The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred- Foot Journey is a feast for the eyes and heart. Film making has so much in common with great cooking and Swedish director Lasse Hallström is a master chef among film makers, choosing all the perfect ingredients to make this film as palatable as it can be for its audience.

Hallström is no stranger to satisfying comfort films, having directed such appetizing feel-good films as “Chocolat” (2000), “Cider House Rules” (1999) and “Salmon fishing in the Yemen” (2011).

Hallström’s latest is based on the best-selling debut novel by Richard C. Morais, and the story is a sumptuous banquet blend of “Ratatouille” (2007), “Chocolat” (2000) and “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003).  It’s stunningly filmed in the picturesque medieval country villa of St.-Antonin-Noble-Var in southern France.

After tragedy strikes a family from Mumbai, India with a long and illustrious reputation of cooking traditional Indian dishes, they are forced to move to Europe.  They’re in search of a new home where they will re-establish their trade mark culinary excellence.

After a long arduous trek through several countries looking for a place with just the right culinary vibe, they eventually stumble across a quaint rural French village where the local market bursts with exceptionally fresh locally grown produce.

Papa (Om Puri), the family patriarch, immediately decides that this is the place to set up shop.  And so, he sets to work creating a magical Indian palace that exudes spicy aromas, which carry across the street into a long-standing posh French fine dining restaurant. They quickly find themselves at war with the owner Madam Mallory (Helen Mirren) over cultural differences and the battle of tastes begins.

Food can bring everyone together, even in the competitive world of restaurants.

Food can bring everyone together, even in the competitive world of restaurants.

The garish Indian eatery is bright and noisy, and it doesn’t sit well with the reserved local residents who aren’t used to the heavily spiced Indian dishes.  As a result, the new restaurant suffers from lack of interest.  But Papa has a few secret ingredients up his sleeve that will give his French rivals some real competition.

This is definitely a foodie film and a very good one, too, with culinary clashes fusing traditional French cuisine spiced up with exotic Indian fare. So watch before eating you may emerge with a mouthwatering craving for Indian and French cuisine.

An enchanting romantic fairy tale, this flavorful experience will cultivate your senses. Much effort was made to make the food, kitchens and cooking techniques look absolutely authentic and the scenic photography of charming old world villages will make you salivate as much as the orgasmic gastronomy on display.

The film touches on many contrasting philosophical views of life; rural village vs. big city, traditional vs. innovation, sophistication vs. fun loving, modern vs. vintage, and money vs. passion.  All of it gives the film a visual dichotomy and definite food for thought.

Whatever your tastes, you will enjoy the rich, luscious emotional smorgasbord and leave with fond visions of a unique toothsome film experience.

Schwab also recently reviewed: Pride

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