The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) is a tale of an Indian family that immigrates to France and runs a restaurant next to a Michelin-starred French eatery.
Straight on your plate, this is a foodie film. Lasse Hallstrom’s The Hundred-Foot Journey brings two cultures to war with their culinary best. Starring two of the finest actors of the present time, one is an Oscar winner Helen Mirren and the other an acclaimed actor from the Indian film industry, Om Puri, you can only imagine the finest craft on display.
The Hundred-Foot Journey tells the story of a displaced Indian family led by Papa Kadam (Om Puri) who lands in an idyllically rustic village in the south of France. As they dream to start a new life taking forward their family profession and opening a restaurant (the Maison Mumbai), they must come nose-to-nose with the owner of a popular French restaurant run by widowed Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).
As Mallory protests against the new Indian restaurant just a hundred feet from her own, there starts a cultural clash. It’s not just a clash between two cultures but their pride, career success, and family royalty. You can see a war between Indian spices and French sauces, a war between beef bourguignon and tandoori goat, but above all a clash between culinary tradition and cultural values.
In the middle of all these, Papa’s son Hassan (Manish Dayal) is getting attracted to French cuisines and also to Mme, Mallory’s gorgeous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). The Hundred-Foot Journey is a film about food but then I don’t think it should be only viewed for classical French cooking or Indian delicacies; there is a story with sweetness, love, rivalry, and coexistence.
For me, this film is a treat to watch. In fact, for those who have loved the likes of Ridley Scott’s A Good Year or John Madden’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I’m sure they will most likely love this film for the sheer simplicity in a theme laced with a feel-good factor. Everything looks lovely, the cast, the picturesque beauty of France, and above all those few French and Indian dishes.
Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon.
Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom
Released year: 2014