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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Movie Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey - A Heart Warming Tale of Food, Family and Love

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a wonderful feel-good drama/comedy about clashing cultures as well as cuisines. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who also directed "Chocolat," a similar themed film about great food and romance overcoming prejudice.
Our story begins in India where Papa Kadam's (Om Puri) restaurant in Mumbai is burned down during a political uprising. He moves his family to England and then to France. He decides that in France, he will start a new restaurant. The problem lies a hundred feet away from his new restaurant in the Michelin rated Le Saule Pleurer. The owner Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) is not happy with competition.
Soon a war begins between the two owners. Each one trying to get an advantage over the other in the local market. They file complaint after complaint about each others business. Sadly, this war takes a turn for the worse as racism rears its ugly head with an act of violence.
But food is also at the forefront of the film. As a blogger that started off as a food blogger and still does restaurant reviews, they captured food the same way that anyone that is a foodie should. Showcase the food in the best possible light. Show how amazing the food is through a photo or through film to make it as visually appealing for others. We don't just eat with our mouths but with all of our senses including our eyes. Visually appealing food prepares the rest of your body for the treat that it has in store.
Papa's son Hassan (Manish Dayal) is shown that he has a special gift when it comes to cooking. He masterfully combines classical French cuisine with flavorful Indian dishes. His skills even convince Madame Mallory to take him in and continue his training.
Hassan has also fallen in love with the beautiful Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) who helps Hassan refine his French cooking skills and then begins to regret it.
In the middle of this story is also the relationship between Papa and Madame. Helen is exceptional showing off her strong-willed side with a sensitive soul. Om is the perfect opponent who is as stubborn as Madame and yet shows a gentle nature.
Hassan's skills continue to flourish and helps Madame gain another star to her restaurant but then the offers come in and Hassan takes his skills elsewhere. He becomes top of his craft, the king of his world.
This all reaches the climax where Hassan who should be happy that he has reached the top of his profession realizes that what he is missing most is home, family and friends. That is where he was the most passionate about his gift of cooking. Not in Paris as a famous chef, but at home with the simple things in life.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a fantastic film to remind us that the simple things in life are all that we truly need to make us the happiest. That home is truly what the heart wants and needs. Here is to good family, friends, food and to love!

The Hundred-Foot Journey opens in theatres August 8th!

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