It’s fun when a story that is well off my radar becomes a movie and it ends up being both delightful and enjoyable to watch. The Hundred-Foot Journey is definitely one such movie. It is the story of an Indian family that is displaced from their home due to political unrest. As such they begin a journey through Europe to find a new home. After a near death experience the family inadvertently finds that home in a town in the French countryside. The family patriarch “Papa”, played by Om Puri, becomes enamored with and purchases a dilapidated restaurant for his family to start anew.
The fundamental problem is this restaurant is across the street from a high class French restaurant operated by Madame Mallory, played by Helen Mirren. A mere 100 feet from door to door. She is not amused by this at all, and a feud begins between the two restaurants. However, that’s hardly the grand sum total of the movie. Instead it becomes something so much more… in a very unencumbered way that really helps to make this shine.
At the core of the movie is the story of Papa’s son Hassan. From a young age Hassan was trained by his mother to be a chef. His true passion for the works is shown throughout the movie. Early on in the movie this is shown through his tasting of some raw sea urchin, and again later in a scene involving an omelet. Along the way he meets and falls in love with a woman, Marguerite, who also happens to work for Madame Mallory.
Much of this might all seem like spoilers, but really this movie doesn’t hold a lot of surprises. That is not to say that it’s predictable, but it has no sudden turns or suspenseful moments. As the story about the survival, growth, and evolution of this family are portrayed on the screen it’s very easy to be drawn in. Though initially the characters seem a little over the top, as time goes on you realize that’s by design. Over time it helps drive them toward a more realistic feel.
I’m entirely sure as to the appeal of this movie across a wide range of audiences. It’s definitely not a movie made for children. Much of the theater goers were of the “Above 50” crowd. That’s not a bad thing at all, not all movies are for everyone. As I said I found this movie to be both unexpected and enjoyable. If it seems at all interesting to you, it’s worth going to see. My one concern is the choice of release date – it doesn’t feel like a summer movie and would probably have been better served being released in the fall.Follow us for more updates: