Disclaimer: Disney, Marvel, Dreamworks & ABC Family sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of these events, including an advanced screening of the film, The Hundred Foot Journey. All opinions are my own.
In theaters this Friday, August 8th, is the new film from Executive Producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, “The Hundred-Foot Journey”. I had the opportunity to see this movie a few weeks ago in its’ entirety and have a couple of things to say……..
1. Do Not Miss This Film – it’s full of lessons and based on the international best-selling book.
2. Do Not Attend This Film Hungry – the culinary scenes will have you drooling. Enough said.
In fact, the culinary scenes play such an integral part of the movie that our group attended a Cooking Lesson at Le Cordon Bleu. You WILL want to check out that experience – AMAZING! And while food is central to the story, there is such passion in the movie….both good and bad. Discrimination vs. Tolerance.
You’ll laugh. You’ll weep. Your heart will be full when you leave.
In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.
That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin-starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren) gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate into a heated battle between the two establishments until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine — and for Madame Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) — combine with his mysteriously-delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Madame Mallory cannot ignore. At first Madame Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one young man’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be.
Let me introduce you to the characters.
This is Hassan, played by the handsome and talented Manish Dayal. After the film, we were able to interview Manish about his life, the film, and food too. I’ll be bringing that interview to you tomorrow (Friday), so be sure to stop back by. You won’t want to miss it!
Hassan has had such an incredibly difficult life. Originally from India, circumstances that haunt him forced his family to flee. But though you can take the boy out of India, you can’t take India out of the boy. Hassan is an incredible cook, having learned from the women in his life. He knows his talent and desires to learn more, especially when settled into a new culture in France.
Such a breakout role for Manish Dayal, and he does it so perfectly. He takes you in and makes you feel his passion for food. So much emotion can be caught up in food………he captures that essence well.
This is Marguerite, she is a generous young woman who helps Hassan’s family out when they are stranded on the side of the road. As luck would have it, she also happens to be an incredible Sous Chef. You can feel the spark between the two foodies but there is competition as well.
While there is romance here, it’s very subtle….and I love it. The movie is rated PG – YES!
Meet Madame Mallory, played by Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren so brilliantly. From the previews you might expect to not like her. And you won’t initally. But this is where the movie’s theme of tolerance comes in.
Madame Mallory must not only learn not to hate in business, but she must learn not to hate personally. It’s a process and Helen Mirren does an amazing job, one that I can’t imagine is easy to do.
This is Papa (played by actor Om Puri). Without him, this film wouldn’t be the same. Papa has been through so much and wants so much for his family. He and his family are the subject of such hate after they move to France. He struggles with it himself, which makes him more human. But he makes me laugh too with his antics.
You end up falling in love with Papa…..you just can’t help it.
But can Madame Mallory help it? 😉
The film is rated PG and will be in theaters everywhere tomorrow, August 8th!
SHOP: The Hundred-Foot Journey in paperback – I’ve read the book and always love to do so before watching the film. It has much more detail, especially in the beginning setting up the background, which I loved.
Be sure to follow A Frugal Friend on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook and be sure to come back tomorrow for my interview with the lead actor Manish Dayal. Be sure to check out my Entertainment Tab above for more of my press trip posts!