Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren plays a prickly perfectionist French restaurateur in her latest film, The Hundred-Foot Journey.
Produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey from an engaging screenplay by Steven Knight, the movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Richard C Morais.
After violent circumstances drive the Kadam family out of their hometown of Mumbai, Papa (Om Puri) leads the search for a new place that his children can call home. They stumble across the quiet little village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France and transform an old establishment into their own specialty Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.
The new arrivals stir controversy and complaint from local resident Madame Mallory (Mirren), owner of the neighbouring highly regarded and Michelin-rated French restaurant Le Saule Pleureur.
There ensues a series of confrontations and condemnations that would drive away the strongest of competitors, but eldest son Hassan’s interest in exploring and combining the flavours of both India and France creates a bridge between the two establishments. The language of food and the passion for cooking that Hassan (Manish Dayal) learned from his mother both intrigues and challenges Madame Mallory’s sous chef Margeurite (Charlotte Le Bon).
From the director of Cocolat, Lasse Hallström, this tasteful morsel serves to remind the viewer that the art of cooking can restore passion, evoking memory and recollections of love. Mirren and Puri give great performances, as do their younger counterparts Dayal and Le Bon.
The story goes beyond the boundaries of cultural prejudice, taking the audience on an extraordinarily tasteful journey of self-discovery. With vibrant colours, textures and an assortment of foods to tantalise the tastebuds, The Hundred Foot Journey provides a gastronomical feast for the senses and brings more than a touch of spice to life.
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