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Posted by on Aug 16, 2014 in Theater | 0 comments

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey


The Hundred-Foot Journey, rendered clumsily as Madame Mallory und der Duft von Curry in German, is as light and sugary as a French pastry. Sumptuous to look at, and featuring first-rate stars Helen Mirren and Om Puri, this heartwarmingly multi-cultural film unfortunately fails to whip up any surprises other than the culinary sort.

Following a spate of mob violence in their home town of Mumbai, in which their family restaurant is set aflame and their mother killed, the Kadam family decides to relocate to Europe. The paterfamilias (Om Puri) is a no- nonsense pragmatist who does what it takes to support his clan, which includes eldest son Hassan (handsome Manish Dayal) and four more children. When the family’s rickety old van breaks down in a scenic French village, Papa takes it as a sign that they are meant to settle there. Overriding the doubts of his family, Papa buys a ruined property and starts up a colorful Indian restaurant he dubs Maison Mumbai. But snooping around corners and over hedges is Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), a hopeless snob who owns the trés chic Michelin-starred restaurant right across the road.

Hassan is a gifted chef whose beloved mama imparted him with the ancient secrets of Indian cookery. Meanwhile across the way, a lovely sous chef named Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) helps out the newcomers, only to realize they pose a threat to her and Madame Mallory’s existence. Unsurprisingly for a movie produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, the clash of cultures melts away like Chocolat (which Lasse Hallström also directed) as the haughty French and the hearty Indians find ways to work together. If you enjoy romantic scenery sprinkled with lovely buildings and are in the mood for a foodie movie, this may be the diversion for you. Too bad there’s not more to sink your teeth into.

(Brenda Benthien)


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