French Indian Fusion
After trouble in their home town in India saw them lose everything Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) and his family flee the country and end up in Europe where after a spell in London where the vegetables lack soul they end up in France. And it is in France after their van breaks down that Papa (Om Puri) decides they will give the people in the town of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val a taste of Indian cooking when he buys a run down restaurant. It is a move which doesn't go down at all well with Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) who owns the one Michelin star restaurant directly across the road. But when initial rivalry spirals out of control and threatens lives things start to change for everyone including Hassan and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) who works for Madame Mallory.
As my title says "The Hundred-Foot Journey" is French Indian fusion with, seeing this is a movie about food, just a pinch of British influence. Yes it doesn't sound like a fusion which will create a great result yet magically it does. To put it into movie context "The Hundred-Foot Journey" has the charm of "A Good Year" which is born out of the local French culture but then it also has the charm of "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" with the music of India and that element of Indian cuisine where you can smell the spices as they are used. But then there is that British element although I say British loosely because with Om Puri delivering the bullish character similar to the one which he delivered in "East is East" it feels like some sort of off shoot of it.
And that is the thing about "The Hundred-Foot Journey" it is how those things make you feel that make the movie. When we enter the market place of the French town you feel transported there but with it then switching to a scene involving a typically Indian piece of music it whisks you off to another continent entirely and it works its magic. But it also works because whilst you have the magic of cooking you also have the comedy of Om Puri being bullish and Helen Mirren playing it posh which makes you smile again and again especially when the initial frostiness and antagonism between them softens.
What this all boils down to is that "The Hundred-Foot Journey" has a story it also has some damn fine performances but more importantly than all that it is a movie which makes you feel from the warmth of the sun basking down on the French town to the smell of spices in the air. And it is that which makes the movie and makes it a movie you will return to time and again when ever you need a lift.