These days the only films that seem to get the real promotion are those big budget blockbusters, but they are far from the ones usually delivering the most compelling stories. Lately there have been a lot of films focusing on food in some manner. The latest, The Hundred-Foot Journey stars Helen Miren, Om Puni, Manish Dayal and was executive produced by both Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, but does it have the recipe to serve up a great dish or will it have to be sent back?
The Hundred-Foot Journey follows an Indian family who comes to France in hopes for a fresh start and to open a new Indian restaurant. When they find the perfect spot to begin their new life they clash with the proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant, nearby, until undeniable chemistry causes the Madame to take a gifted young chef under her wing. This is one of those films that deliver on pretty much every level. The story isn’t too heavy handed, but the opening of it all really drives home what these people went through while serving to set up the history of their passions for food. For the rest of the film it manages to keep things lighthearted while never losing sight of the focus to the story. Everyone in the film is spot on, most notably the always brilliant Helen Miren who nails her French persona like only she can. As with any film focusing on the food there are some great visual moments of the chefs at work as well as close ups on the food itself. What makes this film work even better is that there are numerous storylines working here without it ever feeling cluttered. While the primary story is the rivalry between the two restaurants, but this is a story of love, passion, drive and dedication that is made all the better by the subject matter it uses to tell the tale. The beautiful landscapes that are the backdrop to this film bring a beauty that matches the overall story in one full package worthy of serving up in a five star restaurant.
This is one of those films that may not rack up the box office numbers of the usual big budget fare, but instead tells a great story without the Hollywood clichés that is filled with beautiful visuals and a great story mixed together to make the perfect dish to order. Take a break from the explosions and super heroes and go check out The Hundred-Foot Journey to really satisfy your appetite for good cinema.