Film Review: ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ Not Worth the Trip

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is as manufactured and flavorless as a frostbitten Lean Cuisine. However, as the impresario of a Michelin-starred Restaurant in the south of France, Helen Mirren implores her staff that food is not an old tired marriage, it is a passionate affair. It’s ironic that the film containing that speech is such a limp, forgettable piece of Oprah-endorsed uplift with not one genuine emotion to be had. Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Director Lasse Hallstrom aims for the sort of light middlebrow European feature that goes down easy. He throws a little bit of everything into the mix, a dash of tragedy here, a pinch of love story, and the swelling music that goes along with those tugs on the heartstrings – but instead of creating a symphony of surprising flavors, his concoction never quite comes together.

At the center of it all is the Kadam clan, an Indian family of restaurateurs who leave their home in Mumbai after a personal tragedy and decide to start over in Europe. Their van breaks down in a small French village and they decide to open a restaurant right across the street from Mirren’s highbrow eatery. This sets off a culture clash between the loud, and proud Indian immigrants and the snooty French townspeople led by Mirren’s upper class restaurateur.

Things really get saucy when Puri’s son Hassan (Manish Dayal) falls for Mirren’s sous chef (Charlotte Le Bon). She teaches him how to cook French food, and tells him the secrets of Mirren’s kitchen while he and his family struggle to change hearts and minds and open up the taste buds across the street. This eventually leads up to the film’s single silliest scene, and one of the silliest scenes of the year. It shows Hassan, his hands bandaged after a severe burn, sensually instructing Mirren how to make an omelet. The camera lingers on them as though they were Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp in Hallstrom’s previous food related feature “Chocolat.” Soon she takes him into her kitchen, sensing the kind of talent that could finally help her achieve the second Michelin star that has long been her goal.

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” opens everywhere August 8th. Featuring Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah and Farzanna Dua Elahe. Screenplay Adapted by Steven Knight. Directed by Lasse Hallström.  Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Spike Walters’ full review of “The Hundred-Foot Journey”

Charlotte Le Bon, Helen Mirren
Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) and Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) in ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios

StarContinue reading for Spike Walters’ full review of “The Hundred-Foot Journey”

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