Thursday, August 7, 2014
100 Foot Journey - Movie Review
Thanks to a lovely friend I was able to get an advanced screening pass to see The Hundred Foot Journey last night in Toronto.
I knew I was going to be in trouble going to see this movie without having had dinner first. I just didn't have time and popcorn wasn't going to cut it. Maybe they should have sold some Indian Spiced popcorn and I might have had some of that.
There were a lot of friends in the theatre so I know there are a whole lot of food loving movie goers out there these days and they love the food porn images on screen as much as I do. It's nice to see new contemporary movies like Chef and The Hundred Foot Journey show what it's like in the current day culinary world.
This film approaches it through a family from Mumbai and a divorced French Women who share one thing in common and that's a passion for great food.
After an unfortunate event the family from Mumbai travel to France to start a new life and they have their van break down near an abandoned Restaurant that is for sale. The family think that the father Papa (OM PURI) is crazy when he tells them he wants to buy the place to open an Indian Restaurant. What makes it really crazy is that there is a Michelin star restaurant 100 feet away from it and across from it. That restaurant is run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) who is a very stubborn perfectionist french woman who is a lonely widow who lives for her restaurant.
Imagine a large serene classy french restaurant and a theatre play decorated tacky looking Indian restaurant across the street. With Indian music blaring during the renovation of their Indian palace Madame Mallory decides to try to put a stop to this competing restaurant. After trying the father and the french woman try and one up each other in what is like restaurant wars they finally come together through the power of Hassan (Manish Dayal) superb cooking skills. He decides to join her instead of her family competing with her. She recognizes his excellent palate and creativity and teaches him classic French techniques. After 30 years of running the restaurant they receive 2 Michelin stars once he takes the reigns as the Executive chef. His star becomes so bright that Paris comes calling and turns him into a superstar Chef in the highest level of gastronomy. But all it takes is a homemade traditional Indian food meal shared by one of his kitchen staff to make him realize that what's most important is the smells and tastes of the foods that reminds him of home.
He journey's back to the little French village to surprise his family and the girl that first helped him get his French culinary knowledge. He will pour his heart and soul into the 2 restaurants that made him who he was meant to be.
This is a lovely but a little predictable film directed by Lasse Halstrom. It is a little bit like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Chocolat and a little bit of the Bocus d'or competitions and a little Masterchef thrown in. But what it lacks in originality it makes up for in the great performances by Om Puri and Helen Mirren. They have the greatest dialogue and scenes together. It's funny, warm and sweet and it's filled with a lot of gorgeous food porn. It's probably a good thing they haven't invented smell o vision yet because just watching this movie made me want food.
I may be a little biased and really enjoyed this film because it combined my 2 loves.. Food and Film and it threw in my Bucket list destination of France. The scenery in the village was very beautiful. It made me want to get rid of everything and move to France.
It opens in Toronto on Fri July 8th. Go see it but go for Indian food before you do.
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