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Film Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey

One Hundred-Foot Journey
Hassan (Manish Dayal) and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) in DreamWorks Pictures’ charming new film “The Hundred-Foot Journey. Photo: François Duhamel ©Dreamworks

First of all, let me say that this movie is way better than I imagined it would be. And secondly, I need to start eating Indian food and move to France.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is an inspirational story of a young boy from India, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), who has the gift of tasting and making food, however he finds himself in a whirlwind feud between his family’s Indian restaurant and a high-end French restaurant.

 

The movie begins in a crowded marketplace in India, Hassan is a young child and he and his mother are chasing after a grocery porter, people are fighting to buy from the porter and while the porter is trying to decide to whom he should sell, he notices Hassan; a young boy oblivious to the chaos surrounding him tasting the delicacy with his eyes closed. The porter sells the entire lot to Hassan’s mother.

In India, Hassan learns the roots and dynamics of cooking from his mother. His school is the family restaurant, and his mother teaches him how to savor each taste and how food is not just a necessity but life.

However, Hassan’s life changes dramatically when suddenly after a political turmoil,the entire family restaurant is set on fire by some angered protesters. He and his brothers, sisters and father are able to escape but his mother remains trapped in the burning flames.

The Kadam family is left with nothing, a few belongings here and there, but no home. They set forth to Europe. The family led by,Papa (Om Puri), are traveling through Europe in a beat-up van, when fate takes place. While driving through the hills, the breaks fail and the van loses control.

The family is rescued by a young girl named Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), with her warmth and hospitality she immediately becomes a friend of the family and Hassan’s love interest.

Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon).
Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon).

The Kadam family finally settles in a village south of France, Saint-Antonin-Nobel Val and open an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai. And it is here when the feud between the two cultures begin. That is because exactly 100-feet across Maison Mumbai, is the Le Saule Pleurer Restuarant, the best restaurant going 50 miles of France in any direction. They are known for serving the best dishes, and notable costumers such as the Minister of France. It is also the workplace of Marguerite.

The Le Saule Pleurer  is run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), an extravagant upper class woman, that will do anything in her power to end Maison Mumbai before they even begin.

Both Papa and Madame Mallory go head to head, pulling out all the stops: stealing pigeons,buying half the marketplace, and filing numerous complaints about the other until one night changes it all.

At the night of France’s most celebrated day, The Bastille, the lead chef of Le Saule Pleurer and his friends try to set Maison Mumbai on fire. Hassan is burned on the hands and leg but with the help of the family they are able to stop the fire before the past repeated itself.

After this dreadful night, Madame Mallory makes her best efforts to kindle a friendship with the Kadams. She discovers the talent of Hassan’s cooking and helps him make a name for himself.

Hassan ends up working for Madame Mallory and earns the restaurant their second Michelin-star, a high honor in the world of French dining.

Hassan moves to Paris, and becomes a famous chef. But the love he has for Marguerite and his family leads him back to his village in the South of France.

Cast
©Dreamworks

Through its captivating visuals of the French landscape and comedic-drama, The Hundred-Foot Journey enters you into a world of taste and possibilities.

It will keep you laughing as all the characters in the movie have a lovable sense of personality, that will even remind you of all your crazy relatives.

If you were to combine movies like Bend It Like Beckham, Julie and Julia and Little Miss Sunshine; the final outcome would be, The Hundred-Foot Journey. It is clever, funny, romantic, and a great story highlighting the importance of dreams, love and family.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is based on the novel by Richard C. Morais. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Screenplay by Steven Knight. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake.

Hits theaters on August 8,2014.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY GRADE — B

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