Monday, August 18, 2014

A ‘Hundred Foot Journey’ to a Near Perfect Dish

Papa Kadam (Om Puri), Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) and
Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) in "The One Hundred Foot Journey"
(Dreamworks)
It would be easy to excuse and skip The Hundred Foot Journey film as an artsy, fluffy movie that nobody wants to see. There’s no sex, violence, action or language. Nobody died while making the film and it isn’t surrounded by scandal. But Journey is one near perfect example of storytelling that would be a shame to miss

With the look and flavor of an indie film, “Journey” was funded by the big names of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfey, who serve as producers of the film and was created by DreamWorks. It stars Helen Mirren and the story was written by Steven Knight, a name not well-known to American audiences, but is huge in England.
 As a comedy/drama/romance, Journey focuses on the battle between two cultures and two restaurants. The Kadam family, native from India, have been displaced and move to France of all things. The family business is running a Indian restaurant, something that seems out of place in France. Papa (Om Puri) finds the “perfect” location to set up shop – right across the street (one hundred feet in fact) from Le Sale Pleureur, a Michelin-starred classical French restaurant which is run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). Madame is sure that new restaurant will detract from her own and gives a rather chilly reception to the family. However, Madame has a sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) who takes a liking to Papa’s son, Hassan (Manish Dayal) and helps to teach him the finer aspects of French cooking. Hassan is already a cooking prodigy, so this battle will be harder to win than Madame thinks.