil setting is briefly shattered when local thugs attack and try to burn down the Kadam’s restaurant. But instead of lighting a fuse, this event begins to unite the Kadams and Madame Mallory, who soon realizes that young Hassan is possibly the missing ingredient that could earn her restaurant its second Michelin star.
Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom has always made critically acclaimed films like “The Cider House Rules,” “Chocolat” and “The Shipping News.” All three are great films, but not exactly what you would call blockbusters.
Now Hallstrom brings us “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” thanks to the formidable backing of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey who serve as producers. The film is based on the 2010 novel by Richard C. Morais.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” has plenty of similarities to “Chocolat.” But what makes Journey a better film, is the chemistry of Helen Mirren and Om Puri. Their relationship contrasts the heat and intensity of Indian cooking with the elegance and refinement of French cuisine. Helen Mirren and Om Puri. bring balance to the film, as the two old world restauranteurs give the audience a feel-good lesson in ethnic harmony.
Top to bottom, the cast in “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is phenomenal. The setting is beautiful and the food is stunning to look at. If you enjoy cooking, or watching the Food Network, this movie is made just for you.
I wasn’t expecting much from “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” but I left the theatre hungry and wanting more. Believe it or not, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is one of my favorite movies of the year. Spooky ain’t it?
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” Final Score: 9