Lasse Hallström serves up a delightful treat of a film
Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), who has been learning the art of Indian cuisine in Mumbai all his life from his mother, finds his life turned upside down when his mother dies in a tragic fire that also destroys the family restaurant. Hassan, his father, called Papa in the movie (Om Puri) and the rest of his family then decide to move to a small village in France to try and start anew.
Papa is eager to start the business in a space for sale that he found. However, right across the street is a well-known French restaurant, Le Saule Pleureur, with an esteemed Michelin star. Hassan and the rest of the family urge Papa against buying a space so close to it, but Papa insists and they open their restaurant. Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), the proud and intimidating owner of Le Saule Pleureur, is not pleased with the addition of the loud and colorful Kadam family right across the street and does everything in her power to run them out of business. A rivalry then ensues, full of evil looks and stolen ingredients.
While the plot is fairly typical, the characters make up for it. Helen Mirren's arresting presence takes center stage as the evil-turned-loving neighbor, and Om Puri is charming as the lovable and old-fashioned Papa. While it's clear that that a happy ending is on the horizon, watching the relationship between the Kadam family and Madame Mallory evolve and change is still a pleasure.
Even though most of the actors are not big names, the producers certainly are. An adaptation of Richard C. Morais' novel of the same name, "The Hundred-Foot Journey" was produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. In addition, the soundtrack is a mix of contemporary Indian music composed by A. R. Rahman, who is well known for his cinematic scoring. The music enhances the film and adds another layer of authenticity.
While it doesn't take much brainpower to figure out what happens in the end, "The Hundred-Foot Journey" is a pleasure to watch, and viewers will no doubt be hungry for some Indian cuisine by the end.
Ellie Struewing. My name is Ellie and I like to listen to music and watch The Office. I like the color gray and buying office supplies. More »