I have been waiting to see this movie ever since I caught wind of it. What's not to want with the amazing Helen Mirren and equally endearing Om Puri (remember him in East is East?) put together with a lot of food porn. I won't deny that Manish Dayal was a bit of a 'dish' himself.
Manish Dayal started his career in national commercials for McDonalds, Windows, Nintendo and Domino's Pizza.
However, when you boil it all down, this is no Academy Award feast, but a feel or should I say taste good movie that is as scrumptious as any film out there that would rate a 6 to 7 out of 10, which is what I rate this movie.
Madame Mallory's whole life is her restaurant ~ a celebrated French restaurant where Presidents of a country gourmandise. When a family of 6, the Kadam family moves in right across the road from her, a mere 100 feet to be exact, her feathers are more than a little ruffled to have what she terms as 'bad taste' at her doorstep.
Madame Mallory (Helen Miriren) and Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal).
Finally settling in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France the family led by their stubborn father, who is determined to introduce Indian cuisine to the French, open a restaurant, the Maison Mumbai, in what was an old ram shackled building. Hassan, the son, has a gift for cooking and his father is more than confident they will succeed with such natural talent at the helm in-spite of the rest of the family not thinking it a good idea at all.
When Madame Mallory realises they are there to stay, they become a little more than a thorn in her side and therein begins the war between the two establishments. In this charming little movie, Helen Mirren manages to shine as always and she is an undeniable star when she can express the whole meaning of a phrase with just an expression ~ a look, a raised eyebrow that says it all. It may be a little predictable and the rest of the cast may not have had a lot to say in the movie, but it does have a lot of heart. It says something about how we initially fear embracing something a little different and how jealousy can sometimes be waiting just on the other side of the line we draw in the culinary sand of competitiveness.
Can anyone resist those eyes that are like limpid pools! I definitely want a boyfriend like Hassan (Manish Dayal). He can cook!