|THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (director: Lasse Hallstrom; screenwriters: Steven Knight/based on the novel by Richard C. Morais; cinematographer: Linus Sandgren; editor: Andrew Mondshein; music: A. R. Rahman; cast: Helen Mirren (Madame Mallory), Om Puri (Papa), Manish Dayal (Hassan Kadam), Charlotte Le Bon (Marguerite), Amit Shah (Mansur Kadam), Farzana Dua Elahe (Mahira Kadam), Dillon Mitra (Mukhtar Kadam), Aria Pandya (Aisha Kadam), Michel Blanc (Mayor), Clément Sibony (Jean-Pierre), Juhi Chawla (Mama); Runtime: 122; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Steven Spielberg/Oprah Winfrey/Juliet Blake; DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media; 2014-English, French, Hindi dialogue, with English subtitles if needed)|
overdone and overlong bland middle-brow food
pic, that uncomfortably sticks to your ribs
with its overload on life lessons."
by Dennis Schwartz
overdone and overlong bland middle-brow food pic,
that uncomfortably sticks to your ribs with its
overload on life lessons. It's directed by the
overrated Lasse Hallstrom ("The Hoax"/"Chocolat"/"Dear
John"), who tries to keep it digestible as a comfort
food movie filled with cliches and is hung up on
cultural stereotyping. It's based on the novel
by Richard C. Morais and is cloyingly written by
Steven Knight, as a disservice to the well-written
book by being over plotted and with no aim more than
to be commercially successful. It merely serves to
kill time between meals, and is just another mediocre
film trying to cash in on the lure of the restaurant
business. Five minutes after seeing the film I was
hungry to see something more tasty.
tale begins in Mumbai, where the Kadam family runs a
successful traditional Indian restaurant and mom (Juhi Chawla)
recognizes her oldest son Hassan (Manish
Dayal) has the love of cooking in his
blood and she teaches him all her secret recipes.
During troublesome political times, their restaurant
is burnt down (which is never explained why) and mom
dies. Hassan's dad (Om
Pur) moves the large family to London for a year,
and then to a small village in the south of France,
Here the political refugees buy a run-down mansion
and convert it to a restaurant. They open their
soulful Indian restaurant, Mumbai Mansion, just a
hundred-feet across the street from the snooty
elegant traditional Michelin-one
starred Le Saule Pleureur, that's sternly run by the
foodie maven widowed Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).
This starts a restaurant war, a forbidden romance
between Hassan and the Gallic rival restaurant's sous
chef Marguerite (Charlotte
Le Bon), it brings out village racists who
burn down the new foreign restaurant, but this time
the family refuses to run; and, eventually a dull tale
of assimilation unfolds-which is really what this
heavy-handed mess is supposed to be about.
serving its last omelet, all loose ends are tied up:
the two widowed restaurant rivals learn their life
lessons well and become cautious lovers; after Hassan
works for Mallory and gets her another coveted
Michelin star through his creative new recipes, he
tours the world as a high-paid famous celebrity chef
until he recalls his hometown spices and returns to
partner with Marguerit in
both a French village restaurant business and romance.
about the film seems authentic. I also must say I
never cared much for the spicy Indian dishes but loved
the French cooking with their delicate sauces. In this
film they are passed off as equally good classical
foods. You can sell that tale to someone else, because
I can't buy anything about this disappointing film
even that food opinion.
REVIEWED ON 8/29/2014 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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