Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey Movie Review

Manish Dayal stars in The Hundred-Foot Journey

Twinkle, Twinkle Michelin Star

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: In "The Hundred-Foot Journey," Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant - the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own, escalate to all out war between the two establishments - until Hassan's passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory's enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.

Bollywood meets chivalry (Dame Mirren) in this foodie yawn. Aimed at older audiences, I nodded off for 20 minutes (out of 122) "thanks" to its painfully predictable (and relatively boring) story. There's hardly any humor, and the love story between Hassan & Marguerite is devoid of passion. Even the parts with food are bland. Mirren and Puri are fun to watch; but director Lasse Hallström doesn't lean on them enough. Hassan's mom remarks early on, 'Life has its own flavor.' Unfortunately, The Hundred-Foot Journey doesn’t seem to have any. Pass the salt, and wait for the DVD.

Grade: C-