It all begins in tragedy as a massive fire destroys the Kadam family restaurant and home in Mumbai, India also taking the life of their mother. The Kadams move to Europe to begin a new life. Their quest takes them ultimately and unexpectedly to beautiful small town in rural France. There they come upon an old building in desperate need of repair but ideally suited so believes father Kadam to the establishment of a new restaurant serving their native Indian cuisine. The only obvious glitch is that is located directly across from an obviously very upscale French restaurant a mere 100 feet across the road.
It doesn’t take long for sparks to fly between the rather stuffy and devoted “old school” proprietress of the French restaurant Madame Mallory and the Kadam family. However over time the combativeness dissolves particularly as Madame Mallory begins to see Hassan Kadam as a true genius chef artfully combining traditional French cuisine with elements from India.
Eventually Hassan is drawn to Paris where he becomes an international sensation. However, he ultimately leaves the glitz of Paris for his family and sweetheart and a more pedestrian but happy life back in the village.
Overall this is an entertaining film but it is in many ways predictable and far too long, over two hours. Moreover it perpetuates the myth among many that French cuisine is the ultimate standard of the world with a few spices from India perhaps bringing a little something to the table but always solely in the French way. This is therefore yet another example of the long standing stereotypical French gastronomical arrogance. Oh well, oui oui!
There are however many examples of love and redemption and displays of strong spirit; all good things in my world. It also is rich in magnificent cinematography all of which makes “The Hundred Foot Journey” a very watchable and mostly enjoyable film.