Hassan Kadam: Food is memories.
Director: Lasse Hallström
Cast: Manish Dayal, Om Puri, Helen Mirren, Charlotte Le Bon
Synopsis: The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory’s Michelin-starred eatery.
Just like 2014’s other culinary delight Chef, The Hundred-Foot Journey provides glorious cinematography of delicious Indian cuisine along with French delights. The food is magnificent to look at and it’s hard to watch on an empty stomach. Unfortunately that is the only similarity to the enjoyable film Chef. This film starts out with an interesting plot and characters but ultimately plods to a predictable ending and can’t quite keep each subplot balanced as the film could have had a satisfying conclusion about a half an hour before the credits roll. To compare it to a meal; excellent entrée, passable main course, terrible dessert.
The film deals with the Kadam family leaving India after tragedy (a similar plot element from imported Indian based films such as Slumdog Millionaire). They arrive in Paris and we are introduced to Papa (played well by veteran Om Puri) and his family who don’t have much to do besides son Hassan (played by Manish Dayal with little charm) who yearns to be a chef like his mother. Papa goes on to open an Indian restaurant in Paris opposite a well-established French cuisine restaurant run by Madame Mallory (played sternly by Helen Mirren). As the clash of cultures plays out we are given an enjoyable love story of not only man and food but also between Hassan and Madame Mallory’s sou chef, Marguerite (played by the luminous Charlotte Le Bon).
With a clichéd plot and only somewhat interesting characters the film only excels in delivering luscious shots of Indian and French cooking and food. The film makes you fall in love with the art of cooking and eating. Unfortunately the film does plod along with little plot and an unsatisfying ending.
Rating: 2 Stars