For the foodie at heart from director Lasse Hallström and DreamWorks Studios comes the tale that begins with the first step toward THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY.
This film begins in India as the Kadam family led by Papa Kadam (Om Puri) leaves their country to start over. Along with Hassan (Manish Dayla) who was taught by his mother to cook, Mansur (Amit Shah), Mahira (Farzana Dua Elahe), Mukthar (Dillon Mitra) and Aisha (Aria Pandya), the family unexpectedly stops in France.
While waiting for car repairs, Papa spots a vacant restaurant and he embraces a dream, to open Maison Mumbai. Not please would be Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) who is directly across the street not one hundred yards apart. Immediately she digs in to stop them and Papa digs in deeper!
What neither of them sees happening is that Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) is Madam’s souse chef likes Hassan! The two become close as she see’s something special in the way Hassan wants to learn.
Madam finally tastes what Hassan can do and takes the young man in an effort to get another gold star for her restaurant. The young chef becomes renowned and everyone wants him.
Sometimes home is where food made with love is!
FINAL WORD: Puri as Papa Kadam is hilarious. Wanting to do right by his family, he dares to dream and dreams big! Absolutely nothing wrong with that to his way of thinking. I recognized Puri but couldn’t figure out where until it hit me, in the 1982’s film GANDHI (yes, I remember that far back) and again in 1994 as Dr. Alezais in WOLF. Sometime tells me he has made his mark with this film.
Mirren as Madame Mallory gets it right, but then again when has she ever gotten it wrong? As the very controlling owner of the one-star restaurant, Mirren holds her head up high but isn’t beyond pulling a stunt or two. The best part of this character is standing up for what is right, even if the person you are standing up for drives you completely nuts! It was a pleasure watching this character loosen up a bit.
Dayla as Hassan is endearing and so very sweet. This character learns his love of flavor from his mother and takes it a step further which Dayla portrays beautifully. Watching his interaction with Mirren’s character is so smooth and full of heart. I truly enjoyed his performance.
Le Bon as Marguerite is a young woman full of life. Le Bon portrays her character with such light and openness which is such a compliment to Dayla’s character. She brings an understanding to Marguerite that is refreshing.
Other cast include: Michel Blanc as Mayor, Clement Sibony as Jean-Pierre, Vincent Elbaz as Paul, Alban Aumard as Marcel and Antoine Blanquefort as Thomas.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Yep, give me that foodie-sentimental thing and I’m in most of the time. Mirren and Puri absolutely make this film with their sparring and devious planning that never works out for them.
It is a story of a young man’s gifts and how they can sometimes be more than one bargains for. The cinematography both of the French countryside and the food is equally beautiful but the cooking scenes were down right drooling. This film will be fun for chefs, those who love to cook and foodies alike.
Side note – I don’t think the film needs to be introduced by Spielberg and Winfrey (the film’s producers) because, in my opinion, it takes away from the experience. I just don’t need anyone doing a shout out with “What you’re about to see” – let the film speak for itself.
In the end – it’s where flavors burst and passion lives!