Lacks punch but a must-see for foodies

23:55, Aug 31 2014
Helen Mirren, The Hundred Foot Journey
TASTY FARE: Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal cook up some cross-cultural drama in The Hundred Foot Journey.

MOVIE REVIEW: The Hundred-foot Journey. Starring Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal; directed by Lasse Hallstrom

I expected to see a moving, funny film with excellent acting.

The Hundred-foot Journey had touching moments, made me giggle, and I definitely appreciated the acting, but it lacked punch.

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Based on the novel of the same name by Richard C Morais, The Hundred-Foot Journey follows the Kadam family on their journey from India to a small town in France, where they plan to set up an Indian restaurant.

Despite protests from his children, Papa Kadam (Om Puri), buys an old run down restaurant 100 feet from a Michelin starred traditional French restaurant run by the formidable Madam Mallory (Helen Mirren).


His sons tell him the French don't like Indian food, but Papa is adamant that is only because they haven't tried it.

Madam Mallory is horrified at the new gaudy restaurant, and a war of sorts erupts between the grande dame of the French restaurant and the patriarch of the Indian restaurant across the street.

Meanwhile, Papa's son and head cook Hassan (Manish Dayal) begins his love affair with French food.

I haven't read the book, but I felt as though the film faithfully recorded every major event that must have happened in the novel, but ran out of time or money or something to make the poignant moments matter.

When I found myself close to tears, the film would suddenly change tack, as if to say "you get the point, moving on now".

Despite this, the stunning scenery of the French countryside and exceptional acting from absolutely everyone made this an enjoyable watch, especially if you are a foodie.

The Southland Times