The film, ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey‘ is a story centered on a family, the Kadam who leaves their native land of India in search for a better home in Europe where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory’s Michelin-starred French eatery.
It is a recently released American comedy-drama film directed by Lasse Hallström from a screenplay written by Steven Knight, an adaptation from Richard C. Morais‘ 2010 novel ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey‘.
In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France.
Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award (R)-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it.
Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own, escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore.
At first Mme. Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.
The film shares a story about food, culture and immigration. The innate nature of man to survive has driven a wealthy working class family from India to resettle in the vast land of Europe. The title implicatively sums up their journey and the choices made, with food as the medium of survival while their culture remains an inherent source of pride.
Viewing the world in a perspective of the character Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), an immigrant from a developing nation; the film explores the psychology of migration and highlighted the problems immigrants experienced during the process of the psychological and sociocultural adaptation to the host culture. It can be a relatable plot for viewers of the immigrant background.
With a minimal accentuation on the tale of both Indian and French cuisines, the cinematography and the script narration capture a broader aspect of both cultures while focusing on the essence of the rivalry in the food business and among the food industry professionals.
The story also takes a glance at the European’s food culture where the social class and the passion for Michelin stars rating system used by the red Michelin guide to grade restaurants on their quality are intertwined, greatly emphasized and a source of gratification in the society.
Overall it’s a film worth your watch as the film depicts a portrayal of two worlds colliding and speaks on the key issues of tolerance and reception towards the trending immigration movement happening in the ever changing European landscape.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)“, Rottentomatoes.com.