Movie Reviews

Published on August 8th, 2014 | by Amara Dumlao


The 100 Foot Journey

When it comes to food, opinions on colors, flavors, and textures are dynamic. No two foodies are the same. Throughout the world culinary differences abound; even ideas of what constitutes a food can be disparate. Blurring the line between history and the future, favorite dishes get modern twists and contemporary chefs discover innovation by studying the foods of yesteryear.

Films always have a location, but while “The 100 Foot Journey” is set in small town France, the story really exists at the crossroads of two fiercely independent culinary traditions. Throughout the film, Indian and French cuisines feed the visual storytelling and nourish the scenes.

As the leading man, Hassan, actor Manish Dayal plays a convincing chef struggling between two cultural and culinary worlds. But it is the support of Papa, Hassan’s can-do attitude driven father, played by actor Om Puri, and Michelin star obsessed know-it-all neighbor Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) that invigorate the screen.

Simple yet engaging, plot is not where “The 100 Foot Journey” excels. Opting to focus on subtle interpersonal scenes, the film lacks twists, suspense, and grand surprises. Instead “The 100 Foot Journey” explores the joys, sorrows, and revelations that happen when two culinary histories and lifestyles meet. The journey highlights the challenges faced with preserving tradition while also carving a new path.

Consumables garnish almost every moment of character interaction; food plays a role in careers, conflicts, and mutual understanding. It could be easy, and not entirely wrong, to write-off this picture as a feel good foodie flick. However, just like a good croissant, “The 100 Foot Journey” is worth more than a deceptively uncomplicated a first glance; it contains flavorful and complex layers upon further examination. Be it a story of coincidence, lucky, or fate, “The 100 Foot Journey” is worth a taste if not a feast.


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