Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Film review: The Hundred-Foot Journey



Based on the best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais, The Hundred-Food Journey tells the story of Hassan Kadam and his family's quest to find a place in Europe to open an authentic Indian restaurant. They had a very successful eatery in India but after tragedy strikes the establishment and their family, they pack up their belongings and go on a quest for a new place to call home.

As their car breaks down in rural France, they end up in a small village and Hassan's persuasive father soon decides that it will do. However, the little town already has a very successful restaurant. People travel for many miles to visit Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred establishment and so when the Kadam family move in just across the street, a mere hundred feet away, an instant rivalry is born.


While this is definitely a foodie film and there are some delicious (and some peculiar) dishes prepared and eaten on screen, this is foremost the story of Hassan and his passion for bringing amazing flavours together into truly unique creations. While his cooking background is prominently Indian, he soon picks up inspiration and ingredients from both his French surroundings and a possible love interest, the latter who for a touch of drama works in the rival restaurant across the road.

Manish Dayal plays Hassan incredibly likeable and you can't help but root for the character to succeed in whatever he does. His stubborn but sweet father (and excellent portrayal by Om Puri) and loud siblings provide all the opportunities possible to do just that. As for the equally stubborn and not quite as nice Madame Mallory across the road, while we initially thought it odd that she wasn't portrayed by a French actress, Helen Mirren quickly won us over with her convincing performance and soon we'd forgotten that she is British at all.

Reminiscent of a colourful feel-good story such as The Great Exotic Marigold Hotel, this is a charming and heart-warming film and one we'd happily go see again.

The Hundred-Foot Journey opens in cinemas across the UK on 5th September 2014.

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