Guest / Limited Access /
The Hundred Foot Journey
Image: Francois Duhamel / DreamWorks
Helen Mirren in 'The Hundred Foot Journey'
The Hundred Foot Journey
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(12 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (For thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality.)
Genre
Directed By
Lasse Hallström
Cast
Helen Mirren, Rohan Chand, Charlotte Le Bon, Manish Dayal
Theatre Release
August 08, 2014 by Touchstone Pictures

The vibrant red of paprika and bright green of freshly chopped cilantro makes up traditional Tandoori chicken wings. Shots of this spicy dish are contrasted to simple, beautiful French cuisine: beef bourguignon, gratin daupinois. The Hundred Foot Journey features two distinct cultures. Not only does it contrast them with each other, but also it brings them together and creates something even more beautiful—both in the kitchen and in relationships.

Helen Mirren and Om Puri in 'The Hundred Foot Journey'Image: Francois Duhamel / DreamWorks

Helen Mirren and Om Puri in 'The Hundred Foot Journey'

The story begins in India, where Hassan Haji and his family are forced to leave due to political unrest and the very violent loss of his mother. The Hajis travel to Europe, where they open a restaurant, because that is what their family has always done. Hassan is a magnificent cook, even though the only training he has ever received was through his late mother. He keeps the memory of his mother alive through recreating the foods she introduced him to over and over again.

Due to more hardship, the family—made up of Papa Kadam, Hassan, Mansur, Mahira, and two younger siblings—find themselves stuffed inside a van scouring Europe for a place to open a successful restaurant. The Indian family ends up in a small town in France, probably the exact opposite of everything they’ve ever known. Despite complaints and warnings from his son Mansur, Papa Kadam believes this is where Mama’s spirit has brought them. They will stay.

Even without the language barrier and color of their skin, Hassan and his family couldn’t be more different from the French people who make up the town. The Haji family wears bright colors, is noisy, and makes food with flavors even louder than they are. The French wear muted colors, are beautifully reserved, and have been eating the same food for centuries. The Hajis decide to open a traditional Indian restaurant across from the award-winning traditional French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).

Director Lasse Hallström, famous for capturing the beauty of Europe in Chocolat (2000) and breaking hearts in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), worked alongside executive producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, who recognized how the story showed the bridging of cultural differences through passion and decided to bridge their own cultural differences through their passion for the story.

In an interview, Spielberg notes, “we had a chance to put our creative energies together in a very compatible way to find a way to tell this story about compatibility amongst people that you would never imagine could even be compatible . . . whether it’s love or food.”

Hassan’s family opens their restaurant, Maison Mumbai, and experience continual discrimination. Some of them begin to fight back. But this “eye for an eye” behavior does not go unpunished. Hassan recognizes the wrongdoing and apologizes to those his father has wronged. He even tries to bring a peace offering. Hassan’s kindness—and turning the other cheek—begins to bring about change.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedEwan McGregor and Rodrigo Garcia On Jesus, Satan, and 'Last Days in the Desert'
Ewan McGregor and Rodrigo Garcia On Jesus, Satan, and 'Last Days in the Desert'
Our exclusive interview with the star and director of the hotly-anticipated Sundance feature.
TrendingThe 10 Most Influential Churches of the Last Century
The 10 Most Influential Churches of the Last Century
There is much to learn from some key trends in the last 100 years of church history.
Editor's PickDuck Dynasty Wife: The More Christians on Reality TV, the Better
Duck Dynasty Wife: The More Christians on Reality TV, the Better
How unexpected fame and quirky family has helped Jessica Robertson share her faith.
View this article in Reader Mode
Christianity Today
The Hundred Foot Journey