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Blu-ray Review: “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is an Implausible yet Charming Culinary Excursion

We received The Hundred-Foot Journey on Blu-ray to review. This is a film that I’d hoped to have a chance to see in the theaters due to the glowing reviews, but we never quite made it. Viewing it elsewhere wasn’t necessary, The Hundred-Foot Journey makes for an enjoyable night in.

What I hadn’t expected about the film was that it’d feel completely implausible, yet utterly charming at the same time. I find those two aspects a very rare combination in live-action films. I usually like films to have a tinge of realism to them, or be so outlandish that I won’t even try to put the story under a microscope. It helps that Helen Mirren is a delight to watch in any film she stars in.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is about the Kadam family, who leave India to eventually settle in a picturesque village in France. The setting is gorgeous, and worth watching the movie for (I was hoping for more Paris, but that was just a sliver of the film). The mother had perished in a fire at the beginning of the movie, and the family wants a fresh start. They bring their old car with them, which breaks down in just the perfect place in this perfect village, with just the perfect female sous chef named Marguerite (Charlotte LeBon) to find them. Marguerite not only has rope in her car, but she has the most exquisite food in the house – plenty to feed a whole family, even if she lives alone. With wide, blue eyes and a 1950’s dress style, Margeurite catches the eye of Hassan (Manish Dayal), who is a budding chef in his own right. They seem to be the only two people who bike through town, making for unexpected meetings at various times of day.

Charlotte LeBon
Charlotte LeBonwho passes by in her car to help them out. Not only does she have rope in her car, but she also has the most exquisite
Kadam family

The Kadam family opens an Indian restaurant across from a Michelin star restaurant owned by the surly Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), who is bent on making sure they fail, as other restaurants had before them. Separated by one hundred feet (hence the name), the two restaurant owners keep trying to cite each other for oridinance violations. Another tragic incident bonds the two sides but temporarily damages the hands of Hassan, who has been wanting to work for Madame Mallory to learn his trade. He is such an extreme talent that he can tell her how to cook an omelet to perfection, in what can only be the perfect example of “food porn”. I do recommend eating before watching The Hundred-Foot Journey, as all the food practically leaps out of the screen.

Hassan hones his talents with Madame Mallory before eventually heading to Paris. But leaving behind his family and Margeurite is a hard decision, and he has choices to make while there.

Om Puri as the father is a delight here as well. The four main lead actors carry the story, it wouldn’t have worked without them. The movie is very predictable, you won’t find a lot of surprises.

We watched the bonus features, which include Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg talking about the making of The Hundred-Foot Journey. It is a nice feature, but I thought a little long.

Mousesteps grade for The Hundred-Foot Journey: B

Rated PG