Friday, September 11, 2015

Movie Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey

The title is catchy. If the distance is only 100 foot, why do you call it a journey? Sometimes, the greatest distance in the mind. The distance of 100 foot is between two restaurants - one French and the other Indian. The bridging of this gap and coming together of two culture via cuisines results in the interesting title. The movie is an adaptation of the novel of the same name, written by Richard C Morais. An American novelist pens a story of the integration of an Indian family in France. There are three cultures coming together here which is another interesting fact about the book. 

An Indian family moves to the UK as a result of losses in a violence outbreak in India. They are unable to adapt to cold weather in the UK. So they go looking for a new home. After traveling extensively in Europe, their van breaks down near Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val. The patriarch takes this as a sign and decides to open an Indian restaurant. He chooses a spot right opposite a Michelin-starred restaurant run by a French lady. The two restaurants are constantly at loggerheads. The youngest son of the Indian family bridges the gap between the two restaurants and also the owners when he decides to pursue French cuisine.

When two cultures clash, there is drama and also comedy. These types of clashes have been exploited many times on the screen. But with Lasse Hallström as the director, the proceedings get overly sentimental at times. Luckily for him, he has two seasoned performers, Helen Mirren, and Om Puri to prevent this movie from becoming a mediocre enterprise. Together with the veterans, there are two spirited actors, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon, to keep us engaged. Manish Dayal is the protagonist who makes the 100-foot journey possible. Charlotte Le Bon is his friend and love interest. One of the annoying factors of the movie is the forced usage of English even when the French characters are talking to each other.

Helen Mirren steals the thunder from all of them with her portrayal as a French woman running a business. Why did the director choose her when there are other internationally renowned French actresses? The unusual choice also allows us to see how Helen Mirren transforms herself into an outwardly cold yet inwardly warm French entrepreneur. Finally, it is the mother in her which attracts Manish Dayal's Hassan to pursue the traditions of the adopted country actively. Om Puri makes his role enjoyable, but this is a role that has shades of his previous performances. 

This move is s a perfect choice for a quiet evening where you want to avoid loud noises and heavy thinking. A delightful watch. You better have your food ready for this movie will make you hungry.




Language: English

Genre: Drama

Rating: ***

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