Life in the Fast Lane


Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey

By 7:52 AM , , , , , ,

By the time you read this, we will have finished a full (work or school) week of the new year. But I took the first week off and spent it away from social media to focus on prayer and getting back into the thick of things. Hence this delayed post.

But anyway! With that said, happy new year, dear reader! I hope your Holidays were filled with joy, wonderful memories, and good times spent with loved ones.

Over the Holiday break, I was able to watch a bunch of TV shows and films, and one such film stood out.

Upon the recommendation of my aunt (and my mom who saw it a day before I did), I turned on my TV and popped in The Hundred-Foot Journey. What made me want to see it were what I had heard from them beforehand:

  • It revolved around French and Indian cuisine (and culture).
  • The premise involved two competing restaurants a hundred feet apart.

True enough, the movie was about that... and so much more.

The story begins in Mumbai where an Indian family runs a restaurant. A young Hassan (Manish Dayal) is trained by his mother to cook her recipes and to learn how to taste. But a political mob breaks out and destroys the restaurant, setting it on fire. Unfortunately, Hassan's mother dies in the fire, and Hassan and the rest of the Kadam family migrate to Europe.

The story picks up with the Kadam family now in France, after a series of incidents involving a broken-down van and staying in a guest house overnight. Hassan's papa (Om Puri) discovers a quaint but abandoned restaurant building. He decides that he wants to buy it and have the family run it. However, right across it (a hundred feet away, to be exact, hence the film's title) is a Michelin-star French restaurant, Le Saule Pleureur, run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).

The story is as much about Hassan's journey with food and love (with sous-chef Marguerite, played by Charlotte Le Bon) as it is about cultural differences and acceptance. There are certain stereotypes that the film depicts — i.e. a loud, outspoken Indian man in the person of "Papa" Kadam versus a snobbish, know-it-all French woman in the person of Madame Mallory — but they serve not to mock; rather, to show how the walls between the two cultures they represent slowly start to break down as they accept one another's differences.

Actually, the storyline is not at all unpredictable; in fact, midway into the film, you'll probably figure out how it will end for all the characters. Yet it's a nice journey to take on alongside each of them, and its visual feast (vibrant shots of Mumbai, lovely European scenery, extreme close-up shots of food preparations and dishes) will satiate the eyes. Also, I also loved the score (by Slumdog Millionaire's A.H. Rahman), as well as sound design.

It's a heartwarming film that pretty much all kinds of audiences will enjoy; if you're a foodie and/or a traveler, you'll love it even more!

It's too bad that this film wasn't released in theaters here in the Philippines, but the DVD is now available. I highly recommend that you see it!

Now please excuse my craving for Chicken Tikka Masala; maybe I'll make some for dinner later tonight.

P.S. Photos taken from Google Images. No copyright infringement intended.

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  1. Ohhh... thanks for this. After Chef, this will be next on my TO WATCH list. :)

  2. Hi, Rose! Yes, definitely check out Chef as well! It's one of my favorite movies from 2014. :D Happy viewing and drooling!


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