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The Hundred-Foot Journey - Film Review

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by Helen Belli (subscribe)
I am now living in Kariong on the Central Coast
Published August 15th 2014
****Please note there are spoilers in this review****

The film opens in India. The Kadam family run a successful family restaurant. During a political upheaval it is completely destroyed by fire. They lose everything and decide to move to England. The weather is too cold and the 'vegetables have no soul', so off they go to provincial France.

What to do, how to make a living in the food mecca of the world? The only thing they know, cooking. They find an abandoned wreck of a building which just happens to be opposite a one Michelin Star well established, fine dining restaurant run by Madam Malloy [Helen Mirren]. She runs her business like Hell's Kitchen without the vulgar language.

100 feet across the road Om Puri has a very relaxed 'spicy' cuisine, which according to Madam has no class. To her horror the family is successful. The locals are thrilled to have Indian food.

Papa Kadam [Om Puri, a well-established Indian actor] has a son who is a genius in the kitchen. Madam also has a fine young cook, Marguerite [Charlotte Le Bon]. It's not long before the two meet, first friends then, you guessed it, love.

Madam and Om declare war.

After one of her staff tries to burn down the Mumbai Palace restaurant, war turns to cooperation. Madam maybe a control freak, but she has fine principles and is mortified by this action. A new relationship is born between the warring parties. Cooperation gradually turns to friendship.

But there is more. Madam has a test to find a cook who will obtain for her another Michelin Star. Hasson knows the test and offers to cook an omelette. She is impressed, he gets his dream job.

Charming this film is - it's funny and predictable, but in the hands of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey it offers more on a deeper level. To some music is the food of life, to others it's just the food. Food is memories, it brings people together, we need something from each other and the solution may only be 100 feet away.

The cinematography adds colour to the emotional impact. Beautiful sunsets when the characters are happy, dark nights when tradity strikes and pouring rain when all goes to pot.

Many reasons to see this movie and lots to contemplate on recall. A second viewing would be recommended. Life has surprises, you may only have to journey 100 feet to find happiness. Oh yes, there is dancing too.
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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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