The Hundred-Foot Journey – Culinary Charmer

Just some news on the life front . . .

Uni’s going great and it’s so refreshing to finally be studying something I feel truly passionately about.

Secondly, I’ve just signed up to volunteer at the rather fabulous Ultimate Picture Palace. Which should mean I can finally review a decent number of new(ish) releases; this being the first.

And hopefully it’ll challenge me to review a few movies I would never normally watch, so be prepared for a bit of everything.

P.s. If you ever find yourself in Oxford, please drop by the UPP. It’s a really wonderful venue and to pack out a Saturday evening screening of The Hundred-Foot Journey this far into its run was amazing to see. Support your local indie cinemas, folks!

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Gorgeous scenery and luscious food are the stars of the show in this culinary charmer from director Lasse Hallstrom.

Om Puri stars as the patriarch of an Indian family who up sticks to Europe when their family restaurant is destroyed in a political riot. The family soon settle in the French countryside and it isn’t long before they open up the town’s first ever Indian restaurant . . . one hundred feet from a Michelin-starred establishment owned by the fiercely competitive Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). Suffice to say, the stage is set for an epic battle of the dishes.

Fortunately, the tragic memory of India rarely seems to linger on the family, who get on with their business without a care in the world. The same can’t be said for Hallstrom, however, as he proves far less forgetful. There are a number of instances where he breaks up the party with a politically-charged outburst . . . for no particular reason. They may have worked in a more sincere drama, but here they just feel uncomfortable.
Which is shame because the culture-clash fluff that makes up the rest of the movie is really rather fun. Hallstrom shoots the cooking scenes like some kind of mega-budget cooking show, complete with slow-motion egg cracking. And, while the dramatic beats may be predictable, they’re effective.
The whole thing could have done with fewer courses (about half an hours-worth), but the performances are on-point and the comedy’s warm and cuddly . . . when there aren’t political activists blowing things up. And tying the whole thing together are some beautiful visuals that really accent the vivid colours of both the French countryside and the ruby red peppers.

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