REVIEW: THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY
By: Dhivana Rajgopaul
Cast: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
The Hundred Foot Journey tells the story of a boy’s trip from a small family eatery in Mumbai to a fancy upmarket restaurant in Paris, France with food being the heart of the film. Manish Dayal, a newcomer to the American
Film Industry, plays the main character Hassan whose journey of self-discovery forms the main storyline of the film. The love interest for Hassan’s character called Marguerite is played by Canadian Charlotte Le Bon who marks her foray into English cinema. British actress Helen Mirren depicts the character of French restaurateur Madame Mallory who allows Hassan to work in her restaurant and becomes his mentor in French Cuisine. The unusual cast is rounded off with Indian actor Om Puri who plays Hassan’s father and is a seasoned actor in both the Eastern and the Western film industry.
Dayal’s character of Hassan shares a very loving bond with his family but then loses his mother, the main influence of his love for food. Her death results in the entire family moving to Europe. While on their way out of Switzerland the brakes on their car fail and they have an accident. The family is found by Marguerite who offers them shelter and they then move to a hotel while there car is repaired. While staying in France their father called
Papa discovers a rundown building which used to be a restaurant. After hesitation from his children he buys the building, to the disgust of Madame Mallory, and he along with his family start a new Indian restaurant with Hassan as the main cook.
The film exquisitely depicts the classical tastes and subtle nuances of French cuisine while introducing the spicy side of Indian cuisine that has diversity of flavours. The breath-taking sceneries of France are beautifully captured in this film. It showcases the wonderful features that can be found in the South of France. The village in which the film was shot forms a whole new atmosphere along with the food displayed in this film. The film is based a book by Richard C.
Morais which is visually interpreted by well-known Swedish filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom. Oscar winner A. R. Rahman, who is a maestro with music, gives the film extra flavour with his magnificent soundtrack.
The film is a must see for everyone as it perfectly captures the fusion of both French and Indian cultures and as recommended by the producer of the film Oprah Winfrey it is a great first date film.